Mar 07, 2017 10:26 AM EST

How To Protect Yourself From Common Scams

In today’s uncertain times, some people turn to the Internet to make a quick buck through side jobs and online jobs. Unfortunately, other people take advantage of the technology to swindle people out of their hard-earned money, and though people are quick to catch on, scammers just keep coming back with other schemes to trick people into giving them information or cash.

It is important for everyone to be aware of scam artists’ latest moves, and you should know that these thieves can strike anywhere—on Facebook, your email, and even at your front door. So be cautious and protect yourself from becoming a victim by following these tips.

Here’s how you can protect yourself from common scams.

Don’t panic

Scammers usually scare you into thinking that your credit card has been stolen, or that your loved one is in the hospital and needs money right away. If a stranger is asking for your credit card information, hang up right away. Also, verify if your family member is truly in trouble like the stranger says and call that family member right away.

Be wary

If something is too good to be true, it probably is. Nowadays, scammers have been using Facebook to trick people into giving them information or money in exchange for big ticket items.

Common scams are those saying that they are giving away free cars to the first 20 people who respond to their ad, and there’s also a page that offers a free $1,000 Ikea gift card in exchange for personal information, according to Real Simple.

Facebook warns its members on its security page to be wary when overly generous deals are being offered. Moreover, any request for money should make you think twice.

Slow down and think

Scammers will often try to make you act fast by faking emergencies and asking you to send money immediately. The Guardian cites an example wherein people would get an email purporting to come from a friend stranded in a foreign country who has been robbed of cash, credit card, and passport. The “friend” will then ask you to send money right away and will pay you back when he or she is back in the country.

Before you transfer money, find out if this friend of yours has really gone abroad. Next, think about these things: how can your friend send the email if he has been robbed of everything? And how in the world can that friend open a bank account in another country without an identification?

By slowing down and thinking twice, you avoid getting scammed by shady characters on the Internet.

Don’t be greedy

It’s a good day if you get an email or a text message saying that you won a million dollars, right? And all that’s needed is your personal and banking information for you to get the money.

Not so fast. If you’ve never joined a contest where you can win that amount of cash, then there’s no way that you can win, right? And there’s also no way that a “Prince of Nigeria” will transfer a huge amount of money to your account for safekeeping. All of these are classic scams, and should be ignored no matter how much you’re in need of cash.

For more, check out Jobs & Hire’s report on Robert Herjavec’s tips on how you can protect yourself from hackers.

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