There are various types of scams. What they all have in common is that a customer is encouraged to hand over money, personal data or bank account or credit card details without anything being given in return, or in return for a product that does not correspond to what was promised. Scams are often run by professional criminals.
The chances of victims of scams receiving their money back are usually small, so the best way to avoid problems is to recognise risks and take adequate precautions. This website provides tips on how to prevent various kinds of scams.
The best way to protect oneself is usually by using common sense. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t true. Always ask yourself:
- Why are they contacting me specifically?
- What do they really want from me?
- What are the risks to me if I do as they ask?
The success of scams usually relies on effective psychological manipulation:
- Appealing to people’s desires to get rich, improve their lives or lose weight quickly
- Referring to an official authority
- Claiming that an offer is only valid for a brief period of time or that only a limited quantity of products is available
- Giving a token gift to make consumers feel that they owe the provider something, so that it is harder for them to refuse the offer
The best way to stop scams and bring them to the attention of the authorities is to share information on suspicious cases.
There is no shame in having become the victim of a scam; it could happen to anyone, regardless of their age or education level. By telling your story, you may help others avoid the same problem and contribute to stopping the scammers’ activity.