Scam sites often operate under the guise of authority. Usually people are easily persuaded of the legitimacy of a website by its flashy design and fabricated credentials, louring customers to spend bundles of their hard earned money. Scam sites can either sell you a product or offer a service, most often targeting a specific group of individual.
Personal and credit card information is always a key target for the scammers, for it is easily obtainable once the victim is convinced that the website is legit. Here are 4 reasons people get scammed on the Internet.
Belief in Authority
If a homeless man walks up to you in the street and offers you the best healthcare plan in the world, you would probably dismiss that person as being a crackpot and would not buy into what he says. Likewise, when the doctor says your kidneys have to come out you are not asking yourself ‘Do I really need this dangerous surgery, or is he after my hard earned money’?
You might have noticed that most sites on the Internet, particularly those who want you to buy something, have a convenient little testimonials segment. ‘Yes, I bought this product the other day and it’s the BOMB’. Nope, no scam here. Of course 99% of the time there is no scam, but one can never be too careful, especially when entering personal and credit card information. Never trust testimonials that come from the website itself, for they can easily be forgeries, made for the sole purpose of convincing the victim that the website is legit.
Say you need a couple of thousand dollars to secure this month’s mortgage payment. Usually when people are desperate and in debt, any promising source of income sounds like a dream come true that cannot be passed lightly. That is why the scam employs both rational and emotional techniques in order to fleece you: ‘Congratulations! You have just won a free iPhone’! Or ‘you are our 1, 000, 000 visitor. Click Here to claim your reward!’ Of course there is neither an iPhone nor any kind of reward, aside from the money you will end up giving away if you are not too careful.
Many scam sites fool people into buying their imaginary merchandise, but how many of those you think stay in business? Developing a brand name and sticking to your story is what scam sites want the most. They do this by utilizing misleading information about the company and its reputation. For example ‘If your package does not arrive in 30 days you are eligible for a full refund”. However when the time comes for you to claim your refund, suddenly there is no one responding to your calls and emails. By this point, you might as well realize that you were scammed, and should ‘if it is worth it’ file an official complaint to the authorities.
How to Recognize Scam Sites
There are a lot of great tools on the Internet for spotting scam sites. You can either check how old the domain is; where it’s from, how much traffic the website generates and preferably, if available – comments written by the consumers themselves. And remember, always start small. Never trust a site with a poor graphic design and a dodgy payment system.