How to Protect Yourself From Being Scammed?

Money has become the alpha these days. Everyone is running to make sure that they can collect as much money as possible. High paying jobs are in great demand. People don’t mind spending long hours and risking their health just to earn enough money.

Countries with ever increasing population, for instance, India; are prone to increased competition in finding stable jobs. Adding to this, the opportunities to work and earn are relatively low in comparison to the population. This leads to many educated and qualified people left behind jobless.

All these scenarios, tend people fall into the trap of making easy and quick money. They take it up without giving it a second thought. These scams come in various forms like jobs, investment schemes, etc. Unfortunately, all that glitters is not gold. People realize this fact in the most bitter way possible.

Several chit fund investment schemes have duped innocent and poor people of their hard earned money. Many poor individuals have invested their income and savings in such schemes with the expectations of high returns. When they realized that they were being scammed and lost their money, many people even lost their lives due to suicide or heart attacks.

Such fraudulent scams are on a rise throughout the globe. There are different types of scams that are on the rise. Here are 8 of the most common types of scams:

8 of The Most Common Types of Scams And How To Save Yourself From Them

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1. Ponzi Scheme

This type of scam comes in the form of an investment scheme. Here the scammer is usually in the form of a company. The company invites investors to invest their money into the company in return for high dividend. The company lures investors with higher profits and returns. Few agents are hired to spread the word and get investors. He repays few of the early investors back with the money that he received from the other investors.

This eventually helps him build some fake goodwill and attract more people towards the fraud scheme. Eventually, after functioning for few months or years, the scammer shuts down the company and all its branches without any kind of notice to either the investors, agents or the employees. The scammer flees the country or goes into hiding with all the money.

How to protect yourself from being trapped in a Ponzi scheme?

  • Never invest your money into any company solely on the basis of profits.
  • Always check for the reputation of the company.
  • Speak to some experts.
  • Look out for the red flags such as high returns, unverified and unlicensed sellers, secretive dealings and strategies, improper paperwork, extremely convincing tone of the agents, etc.
  • Be firm and reject the scheme even if the agent is a relative or a family friend.

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2. Job Offers

Another common kind of fraud where many people get sucked into are job offers. These types of fraudsters usually target the most vulnerable unemployed crowd like unqualified individuals, fresher’s, etc. I have personally come across many such scam mails myself in my initial days of job search. Here is how this scam works.

The scammers usually access free job portal sites and collect data of potential victims. Thereafter, they mail the individuals offering them good high paying jobs. Some of them even use the names of big renowned companies. Their job offers are really great with good pay, good timings and good vacations. Once the individual replies back to them, they usually set up an “interview” in another location. They ask the candidates to send them the travelling and stay expenses.

Vulnerable candidates don’t mind spending a couple of thousands for a good paying jobs in a reputed company. Once they receive the money, they delete the email and never message the same person again. Even work from home opportunities ask you for some kind of investments or deposits.

How to protect yourself from Job offer scams?

  • Remember, if any company is asking you to pay for a job offer, please don’t do it. No doubt, is a fraudulent scam.
  • Always cross check about the authenticity of the job offer and the company.
  • When in doubt look up for the company online and call their customer care helpline number.
  • Another sign is look out for the email handles.
  • Reputed companies have their own email handles.
  • However, if the mail has come from a commonly used handle like gmail, yahoo, live, etc. ignore it or report it.

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3. Email Frauds

Many of us are aware of this kind of fraud. These are emails that you generally find in your spam folder or your junk folder. This is because these emails have been sent out in bulk by unverified individuals from remote locations. These generally inform you that you have inherited a lump sum amount after the death of some stranger in some part of the world. They ask you to transfer some amount as transaction fee or to make sure you avoid tax. Many people have fallen prey to such scams.

How to stay away from email scams?

  • Never share your personal details with strangers online.
  • Never transfer money to someone.
  • Always think logically and practically and remember that no stranger will select you as their beneficiary.
  • Delete these emails and block such strangers.

4. Lottery

Lottery scam is another scam. These generally occur in form of pop ups or ads on some websites. They can be in form of spin the wheel or in the form of a quiz or even a survey. You may magically or luckily win the latest model of phone or laptop or any gadget. Some of these even include sentences like “here is how an 18 year old became a millionaire overnight.” Just like email frauds, these too ask you for details or transaction fees. These type of ads can also install malware or virus in your computers.

How to stay away from lottery scams?

  • Whenever you come across such pop ups immediately close the tabs.
  • Use proper antivirus software’s that blocks such popups.
  • Don’t forward the links to surveys or lucky draws to anyone else as this is just increasing the chain.

5. Charity Scams

Charity scams are another type of common scams. However, the sad part here is, because of few fraudsters people loose trust even in the people who are genuinely in need of money. Charity scams are where the fraudsters step up fake charity causes on crowdfunding websites and gain money from the general public. You may even come across ads like “This Child is suffering from cancer and immediately needs your help,” “donate money now to help this young girl walk,” etc.

How to stay alert about Charity scams?

  • When you wish to donate something to some charity, make sure to conduct a background check.
  • Conduct some research regarding the genuineness of the sick people. Avoid sending money directly.
  • Make sure the picture used is not something that is easily available on google rather than that of the actual person.

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6. Bank Related Scams

Some people even contact you stating some believable reasons and asking for your credit card and pin number. They may imitate as bank officials and employees. Surprisingly they may even have your basic details like your name, address, phone number and account number. This may make you believe that they are actual bank employees.

How to stay alert about Bank related scams?

  • Remember, no bank employee will ask you to do any kind of transactions over the phone. They will ask you to visit their branch in person.
  • If you get any kind of calls asking for your credit card details, immediately report it to the bank as well as the police.
  • Don’t reveal your OTP number, Card Details or Pin Number to anyone, not even the bank officials.

7. Astrology Scams

Another common type of scams that usually appear in ads and pop ups is the astrology scams. Everyone wants to know their future and some people have turned it into business. These are generally the psychics and clairvoyants. They will make predictions regarding your future. You may be asked to fill some details regarding your work life, personal details, etc. Based on these details, the astrologers may make some prophecies. The initial predictions may be kind of true because they are pretty general predictions that everyone these days are facing. Once the user gets addicted, the astrologers begin charging some kind of fee.

Solution:

  • If you are contacted by any person online informing you that you are cursed or in danger, ignore them.
  • Never send them any kind of money online or in person.

8. Pyramid Schemes

Pyramid scheme is another common type of scam. The diagram below easily explains the concept of pyramid scams.

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Solution:

  • Don’t participate in any kind of scheme related activity.
  • If you are being emotionally blackmailed or forced into any scheme, inform some authorities.

Concluding thoughts,

Scams target everyone so be alert at all times. Keep your loved ones informed regarding scams. educate the illiterate people regarding these scams as they are the ones who easily fall prey. Know who and what you’re dealing with. Keep your personal details secure and confidential at all times. Don’t befriend any stranger on the internet. Conduct a background check whenever you are in doubt.

Did you find this article useful? Also, help others by leaving your comments below if you know any other type of scams.

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