How to Protect Yourself from Online Scammers

You see… Being an Internet marketer myself, I have had my own fair share of the negative side of doing business here online- scamming to be precise.

I have been scammed a few times myself prior to this time; but the most disheartening of all is seeing people lose faith in you and what you do (especially in the beginning) simply because they feel it’s a scam or have the impression that you can’t be as smart as you’re if you’re not in one way or the other a scammer or possessing some G-skills; so they simply become highly apprehensive of doing business with you and as a result, appear withdrawn from all your offers even when they know that such offers can change their life for good.

A lot of times, folks always ask me some of these questions: Hey! TheOnlineMillionaire, Please, how can I identify a legit offer? How can I secure my accounts online? Is it advisable to do business online with a pseudo-Identity for security sake Etc. ?

This is not their fault, I don’t blame them either for being apprehensive but if you have held on to this wrong mentality for a long time now thereby losing out on all the wonderful opportunities that the internet has to offer, I’ll say it to your face that you’re being very selfish and doing yourself more harm than good.

You’re not the first person to have been scammed online neither are you going to be the last; being so afraid of carrying out any transaction at all online due to fear of being scammed is also a very stupid idea because frankly, you cannot run away from it. Initially, I thought they were all lying or simply exaggerating.

So out of curiosity I went on Google search engine and typed the keyword” scam alert in Nigeria” I was amazed at the results I got. I saw a lot of complaints from people who have fallen victims of these so called ‘scammers’.

After this revelation, I had to sit down and write this article. If you are reading this, I want you to do something for me immediately you’re done reading.

I want you to share this article with your friends on Facebook and other social media websites so that this information can reach them also. Having said that, let me tell you the number one reason why a lot of people are afraid of online scam. The number one reason is sheer ignorance.

The main reason why I think a lot of people are afraid of being scammed online is because they are simply, highly ignorant of the subject matter.

From my own personal experience online one striking thing that I have come to discover is that: It is people who are afraid of getting scammed that actually do really get scammed because most of the things that they call scams are not scams while the ones that they think are safe, rewarding and lucrative are actually the real scams. The only way to avoid getting scammed online is to get knowledge on how the internet works.

In today’s world, Online scam has been made to look like an honorable profession where a lot of families go to the extent of borrowing money to send their children to go for apprenticeship in different shades of scam techniques so as to graduate and settle down as an experienced, bad-ass “G-Boy”.

It has become increasingly so difficult largely due to the fact that the term “Scam” is no longer generally associated with crime and evil, a lot of folks talk about it openly, families celebrate scammers, our society adore them, they make heavy donations to our churches, elder in our villages most times sell their respect for the G-Money; so it’s been made to appear cool.

But Hey! Gone are the days when scam also known by various names like: OBT, 419, Yahoo-Yahoo etc used to be an issue of fake transaction between a white (usually aged or retired) and an imaginary black prince whose father owns lots of properties, died and left $120,000, 000 for him to start life with… Nah!

In today’s world, so far you’re online, you’re been targeted (know this); and if you fail to take some necessary precautions, soon you’ll most likely fall into the ‘Fisherman’s net’ if you don’t swim fast. So everybody is a “Potential Mugu”. To be safe, you need to be extra smart and cautious.

Now let’s get straight into it: How can you secure yourself online as a business person? We’ll be digging very deep into this citing some major instances in no particular order:

A call from a Fake Account Officer or Customer care: Most of the time, they can call requesting your BVN and other account details, citing a case of some little issues on your account that needs to be fixed urgently. They usually sound very friendly and professional like real customer care person or a new account officer freshly assigned to you.
Understand first that no customer care or account officer from any bank will require your BVN number or transaction pin. If you fall for this cheap scam, you’re on your own.

Fake Notifications: Another way they can get at you is by devising some other dangerous means to get your attention by sending you some fake emails on non-existent earnings (the greedy folks usually fall for this). They’ll request you to click on the malicious link they’ll make available in the mail so as to claim your fake earnings; but never you make that mistake.

Understand that nothing happens by accident online, if you must earn $20 here online, you must earn it selling something, providing a service, trading, promoting offers for cash or doing any other legit stuffs through which you can earn; if anyone comes to you saying you’ve won $20,000 via lottery, or some other ventures, and you know for sure you never played that lottery or applied for whatsoever that will warrant you winning such kind of money, then it’s obviously a fake alert.

