Tips to Stay Safe When Using Online Means for Communication & Shopping

Online fraud and cyber theft do exist in reality and it is responsibly to be aware of the ways to avoid falling victim of such malicious activities. Here I am sharing a few points which will help you in this regard.

Poor grammar and spelling

Like over-enthusiasm, this is unprofessional and no serious company would pass up such a detail. Certainly the errors may occur in some communications, but there are some that clearly denote that a translator was used or that the spelling denotes too much neglect.

On the other hand, you should also pay attention to certain techniques that are used to try to trick spam filters such as using @ to replace the letter ‘a’ or use the number 1 to replace the letter ‘I’ in certain words that will undoubtedly catch the attention of such filters, for example if ‘Viagra’ is a word that attracts the attention of filters, the scammers will use ‘[email protected]’ or ‘v1agra’ or some similar combination.

Sense of urgency

There are so many variants that use the sense of urgency and it is not funny. Some of them have been extensively documented. As a general rule, be careful when an ‘official’ body contacts you by email requesting an urgent payment or a person you barely know is trapped in Dubai after their documents were stolen.

Cases that are well documented and very likely to know are as follows;

An attorney contacts you urgently for the reason that they have been trying for years to find the heir of a multimillion dollar fortune that has your same name. To eliminate the problem of funds being appropriated by a bank, the lawyer proposes to share with you half the fortune if you decide to impersonate a relative of the late millionaire.
A prince, an artist, a politician or someone who has a lot of money and lives in a very, very far away country, contacts you to receive your millions in your bank account in exchange for a juicy commission. All these are variants of the well-known and now widely documented Nigerian scam.

Your cyber friend, who fell in love with you after a handful of virtual exchanges, lost the passport and now needs your help and it cannot be fixed with a few thousand dollars. This variant is widely documented as the love scam.
Your bank or PayPal needs to verify your identity urgently, for which you have been sent a link to type your username and password and incidentally give them your social security number.

Inconsistencies with addresses, names, domains, etc.

There are cases in which the email you received supposedly comes from the vice president of the bank, but asks you to respond to an email that looks completely inconsistent with an official communication, with the title of the person or sometimes with the same name. Also, you have to verify that the domains correspond with the sender’s assumption of the message, for example, if it comes from the bank, you would expect the use of that domain and not something similar.

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