01 Oct

How to Identify a Scammer Online

I am willing to wager that you would barely be able to spend an hour online without running into a potential scam. The internet is absolutely rife with them. Whilst the number is not as high as it was in the past (in the early days of mass internet pretty much everything was a scam), there are still a number of devious people out there who want to do nothing more than get their grubby hands on your hard-earned cash.

Thankfully most scammers are not smart. Most are pretty dumb actually. Using the right techniques you should be able to weasel out some of the biggest scammers online with ease.
This is not a complete guide to identifying a scammer online. That would take many pages to give to you. What I want to do however is share a couple of tips which should hopefully stand you in good stead.
Perhaps one of the biggest scams out there will be landing in your inbox.

Many scammers will send ‘fake’ emails out which include attachments or a link. These emails are often dressed up to appear as if they came from a reputable source (for example; PayPal). The intention of these emails is to either get a ‘keylogger’ installed on your computer (a piece of software which will enable the scammer to view every single one of your keystrokes) or to get you to head to a website where you type in your personal information which they can then steal. Thankfully these online scams should be easy to spot:

• Very few companies will send attachments via email unless you are expecting something. If you
are not expecting an email with an attachment you should never open it. It should give you great
cause of concern.

• Many of these online scam emails are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. You should be
able to spot those pretty quickly.

• Highlight the link before clicking it. It may look to be reputable in the email, but if you
highlight it you will be told the real domain name. It is most likely going to be nothing
related to the site that you should be heading to.

Another popular scam is trying to get money out of you in exchange for tips on how to make more money online. These scams should be pretty easy to spot:

• If you are asked to give money up-front for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, you can be pretty much
certain that you are going to end up losing your cash.

• There are some ‘scams’ out there which claim to give you knowledge for free. People don’t do

Humans are not that kind, for the most part at least. If you can’t think how they are making money from that scheme it is likely that it is going to be a little bit dubious and has to be avoided.
As I said at the start; this is a very brief guide to identifying scammers online. There are plenty of other scams being operated out there. It is your duty to be safe on the internet. If something looks a little bit sketchy then you absolutely must avoid it.

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