Inheritance: In this kind of format, you get emails from a ‘supposed’ foreigner pretending to come from US, Canada, Australia etc; telling you about someone who sent him an email requesting his assistance to help him clear some large chunk of money (most likely an inheritance) left behind for him (sometimes up to $80,000,000) by his deceased father and will require the assistance of African before he can have access to the money.

So owing to the above stated reason, they would ask you to recommend a trusted friend of yours to help pull out that money and share the inheritance with the beneficiary. So those who are greedy will usually make themselves available in place of the trusted friend and then send a reply to the mail.

Most times these kind of mails contains links that can compromise your security if mistakenly clicked on. When the story sounds so true to be true, then you must take the smart option- MOVE AWAY!

PBD (Payment Before Delivery): This is one of the most effectives ways that scammers prey on unsuspecting people who buy or import things online. Most of the merchant websites where you can buy cars, clothes, accessories, software, electronics, home utensils, laptops etc online at cheaper rates to bring down to Nigeria here most of the time would require you to pay first before you can receive the item.

So basically, these merchant websites have different merchants who sell stuffs on their platform. Therefore, it is very necessary for you to take precautionary measures when doing a transaction on such platforms. If you must, then pay through an Escrow (a middle man; usually a company that holds your payment in trust till delivery is confirmed). You’ll also find this on some freelance websites, where freelancers also get paid through an Escrow.

Doing this will ensure that your money is protected and if anything goes wrong, you can as well recover your money easily. If you must buy anything online without an Escrow, make sure that the person you’re buying from is so big that they cannot rubbish their name for anything. Before you carry out any transaction at all online, search for the person you’re doing business with online using google; and if you cannot find the person or company on the internet, chances are they are not genuine.

Unsolicited links in your email: Whoever you’re, whatever you do, make sure you avoid any link in your mail that requires you to click on it (If you want to be safe, then you must adhere to this seriously).

If you come across any particular kind of link in your mailbox that requires you to change any of your password or any security code, then be sure the hunters are at it again. (This is a powerful scam technique known as ‘Phishing’; they use it mostly in gaining access into people’s Facebook account and most times. It’s also used in accessing people’s ATM codes and emails.

They’ll usually want to redirect you to another website in order to prompt you to change and secure your details. For instance, let’s assume that you have an account with ‘First Bank PLC’, They might send you a branded email with the bank’s logo alleging that there’s an attack on your bank’s official website, thereby requesting that you go immediately (as a matter of urgency) and change your ATM password online on a specific website made available in their mail to you.

They have a pattern you must be on the lookout for. They usually make a mirrored website of other credible websites like: Airtel, Stanbic IBTC, Interswitch, Google, First Bank et al. The instruction is: DO NOT for any reason click on any of such dubious links and secondly, never submit your details to them via the provided mirrored websites in their email to you; doing so will leak your jealously guarded information and thereby leaving you at their mercy.

Fake Payment Portals: This is another huge one. Online transactions these days are not too secure but if you know your way, you’ll hardly fall for scammers. But the question now is: How can one figure out a secured payment portal?

It’s no rocket science. One of the first major steps to securing yourself online when making payment is this: Be sure to ascertain the URL’s secure status by looking up the site’s domain name on the browser search bar. If it’s secure, you’ll see something like: https:// the ‘s’ after the http refers to SECURED and you’ll also find a locked padlock image before the “https”.

So stuffs like this usually happens when you want to make transaction online. Lots of people have also been scammed through it. Let’s assume you’re about making an order on a website like https://alibaba.com but on clicking on the payments link, you are re-directed to a look-alike website which might appear like this: http://en.alibaba.com or come in several other formats. Immediately you experience something like this, disengage immediately.

At some other times, you might receive a call telling you that someone paid them to kill you and that you should send money in order for them not to kill you. A lot more other times, you can receive text messages saying you have been given a contract to supply Petroleum products to Agip or even selected for an interview by Shell Petroleum Development Company.

The list is just endless. Avoid people you don’t know, avoid anything you never applied for, avoid any offer you know nothing about, avoid all forms of visa offers that you never applied for, do not flip any nonsense cash or invest into schemes that you know nothing about, do not put your home and evidence of your earnings online. Buy only from people who are trusted. Avoid every kind of Ponzi.

I hope you enjoyed this my little article? I would love to see your response to this piece.

Thanks for reading!

TheOnlineMillionaire

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