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20th January 2020

3 Tips For Spotting Scams Online

While no one wants to be scammed, many people have fallen victim to online scams simply because they can be so sneaky and compelling. But when you do fall for a scammer’s tricks, you put yourself and your entire life at risk. Because of this, it’s important that you stay ever vigilant and know how to spot potential scams before it’s too late.

To show you how you can be your own best resource for cyber security, here are three tips to help you spot scams and scammers online. 

You’re Being Asked To Download Something

People download things off the Internet all the time. And while many of these things are safe and innocuous, downloading something is often how scammers get you.

According to Trent Hamm, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, one sign that someone or something is trying to scam you online is if it’s asking you to download something that you either don’t know what it is or don’t know and have a rapport with who you’re downloading it from. So if you ever get asked to download something from a person or corporation that you don’t know or that has a sketchy reputation, it’s best to navigate away or report the behavior rather than just downloading it and seeing what happens. 

You Receive A Generic Email 

One of the scariest ways that people try to scam you is by posing as someone or some corporation that you do know and trust. Because you likely get a lot of emails for businesses that you frequent, you might not even notice that anything seems amiss at first.

The FTC shares that one way you can tell that an email you’re receiving from a business isn’t actually from who you think it is is if the greeting or the language of the email seems very generic. If you’re getting an email from an actual business that you work with, there should be information in there that’s specific to you and your account with them. If there’s nothing like this present, it’s safe to assume that the email is a scam. So before you take any action, make sure you use a well-known phone number, email address, or website to double-check. 

They Solicit Your Social Security Number

There are some legitimate reasons why a business or other entity might need your social security number. But that being said, if someone or some business is incessantly soliciting your social security number, Amy Bell, a contributor to, shares that you’re more than likely experiencing a scam. 

To help ensure that you don’t fall victim to one of the many online scams out there, consider using the tips mentioned above to spot a scam when it’s presented to you. 

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