How to prevent yourself getting scammed online

The internet is a wonderful place, but it can also be a very dangerous place, too. Sadly, those bad people out there are finding more…


The internet is a wonderful place, but it can also be a very dangerous place, too. Sadly, those bad people out there are finding more and more ways to scam and dupe you out of your money, so beware.

Here are some things you need to be aware of to stop you from being scammed online.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

An email from some prince of a country you’ve never heard of saying that want you to inherit $3409204920 is a scam. Do not click the link or send them any information.

Messages from Facebook saying you’ve won £80,000 in a prize drawn and you JUST need to go to Tesco and get £300 worth of iTunes vouchers and send them the codes before your money is dropped off in CASH – it’s a lie.

Do not fall for it and also ensure you tell your parents, grandparents and others who might be at risk of it. I work in a supermarket and we often get older people coming in trying to buy iTunes vouchers for this reason. In one case, someone had hacked a priests email and said these requests from the priests’ account, saying the iTunes vouchers are to be donated to children with cancer. My colleague spent an hour trying to convince her it was a con.

Where there’s blame there’s a claim.

We’ve all heard of this, right? A big scam out there is to do with car accidents. A phone call, a text message or an email informing you that £4000 is rightly yours from an accident you had in 2008 where you had whiplash. This is a con, if you did have a car accident in 2008, it’s mostly just a coincidence. If you have had an accident and want to claim, then do your own research to get a law firm that is reliable such as

Watch where you are putting your bank details!

There are many ways to pay online these days, Paypal, debit, credit or PAAY, so ensure you use a safe and secure way to part with your money. If you are ever paying for something online and are sent to a website such as Paypal, ensure it is actually Paypal by checking the address. Scammers will create a website that looks very similar that something like Paypal or Amazon, then when you log in they get access to your username and password.

Plenty of phishers.

Phishing is usually done via email and it’s when an email will act like and look like it’s from your bank, eBay or something similar. It generally says something about your account being deactivated and you have to fill out a form to reactivate it. You can usually tell this is fake by looking at the email from the sender – it’s often either lots of numbers and letters or will attempt to look like it’s from somewhere genuine by slightly misspelling the brand name.

Companies will never ask for your log-in details and if you are unsure, go to the official website of the company and call them!

Most companies have a dedicated email account that you can forward an email like this to so they can try and prevent it

Infected computers.

If you download things, you need to ensure you do it from trusted websites only! As well as ensuring you don’t click on dodgy links in emails or across other message services – even if they are from people you know, they could have been hacked.

Some of these things can malware onto your computer that collects data. This could include recording your keystrokes so it can detect passwords.

Have a backup.

Having one backup isn’t enough – it’s always a good idea to have two or more backups of important information. Cloud storage is a good way of backing up data onto a server where you can backup from anywhere, but it is still advisable to also have a hard copy on a hard drive in case your cloud storage fails or you are unable to access the internet.

If you are using a cloud storage system, ensure they are certified as ISO 27001 compliant – which means they have all the security measures and controls in place to keep your data safe and private.

Online buying.

It’s so easy for any website to have a professional feel to it, when buying things online you need to look at more than just how good the website looks. Check reviews, check the website is secure and also look for things such as return policies and guarantees.


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