How to protect yourself from scams

THERE ARE many types of scams, some of which very ingenious and credible, and they are all after the same thing: your money. The tactics used can vary from phone calls to emails or too good to be true online shopping offers. Being alert, avoid responding to suspicious texts, e-mails or requests as well as keeping your personal details safe are all good practices to protect yourself from scams.

What is a scam and how can you recognise it?

Scams are becoming more sophisticated, however, this is not the norm and scammers will use different tactics to make you pay for an inexistent product or service.

Scammers have the ability to create a false but credible image and, as needed, use fake names, emails and websites or even social media profiles. One of the most common methods of approach (that is also easily recognisable) is the unexpected or unsolicited contact. 

Common scams and frauds can include, but are not limited to, banking scams, telephone and charity scams or investment scams. If you suspect that you have been the victim of a recent fraud, you can request specialised aid from a team of defence solicitors.

Banking scams, identity theft, online scams and housing scams

What are some protection methods against scams?

Recognising a scam can save you important financial losses, however, this is not always easy since, in most cases, scammers will replicate trustworthy companies or persons. While some suspicious emails, such as an unexpected inheritance from an African prince, are obvious, other frauds will target less gullible people and can include complex schemes.  

  • Be suspicious: far from being paranoid, maintaining a healthy level of suspicion is healthy (and safe) when contacted by a new person with a highly attractive opportunity (whether it is for investment or shopping purposes).
  • Make the necessary research: if something sounds too good to be true, it will be worth your while to make an online search of the names of the people or companies that have presented the offer.
  • Stay protected: updating your anti-malware and antivirus protection is useful and so is protecting your passwords, personal and bank information. 
  • Do not give in: do not give in to the scammer’s pressure to immediately accept their offer or purchase their products

Being aware that frauds exist and that they can target anyone, and staying alert, is a key step for protecting yourself from scams. Remember to retain a reasonable amount of suspicion when dealing with unknown calls, texts, links and attachments and always make sure that the online payments you make are secure.

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