Grief creates a fertile ground for scammers and we need to learn how to outsmart scammers.
The most common scam is emails and phone calls from scammers impersonating banks or governments, but there are many more to be aware of.
Beware of those Facebook notices where individuals or organizations are asking for money.
Tip – clicking on unknown links might trigger an unauthorized malware download or send you to a fake login page.
Some scammers will first check out your social media so they can personalize the links they send you. Don’t click on those links. If interested go to Google to search for information on them.
Watch out for fake contests, using fake accounts to get your personal information.
Scammers will pose as “Facebook” administrators with fake notices/policies to again get you to click on their link.
Be careful around fake grants or financial assistance scam postings with fraudulent links – they are after your personal information.
Romance scammers are patient. They are quite willing to spend months grooming their target. They are always available to chat (reality is the suitor is several people). Never send them money or Amazon Gift Cards.
Hang up on fake callers that impersonate officials telling you something has happened to your accounts or taxes. Again, they are after your personal information. Never give out any information or call any number they tell you to call.
If you are doing any business online take steps to ensure the site where you enter your information is secure. Look for the “https” in the URL address – example https://thesisterhoodofwidows.com shows that my website is secure, locked and encrypted.
Every time you go on a website you expand your digital presence and potentially exposing yourself to scammers. Google about a free tool called “Privacy Badger” that tracks the cookies being written into your computer and blocks them before they are finished downloading.
You can also set your browser to automatically clear your history and cookies every time you close it. The down side is that you are always entering in your passwords, address and payment data.
Important – Never agree to store your password to an auto-fill. Auto-fill is dangerous because it stores all your personal information on their sites.