How To Stay Safe in an Online World

At Fry Law, we help those who have been hurt or injured in an accident get the compensation they deserve. But there are other ways victimization occurs, such as online scams. And while there may be no physical harm from Internet fraud, it still hurts to lose your hard-earned money.

Here are some ways to protect yourself in the online world.

Don’t Think Your Invincible

Everyone thinks they are smart enough to spot a scam. But even the smartest and tech-savvy get fooled. The FTC reports that millennials are more often victimized by Internet fraud than seniors. That’s somewhat shocking since millennials grew up in the online world and one would think they would be better prepared. But this goes to show everyone is vulnerable to cyber snake oil schemes.

Victims of online scams from the FTC

Source: Federal Trade Commission

Now that you admitted you’re human and you can be the target of a scam, what next?

Understand the Endgame – Getting Your Money

Online villans have a singular purpose – to get your money – period! Understanding their endgame helps you spot the scam. Every video gamer knows the best way to mount a defense is to understand the goal of your opponent.

Now that you know their reason to exist is to get your cash, what can you do?

Do Not Give Money Upfront

The “give us money now” and “we can help you later” scam has been around long before the Internet. Unfortunately, it has found fertile ground in the online world. Let’s say someone claims they can provide a no-interest $100,000 loan for your business. All you have to pay is the upfront $500 application fee. There’s the first clue things are not right and to run from this so-called offer.

Too Good to be True

The old saying “it’s too good to be true” still applies, even in the new online age. Fraudsters prey on our innate trust of others and desires by saying what we want to hear. So don’t take the bait with offers like the no-interest $100,000 loan that doesn’t pass the smell test. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Don’t Panic

Suppose you get an email that your account has been hacked. There is an understandable sense of panic and to react. The email offers a link to make it right. And while it may be tempting, don’t click on it. Take a deep breath, let the panic subside, and allow common sense to take hold. Instead of using links from the email, check your account from its source – whether that is via phone or on their official website. You will most likely find there is no problem. Delete the email. If there is a problem, use the contact info on the website and not from the email.

Here’s more on email phishing scams and how not to take the bait on The Biology of Technology.

While online schemes try to take your money, insurance companies want to hold on to your money even when you have a legitimate claim. At Fry Law, we want to hear your story and help you get your rightful compensation.

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