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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

How to Avoid Common Scams Online

According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), millennials are particularly more vulnerable to online scams than seniors, as shocking as it may seem. The research finds that “40 percent of adults age 20-29 who have reported fraud ended up losing money in a fraud case”. But when people aged 70+ had a loss, the median loss was much higher.

Email scam awareness

Email scams, also called phishing scams, are becoming increasingly common as fraudsters come up with new tricks to try and steal your personal information and bank details.  In some cases, the emails have malicious software attached which can infect your computer, tablet or mobile with a virus.

What is a phishing scam?

Phishing when a cybercriminal contacts you out of the blue and convinces you to hand over your personal information or money or gets you to download a virus that infects your computer. Phishing is a play on the word ‘fishing’ and usually happens over email, but can also happen through texts, social media or phone calls  Are you curious to know what are the most common ways to easily fall victim to a malware attack or phishing scams? It usually happens when you:

  • Shop online
  • Check your email addresses
  • Access your social media net

Here are five ways to avoid common scams:

  1. Delete Unsolicited Emails. One of the best ways to avoid email scams is to delete unsolicited emails. Legitimate companies will never send you pertinent information by email.
  2. Don’t Believe Promises of Money or Prizes. Any email or social networking link that promises free money or prizes should be dismissed, as these are almost always scams.
  3. Never Disclose Sensitive Personal Information. Any person who sends you an email asking for sensitive information, such as your bank account number or Social Security number, is up to no good. No matter what they promise you, mark the email as spam and move on.
  4. Filter Spam. Many email programs have the spam blocking or junk mail filter, if you are using online email services like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo be sure these features are active; also, you will reduce the amount of undesirables messages in your Inbox.
  5. Hover Before You Click. Whenever you receive an unsolicited email asking you to “click here,” beware – even if it sounds like a legitimate company. The same goes for social networking links that take you to what appear to be login pages. These may be, in fact, sites designed to steal your information.

Stolen, leaked or compromised passwords

The latest version of a worrying scam is using details from one of the recent pastes of stolen information. They are inserting your name and a password that is associated with your email address from a hacked site into the email.

Enter your email address on and see where your info had been stolen from. Then make sure you change the password (s) on any site listed and any other site where you have used the same password.

Never, EVER use the same password on different sites. Always use a different password for each site you log in to. Don’t use simple passwords, like your name, your husband’s/wife’s, your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s, your dog’s or cat’s name. Always use a strong password with a mixture of letters and numbers and different characters. Something like jenny, Rover, 12345, 54321, password, login or similar words are absolutely useless. You need something like TsfE£%9& to stop them being guessed.  It is strongly recommended to use services like 1Password or LastPass to keep and create safe secure passwords.


Federal Trade Commission