Scams are not always easy to spot so anyone can fall easily into one. Scams happen through phone calls, emails, text messages, and even through contact forms. The first thing every consumer needs to do is view everything through a critical lens. If you receive a phone call that is not expected and tells you that something will shut down in a time frame, this is typically a sign of a scam. Instead of acting quickly and doing what the person on the line says, don’t give them additional information. Take a step back and investigate the phone number or company name they are referring to. Often when this step is taken you will be able to see that you are being scammed.
Signs of a scam in an email is using poor grammar or unusual formatting like all CAPS. Emails may include unfounded direct legal threats, ask for money orders, or recently they will threaten that your account will be closed if you don’t pay immediately. They may also ask for passwords or banking information. This information should never be given in an email. When viewing an email, look at the email address which sent the email. If it is unusual or has a misspelling that can be a red flag of a scam. If you receive an email from a friend that contains only a link, do not click on the link. The link is an indication your friend has been hacked and clicking on the link may infect you as well. Many email programs will allow you to “mouse over” the link without clicking to see if it will send you to a reputable website. It will show you the actual www address, which you will go to if you click.
In order to make sure you are safe, NEVER give out personal information. When you are entering your credit card on a site, make sure the site is secure and uses a lock icon and the website starts with https. Make sure the address bar up on top shows the actual website name you expect. Some scams will use spellings that are close to the website you expect. A mis-spelling, even by a single character, is NOT the same website. In general, don’t act quickly, but rather use a methodical reaction.
If you are not sure if something is a scam, consult with an expert. Tech Lab is happy to help you avoid headaches associated with being scammed. Call Tech Lab at 414-208-4682 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.