What are Scams, and How You can Avoid Them?

Do you know what scams are? If you do, do you know how to avoid them? Are YOU safe from Scams?

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What are Scams, and How You can Avoid Them?

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“Who is going to believe a con artist? Everyone if she is good.”Andy Grifith

What is a scam?

A scam is a term used to describe any fake business or scheme that takes money or other goods from an unsuspecting person. Scams can be sent from emails or even messages from an unknown number. With the world becoming more connected to the Internet, online scams have become more common, so you should always be cautious on the Internet. 

How can you tell you’re being scammed?

You can tell you’re being scammed if you get that gut feeling: Can I trust this? You can usually tell if someone is attempting to scam you if they make you feel a sense of urgency, or act as if they need help or are hurt. Scammers give generic greetings because most of the time they’re using the same scam on many, many other people. If they make numerous spelling and grammatical errors, they probably aren’t a real, professional business or company. Sometimes they promise you something or ask you for a favor. Scammers often use hyperlinks to take you to websites you don’t want to be on. You should also be wary of unknown attachments.

Why do people scam?

Most of the time, the reason people scam is to get money or other goods from people. Sometimes people can be greedy and trick unsuspecting people into giving them money. Others times they actually need the money, but don’t want to do all the work of actually working for it. Some people don’t want money though. Sometimes scammers take other things that might be even more valuable to them than money.

How can you prevent yourself from being scammed?

There are many ways to prevent yourself from being scammed. You can use the CRAAP test to help you figure out if the website is safe/true or not. If not, the website could be fake and may be trying to scam you. The CRAAP test consists of five rules: 

  • Currency: The timeliness of the information
  • Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs
  • Authority: The source of the information
  • Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content
  • Purpose: The reason the information

You should also always guard your personal information, be wary of links and attachments, and free stuff. Another way to help protect yourself from scams is by getting a WebAdvisor. For example, McAfee SiteAdvisor/WebAdvisor is a service that reports on the safety of websites. It does this by crawling the web and testing the sites it finds for malware and spam. You should also always be careful of who and what you trust.

What are some different types of scams?

Some types of scams include:

  • Attempts to get personal information
  • Buying or selling
  • Dating and romance
  • Fake charities
  • Investments
  • Jobs and employment
  • Threats and extortion
  • Unexpected money
  • Unexpected winnings

Some scams have been around for a very long time, like the Nigerian prince scam. The Nigerian prince scam usually comes as an email from someone who claims that they’re royalty. The email says that they have a fortune that they can’t get out of their country. Then it says that you can help by giving them your bank account number. They say it’s so that they can transfer the money. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. The only real thing about this email is that if you do as they say, they will have your bank account number.

Interviews

Question: What are Scams, and how can you avoid them?

Mr. Hart:Scams is an attempt to trick someone into doing something or buying something. I guess you can avoid them by answering the right questions, checking you’re resources, and being cautious of what information you give out.”

Vik: “Scams are a website, pop-up, or email that people get. However, the people who created them do not have good intentions. Their intentions are to steal or hack. You can avoid them by being vigilant and closely reading everything.”

Jack: “Scams are a scheme to try to lure someone into buying or doing something. The way to avoid scams is to be skeptical of things and make sure you trust what is offered. Scams are usually found digitally, so you have to avoid unknown websites or adds.”

Lulu: “Scams are tricks to cheat people out of money or property. You can avoid them by not buying things over the phone or from people that come to your front door unless you know them. The most important thing to remember is: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Question: Why do you think people Scam?

Mr. Hart: “Because people are lazy, and want to take advantage of others that are susceptible to Scams, like children and senior citizens.”

Vik: “I think people scam for the money. It takes just one click for their scam to become the most lucrative opportunity in their life. ]Some people, although it is rare, do scam for fun. They might just want to get a laugh at someone else’s expense.” 

Jack: “I think that the main reason people scam is because people think they can make easy money off of unsuspecting people. Also, they are trying to catch people off guard to try to “steal” their money.”

Lulu: “People scam because they’re greedy and don’t care who they hurt.”

Conclusion

Scams are everywhere, but don’t worry, you don’t have to be paranoid: just listen to our tips! Just be skeptical and make sure to know who you trust. In the words of Tim Ferriss, “I encourage active skepticism – when people are being skeptical because they’re trying to identify the best course of action. They’re trying to identify the next step for themselves or other people.”

Background information:

https://www.businessinsider.com/online-scams-internet-phishing-2019-3

https://www.today.com/money/10-simple-tips-avoid-getting-scammed-t6111

https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams

https://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/general-help/scamwatch/identify-a-scam/is-this-a-scam

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0120-avoiding-scams-101

 

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