3 Online Scams to Avoid

Thanks to ever-evolving technology, online scammers have gotten smarter and harder to detect. They can infiltrate your computer, your email, your text messages and virtually any electronic device. Luckily, there are some precautions that you can take to protect yourself and your devices. Here are some of the most common online scams and some tips to help you identify and avoid them.

A scammer can easily spoof an email that appears to be from a company like Netflix, Amazon or Apple. These emails could ask you to confirm your credit card number, social security number or send you an invoice. The easiest way to avoid falling victim to this scam is to check the email address. For example, if it is an official email from Netflix, the email will be from a “@netflix.com” address. If you are suspicious about an email, do not click any links in the email. If the email is asking you to update any information or click a link, go directly to the company’s website to update your info, instead of clicking any links in the email.

A common scam that many people fall for is a fake security pop-up that will alert you about a security problem on your computer. These pop-ups may appear to be critical and urge you to take immediate action. If you click one of these fake pop-ups, malware could be downloaded, or you could be directed to a scam website that may ask you to pay to “fix” your computer. The best way to avoid these pop-ups altogether is to use a pop-up blocker. It’s also a good idea to use a trusted anti-virus software like Norton or McAfee, which proactively scans your computer for viruses and malware.

A scam that has been gaining popularity recently is receiving a claim that you won a reward or prize via text message. Some scammers may also pretend to be your cell phone provider, Amazon or another reputable company. The best way to avoid this scam is to not click any links in a text message, if it is not from someone you know. Report the phone number as spam to your cell phone provider, block the phone number and delete the text message.

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