Commentary from V2 — To click or not to click? It’s smart to ask questions

You don’t have to scroll for long on social media to see something for sale. It’s never been easier for a business to showcase products, demonstrate services and reach customers locally and worldwide. However, scammers have put a damper on this shopper’s paradise by drawing people in with promises of life-changing products, unbelievable results and substantial savings. However, there might not be a product. The results could be a lie. But, how can you tell?

Here are some tips to tell the real businesses from those attempting to deceive you:

Verify the source: Before engaging with an account or offer, check who posted it. Look for official websites, contact information and user reviews or feedback. Trust accounts with a strong online presence and positive reputation.  If the author of the post has one friend and has only had the account for a day, that’s a red flag!

Be cautious with your information: Avoid sharing sensitive personal information, such as your full name, address, phone number, or financial details, unless you have verified the legitimacy of the account or transaction. If someone asks you to send them a code, DO NOT do it. Sharing a code may allow others to access your financial and other information.

Watch out for phishing attempts: Scammers may send deceptive messages with links to fake websites that mimic legitimate platforms. These sites aim to steal your login credentials or personal information. Avoid clicking on suspicious links and manually enter website addresses instead.

Examine the content and language: Scammers often use poor grammar, excessive punctuation or unusual writing styles. Look for red flags such as unrealistic promises, grammatical errors or inconsistencies in the messages.

Use strong and unique passwords: Create strong passwords for your social media accounts and avoid reusing them across different platforms. Including special characters (!, @, $, %, &, etc.) can make your password harder for others to guess. Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible to add an extra layer of security.

Staying vigilant and using common sense is essential to protecting yourself from scammers. Trust your gut and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

(Oh, and that amazing skin cream that draws out blackheads, that’s done with chia seeds!)


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