Eight Ways to Avoid Internet Scams

By Caroline South

The Internet is part of daily life for people of all ages. But despite all of its benefits, the Internet isn’t without its dangers.

Recent scams have been identified to use e-mail, stored payment information and personal health data for financial and identity theft. These scammers use the anonymity of the Internet to deceive victims into believing the contact legitimate. 

If you receive an email that seems even slightly suspicious, consult someone who you trust. ‘Phishers” are scammers that appear to be from a legitimate company, and they are very skilled at creating emails that seem like the real deal. 

If you receive an email asking for any of your personal information, play it safe. No company will ever ask for bank information, credit card information, Social Security number, passwords, PINs or date of birth by email, so any email that contains such a request is most likely a scam.

Sept TKS Scam 1

 

Purchasing items online is something you may have to do from time to time. If you do have to buy something from the Internet, always use a credit card instead of a debit card that links directly to your bank account. 

Check your credit card statement carefully every month. Look through each charge to make sure that there aren’t any purchases you didn’t make. It can be helpful to have a second set of eyes from a trusted loved one when reviewing your statement. 

Here are eight other ways to avoid Internet scams.

  1. Make sure you know your retailer before handing over credit card information.
  2. Don't yield to pressure and make impulsive decisions.
  3. If you order products that never get delivered, tell your credit card company to stop payment. 
  4. Beware of "all sales are final" language. 
  5. Never click on links in emails from strangers that lead to online shopping sites. 
  6. Check the protections offered by your credit card. 
  7. Mix your credit card number. Card issuers are increasingly offering customers the ability to create a new credit card number for each online store where they shop. 
  8. Change up your passwords so that if one site is compromised, not all of your information will be. 

This list is from USNews & World Report - read more here.

Children and older adults can be especially susceptible to Internet scams. If you’re the parent of a child who uses a computer or tablet, or if you have elderly parents who do, take the time to talk to them about Internet safety.