THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – The digital landscape is rife with scams, particularly during peak shopping periods. Heading into Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in the rush to get good deals, many people forget some of the basics and are ripped off by scammers.
Impersonation scams are a prevalent threat, where scammers mimic trusted entities like Amazon, Facebook, or other reputable companies to steal personal information, in particular credit card information.
Common Scam Tactics
- Email Impersonation: Scammers send emails posing as trustworthy companies with malicious links or attachments.
- Social Media Ad Scams: Fake advertisements on platforms like Facebook lure users with attractive offers, leading to phishing sites.
- Membership or Subscription Scams: Calls or emails about issues with memberships or subscriptions, asking for immediate payment information.
- Use Official Channels: Access services directly through official websites or apps, especially for customer support or account changes.
- Scrutinize Communications: Check for urgency, unusual requests, or inconsistencies in emails, calls, or texts.
- Verify Email and Ad Authenticity: Inspect email addresses for odd characters and verify social media ads by researching the company.
- Never Share Payment Information Over the Phone: Legitimate companies do not request payment details in unsolicited calls.
- Check Links Carefully: Look for misspellings or incorrect domain names in URLs.
Facebook has seen a number of recent impersonation scams. A recent one was Manitobah Mukluks. The scammers created a website similar to the company’s site, and offered incredible liquidation deals. However checking the actual site it was simply a scam and yet many people fell for it.
- Verify Advertisers: Research the company behind the ad before clicking.
- Report Suspicious Ads: Use Facebook’s reporting tools for ads that seem fraudulent.
Broadening Your Scam Awareness
- Stay Informed: Regularly update yourself on new scam trends.
- Report Suspicious Activities: Report any dubious interactions to the relevant company or through official scam-reporting channels.
Staying safe online requires vigilance and awareness. By understanding common scam tactics and adhering to safety practices, you can protect your personal information and enjoy a secure digital experience. Remember, if in doubt, it’s always safer to err on the side of caution and verify independently.