TechSecurityHow To Spot An Advanced Online Scam

How To Spot An Advanced Online Scam


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Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Scammers are becoming more and more advanced, to the point where even savvy tech-heads are sometimes being caught unawares. Advanced developers are creating super sleek, almost carbon-copy versions of well known brands or corporation websites, meaning that more and more innocent people are becoming the victims of cyber crime. 

If you consider yourself to be pretty savvy when it comes to sussing out a site, think again. In this blog we will explore a few ways to spot even the most advanced of online scams. 

Too Much Money Off?

With large companies suffering at the hands of COVID-19, some places have slashed prices considerably in a way that hasn’t been seen before. It is becoming quite normal to see big brands offering low prices on their sale stock, all in a bid to save their skin during the rough economic changes that are happening right now.

Nevertheless, too much money off is a red flag in many cases. While most reputable companies use pop-up ads to let you know they have a sale going on, and scammers have adopted this methodology to convince you that the sale is real. 

If you see something slashed at up to 70% off or more, definitely conduct further research to ensure this is not a false piece of advertising. 

Read The Small Print

Reading the smallprint of a website will give you ample information about its legitimacy. While the whole site might look fine, with no red flags showing you as far as you can tell, you should always read the small print to double check.

Often, illegitimate or scam sites will contain garbled, badly written small print that contains many mistakes. These mistakes could be grammatical, punctuation or generally bizarrely written text that doesn’t seem like it fits. If there are mistakes in the content of a site, it often means it isn’t legitimate. The small print will give you big clues as to whether you should continue with your purchase!

No Easy Way Around It

Typically, scam sites will try to get you to pay as fast as possible – to avoid you scrutinizing or browsing the site further. Nevertheless, there will usually not be a simple way to pay for your items online. For example, a legitimate brand may have multiple payment options, such as using PayPal or your credit card, using a QR code, fast pay, or another method – whichever you prefer. 

However, on an advanced scam site, you will likely be forced to enter your full card details as the only payment option. This, of course, allows them to defraud your bank account. If you are not given any payment option except to manually enter your credit card information, it is worth checking out the other details of the site to ensure its credibility.

Final Thoughts

No matter how much time you spend online, and how knowledgeable you feel you are about noticing scams, make sure to use this guide to fortify yourself against fraud and scams.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

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