How to Spot an Online Scammer: A Scammer’s Playbook

How to Spot an Online Scammer: A Scammer's Playbook

The world is becoming more digital, and online scams have become ingrained in internet culture. For many of us, spotting online scams has become easier as we’ve been exposed to them more frequently. However, this has resulted in scammers becoming increasingly sophisticated over time.

As a result, when newer users are exposed to them, identifying them can be quite challenging. But fear not; there are always tell-tale signs that indicate you’re on the verge of being duped.

Unknown individuals send private messages to strangers in an attempt to gain their trust and solicit money in some of the most common scams. Scams that are frequently perpetrated on social media include the following:

  • False job offers; Loans at a low interest rate;
  • Under the guise of a widow or divorcee, romantic advances;
  • Obtaining fictitious lottery winnings.

How to Spot an Online Scammer: A Scammer's Playbook

Additionally, you may want to keep an eye out for the following:

  • Individuals who approach you for money but do not know you personally.
  • Individuals requesting that you send them money or gift cards in exchange for a loan, prize, or other winnings.
  • Anyone who requests payment in order to apply for a job.
  • Unverified pages representing large companies, organizations, or public figures.
  • In an emergency, individuals claiming to be a friend or relative.
  • Individuals who misrepresent their location.
  • If someone joins Messenger using their mobile phone number, you may be able to determine the country from which their phone number originated. If you’re suspicious that a Page is attempting to defraud you, you can check the Page’s location.
  • Messages or posts that contain misspellings and grammatical errors.
  • Individuals or accounts directing you to a Page for the purpose of claiming a prize.
  • While many of these techniques prey on people’s naivete and sympathy, some of the more heinous scams prey on a more powerful emotion – fear.

This is accomplished primarily through official-looking emails and notifications alerting individuals to possible hacking attempts and requesting they reset their website and account passwords. Recognize many of these attempts by looking for possible grammatical errors in the message or by examining the sender’s email address.

Fear-based scams have grown exponentially in popularity in the aftermath of COVID-19, with scammers acutely aware of the uncertainty and paranoia pervading society.

Additionally, it is critical to constantly ask yourself if the offer is too good to be true.

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