How To Spot A Scam Online
Fellow Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners,
Social media marketing is an ever expanding channel for businesses of all kinds to target and also for the scammers that follow in their steps.
Obvious signs to look out for when you are being duped or scammed
Below are a few obvious red flags to look out for during your internet browsing. Some scam signs are more obvious and bolder than others, even these must be effective to a degree as they continue to appear and gullible victims continue to present themselves as easy victims to these fraudsters.
- When the first line of the ad or post reads "This is not a scam…" or "You can trust me…".
- Photos of people flashing wads of cash. Do you see legitimate businesses doing this.
- Photos showing the scammers high-end lifestyle. As above.
- Photos showing proof of bank transactions and deposits. As above.
- Obviously tardy, disjointed or incomplete social media profiles. Legitimate businesses have plenty of touch points to fact check their legitimacy.
- Outrageous claims like getting 10x your investment in just 3 months. Why would they be telling you how to do that.
- Fantastic ideas and claims that just need your backing in order to save the planet, those belong in Disneyworld.
- Asking for your banking details to deposit into or to confirm your identity. Legitimate ecommerce sites always let you initiate any transaction.
- Why is a person living in Venezuela selling a cheap car on Craigslist in Atlanta?
- When last did a wealthy person, prince or sheikh need your personal help getting their money out of their country.
- Contributions towards life-saving surgery etc. Research them, they should have pages up on legitimate sites that can be checked.
- Bait and switch, or clickbait products that they just ran out of, but have similar ones available. If they are not honest the first time…
- Hard sell tactics that make you feel like a fool for not taking them up on their fantastic deal right this moment.
- An excessive or unnatural level of friendliness or flattery from a complete stranger. They're looking for an emotional vulnerability to exploit.
- A complete stranger asking for a big favor or begging for help. The bigger the tragedy, the bigger the bs, plucking at your heartstrings.
- Any huge deal that will expire in the next hour or so showing a big count-down clock. Keep moving, it pays to shop around.
- Any affiliate program that involves selling "how to" or "starter" information packages. Basically you now need to find other suckers in order to recoup your wasted investment.
- If it contains the words Bitcoin or Forex Trading - buyer beware - do your due diligence.
It's easy to test for a scamster who makes so much easy money and wants to help you enjoy the same lifestyle as they do, simply ask them to donate $50 to your worthy cause. It's amazing how quickly those millions dry up then.
Incredibly there is a percentage of the population who wake up every morning after a good night's sleep thinking up ways they can rip you off today. Scam artists and fraudsters have absolutely no shame or social conscious which is hard for regular people to comprehend, its a game to them and you are fair game. Over time they get bolder and more brash in their approach and this should then become more evident to us. Stay alert to the fact that they are roaming the internet and your neighborhood looking for their next victim.
The more virtually connected we are, the more vigilant we must be
View our Entrepreneur Articles on our vision to build up local small business.
Regards, Justin Grounds.
Founder & Admin