For our blog today, we are happy to invite our guest contributor, Remi Goc, President of Ignite Web Solutions to share his top 3 tips for protecting yourself from online fraud.
Technology has sure made a lot of things simpler in life. We can instantaneously share pictures and thoughts with our family and friends. But it has also made the criminals’ life easier, they don’t even have to leave their house to persuade someone out of their hard-earned money.
Most of us have received them or heard about it – the email scam. There are many variations, such as the CRA scam – and who could forget the long-lived, and subject to many jokes… the “Nigerian prince” scam.
While the actors and storylines of the scam will change with time, there are a few small steps we can take to protect ourselves from falling prey to email scams, such as:
1. Email scams work because they target our emotions – greed, shame, fear, anger – scam emails are heavily focused on triggering an emotional response which kicks you into action without really thinking about it. If you find yourself putting logic aside due to the context of an email then set that email aside and come back to it later when the surge of emotion has subsided.
2. They are loose on details. Sure, a scammer might obtain your email address (it’s not hard to do at all) – but they won’t have other information on you. If you find an e-mail light on personal details (such as your name, address or other identifiable information) then it could be another clue that what you have received is a scam email.
3. Language – remember when teachers used to tell us that spelling and grammar matter? Scammers didn’t learn this lesson and their language will be subpar with noticeable errors. Reputable companies, banks, and even the CRA will always proofread their communications material!
For best results use a checklist to see how many red flags an email triggers. For example, if an email checks the boxes of the three points described here then the chance that it’s a scam increases greatly.
Scams are about triggering us to react quickly and avoid the “or else” scenario – but they all have something in common – the transfer of money from your bank account to someone else.
So if you find yourself on the receiving end of an email supposedly sent by the lawyer of a long-lost millionaire relative who has no descendants so the money is yours for a small fee – remember the wisdom of the following words… if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
Ignite Web Solutions
Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.
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