Getting scammed is never a good experience. Realizing that you’ve been taken advantage of and that you might never see your hard-earned money again can feel really depressing and hurtful. That is why you must learn how to protect yourself, your family, kids, and loved ones from getting scammed. In this article, we’ll examine the warning signs that show you are about to be scammed and how best to protect yourself and your loved ones from spams and scams.
Are couples worried about their kids getting cheated or scammed?
As a parent, guardian, or couple in control of kids, there will always be a constant fear of them getting cheated, scammed, or taken advantage of via the internet. This is an especially important fear as the internet is now extremely accessible.
In times past where there was only one computer at home that could access the internet, it was relatively easier to control the access that kids had to the internet. However, nowadays, multiple devices can be used to access the internet, which means that parents’ control of their kids’ access to the internet is quite limited.
For instance, consider a home where there is a computer in every room, the television is connected to the internet, there are spare iPads and old iPhones around the house. With access to that many devices, protecting your kids from getting scammed on the internet must take a new turn.
Previously, the major way kids were protected from online threats was simply restricting their access to internet-enabled devices. However, now that access to the internet is much easier, you’ll need to ensure that your kids know how to protect themselves while using the internet. Here are some easy and important ways to keep your kids safe as they use the internet.
Explain that the internet is not safe
If your child is old enough to access the internet, they are old enough to tell that it’s not a safe place to be. Let your kids know that as good and useful as the internet is, it is also fraught with dangers. You need to be clear with them about the risk factors that come with using the internet.
You can illustrate your point with age-appropriate examples. Ensuring that your kids understand just how dangerous the internet will allow them to accept whatever internet usage rules you set.
Here’s why you need to do this when using the internet.You need to tell your kids!
Show them the signs of an impending scam
Once your kids understand and appreciate that the internet contains threats, they need to know how to detect signs of scams and other threats. This will require both you and them to be updated about the basic ways to detect a scam and how best to handle them.
This is very important because scammers go to great lengths to remain hidden and undetected. By teaching your kid how to detect a likely scam, they stand a better chance of avoiding situations that would compromise them and leave them vulnerable.
Another good way to protect your kids is to run them through likely scenarios that they can face as they use the internet. For example, ask them, “what if you asked to input your credit card details?” By teaching them exactly what to do, they stand a higher chance of detecting scams before they fall victim.
Are your parents in danger of being scammed?
If you are a young adult with an elderly parent, then you might have a couple of worries about them getting scammed. According to reports, the elderly loses billions to scammers each year. Your parents may be targeted more often than age groups and also likely to fall victim to those scams more often.
It can even be harder to protect them from scammers if you live apart and can’t run interference on incoming communication, especially over the internet. Giving them stern warnings or demanding power of attorney over their finances might not work. Rather, there are a few ways that you can better equip and protect them from being scammed.
Explain why they need to be careful
Don’t just give your parents stern warnings about how they can be scammed; chances are they’ll take it badly. They might see it as a threat to their independence, which would be playing right into the scammers’ hands. You need to explain the risk factors, the reason why they have to take certain precautions.
Hey mom, hey Dad, here’s why you need to do this.Tell them
For example, don’t just tell them not to believe that they win any contest, explain that they can’t win a contest they never entered into. And the government would never call them to ask for personal information since they have it on file. They should refrain from giving out their personal information to unverified parties because it can be used against them without them knowing.
Remind them what they taught you
If you have to remind them of the lessons they taught you when you were kids, about not trusting strangers. By showing them that the requests and warnings that you are giving is common sense, they are more likely to listen to you.
Remind them to do basic research
Many times, the schemes and stories that many scammers come up with can be easily disproved by doing some basic research. Remind your parents that it’s their hard-earned money at stake and that they should be diligent enough to research any “opportunity” that comes their way. You need to open their eyes, by asking “What happens if this is a scam?” How would you know, and what would tip you off? This question will help them begin to question the validity of any opportunity and hopefully make detecting scams easier.
Help them overcome it
It can be incredibly shameful to an older person when they are scammed, especially by much younger folk. In these situations, don’t blame them, or say, “I told you so.” Rather, have them share their stories and ask them what they learned from the experience. They must learn valuable lessons from their scam episodes, rather than just conclude that they were just unlucky.
Detecting text messages spam and scams
Spam and scam text messages are still among the common ways for scammers to deceive hard-working people and make off with their money. Every day, about 45 million spam texts are sent to cellphones in North America.
Most of these ads come offering one free gift, money-making opportunity, or warning you about one “urgent account problem” with your bank. Cellphone scams, also known as “smishing,” have tripled since 2011. This is surprising, given that email delivered spam messages are down by 82%.
In addition to text messages scams, you should also watch out for social media (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram) scams in your country. These profiles are easy sources of personal information that scammers can use to gain access to your private accounts or get you to trust them when they pretend to be friends.
Here’s how to handle text message spams
Don’t reply NO to any message
One of the tricks that spammers use is to send a text message that asks you to opt-out of any program or the other. Don’t fall for it. The scammed do this to confirm that they selected a number that is connected, which allows them to spam you even more.
Forwarding the texts to 7726 (SPAM) on almost carriers will allow you to block all future texts from that number.
Use the latest Anti-viruses and Anti-malware for your devices, especially your phone. You should also avoid dropping your numbers on websites and apps that you have not verified.
Social media scams in your country
Facebook “dislike” button
This scam urges Facebook users to enable a dislike button on their account to make them dislike certain posts. However, once you click the ad to enable the button; you will be redirected to another page that can install a malware on your device.
Stuck Abroad Scam
A friend or family member sends you a message saying they are stuck in a foreign country and they need you to wire money to them in order to get out. They do this by hacking into your account or create a profile to mimic your friends and family and ask you to wire money. They prey on people’s trust in relationships. If this occurs to you, verify it is actually the person via a call.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
What to do when a family member is scammed?
If you have a family member that was scammed, you will have to provide them with support, care, and love until they recover and move on. What you shouldn’t do is to rub it in their face or be smug about it. Rather, help the person recognize the mistake that they made and ensure that they don’t make such a mistake again. You should also report the scam to relevant authorities.
What can I do if an elderly person is scammed?
You should report any case of scam to the police because you do not know what the scammer has in plan. You should also provide care and support to assist in their recovery.
How can I identify an online romance scammer?
An online romance scammer will try to cut you off from your family and friends or even pressure you to make impulsive decisions alone.
How can I protect kids from sexual abuse?
There is no foolproof way to protect kids from sexual abuse but there are steps you can take like; choosing caregiver carefully, talk about the media use, be available, get to know the people in your child’s life and know warning signs.