Reviews To Avoid Scams And Fraud Of All Kinds

Article by René Ronse

How to protect yourself from scams

Updated on 23 October 2023.

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guide-piegesMalicious people are becoming increasingly inventive and elaborate in their attempts to scam you, and will stop at nothing to get your money or sensitive data.

It’s important to remember that scams usually work when 2 things come together:

1/ The scam is well thought-out, credible and resembles reality!
2/ It comes across at the wrong moment, when you’re a little more fragile or preoccupied.

When these two points come together, even the most skeptical people who say they can’t understand how anyone could be fooled so easily will be more inclined to fall for the scam.

What’s more, scammers are no fools: they often pretend to be someone you trust, an official, a friend, a charity or a well-known company, and take advantage of new technologies, products or services to create ever more sophisticated stories with the aim of convincing you to give them money or personal data.

Key points to avoid most online scams!

Protect yourself against scams!

The best way to protect yourself from most Web traps is to always follow a few key points, remain vigilant and never rush into anything!

Scams are indiscriminate, and everyone is vulnerable at one time or another!

So here’s a short list of tips to help you fight the daily battle against all those scams that assault us year-round:

1. Protect yourself :

You know that scams exist, so be careful.
When dealing with contacts, whether by phone, mail, email, in person or on social networks, always consider the possibility that this approach is an attempted scam.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

2. Know who you’re dealing with :

If you’re not sure about the legitimacy of a person or company, take the time to do a little research.
Do a Google image search or search the Internet for others who have had dealings with them. If a message or e-mail comes from a friend and it seems unusual, contact your friend directly to verify that it was indeed they who sent it.

3. Don’t click on just anything:

Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-ups, links or attachments in suspicious e-mails; delete them without opening them!
If in doubt, verify the identity of the contact via an independent source such as a telephone directory or online search. Do not use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.

4. Be vigilant on the phone:

Don’t answer automated calls, calls offering you gifts, calls about your computer requesting remote access, even if they mention a well-known company or a company you do business with – hang up!

5. Keep your personal data safe :

Put a lock on your mailbox and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them away. Keep your passwords and identification numbers in a safe place.
Be very careful about the amount of personal information you share on social media sites, as scammers can use this information and photos to create false identities or target you with an online scam.

6. Take your time:

Never make an impulsive decision, scammers want you to make decisions quickly, they will let you believe that there is an emergency, that you absolutely must make a decision quickly or risk losing benefits and in some cases they might even become aggressive with the sole aim of destabilizing you.
So, before giving away your money or personal information, take time to think, talk to people around you, do some research online, but don’t make a decision immediately!
In any case, if it’s not a scam, you’ll always have a way of getting back in touch with them later!

7. Protect your mobile devices and computers :

Always use password protection, don’t share access with other users (including remotely), update your security software and back up your data regularly.
Protect your Wifi network with a password, and avoid using public computers or Wifi hotspots to access online banking services or provide sensitive personal information.

8. Choose your passwords with care:

Choose passwords that are difficult for others to guess, and update them regularly.
A strong password should include a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.
Don’t use the same password for every account/profile, and don’t share your passwords with anyone.

9. Check your privacy and security settings on social media :

If you use social networking sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, be careful who you connect with and learn how to use your privacy and security settings to ensure you stay safe. If you recognize suspicious behavior, have clicked on spam or been the victim of an online scam, take steps to secure your account and be sure to report it!

10. Beware of requests for contact details or money :

Never send money or give credit card information, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust completely.
Never agree to transfer money or goods for someone else!

11. Beware of unusual requests for payment:

Fraudsters will often ask you to use an unusual payment method such as pre-loaded debit cards, gift cards, iTunes cards or virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.

12. Be careful when shopping online:

Be wary of offers that sound too good to be true, and always use an online payment processor you know and trust.
Beware of free or 1 euro trials, which are usually used to subscribe you and bill you monthly until cancelled. Before accepting one of these trials, read the terms and conditions of the sales site, do some research on your favorite search engine or on Scam or Reliable.
Think twice before using virtual currencies (like Bitcoin) – they don’t have the same protections as other payment methods, which means you can’t get your money back once you’ve sent it.
When paying online, always check that the site you’re making the transaction on has a secure connection (URL in HTTPS with the little padlock locked in the browser’s address bar).

Internet security information :

In the course of your work, you’ll visit many different web pages. Some of them can damage your computer if you’re not careful.

Here’s some advice:

Please don’t download executables, applications or other potentially dangerous files, and don’t click on links that don’t seem totally legitimate to you. Also, we suggest you only open files from known or trusted official sites.

The file formats listed below are generally considered safe if anti-virus software is in place:

 – .txt (text file)
 – .ppt or .pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint)
 – .doc or .docx (Microsoft Word)
 – .xls or .xlsx (Microsoft Excel)
 – .pdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader)

We strongly recommend that you have anti-virus and anti-spyware protection installed on your computer. Once installed, these programs need to be updated frequently, otherwise your computer will not be 100% protected. There are many free and paid products available on the web.

            See our article on antivirus and spyware.

If you come across a page containing a warning message, such as “Warning – visiting this website may damage your computer”, or if your antivirus software warns you about a page, you should not attempt to visit the page under any circumstances!

You may also come across pages that require RealPlayer or the Adobe Flash plugin. These can usually be downloaded safely.

Remember: scammers make no distinction and target everyone, whatever their nationality, social standing, religion, skin color or age, so : Protect yourself and be on the lookout!

 


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