Don’t Get Fooled: Essential Tips for Identifying and Evading Online Scams

As our lives become increasingly intertwined with the online world, the threat of online scams grows. These fraudulent schemes aim to steal money or personal information using the anonymity and reach of the internet to take advantage of unsuspecting users. Nonetheless, the folk at Outseer tell us that armed with knowledge of common online scam tactics, protecting yourself is possible.

Spotting Scammy Situations

The first line of defense is recognizing questionable situations that may signal an online scam is afoot. Exercise caution if a message creates an unreasonable sense of urgency or pressure for you to act quickly without closer inspection, as scammers hope rushed targets will skip vital vetting steps.

Also be suspicious if someone you barely know wants to suddenly start communicating outside a retail, auction, or social media platform where you initially connected, thereby avoiding protections those sites provide. One very common red flag is when a prize, investment opportunity, job, credit, loan, or inheritance comes your way completely out of the blue – if it seems too good to be true, it likely is.

Analyzing Behaviors to Detect Deception 

Beyond scammy circumstances themselves, homing in on shady behaviors can confirm an underlying deceitful intent. Watch for messages containing bad grammar, spelling errors, stylistic issues, and other signs of being authored by a non-native speaker. This can expose scam groups operating overseas.

Be wary if details about individuals or companies cannot be verified online elsewhere or lack digital footprints. Falsified identities and entities are a core ingredient for many scams. Further red flags include requests for sensitive details like bank accounts, credit cards, IDs, passwords, or access to personal devices. Theft of money or identity is often the true endgame here.

Finally, outright refusal to speak over the phone, on video calls or meet in person should set off alarm bells, since avoiding real human interaction allows criminal schemes to hide behind the anonymity of the internet. Any concerning behaviors connected to an online encounter should prompt deeper investigation. 

Safely Navigating the Online World

While the prevalence of online scams may seem unavoidable nowadays, adhering to certain common sense guidelines can minimize the chances of becoming a victim while still enjoying everything the internet has to offer. Never send money online to complete strangers, for any reason, even temporarily, as recovery of funds once transferred is rare. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloaded attachments in emails and messages to prevent malware attacks seeking access to personal devices and accounts.

Try disabling location tagging in social media posts when possible, and limit openly sharing personal contact details and addresses online to reduce exposure to potential scammers. Always opt-out from receiving unsolicited marketing emails and text messages that could provide cover for electronic scams. Use strong unique passwords on each account and enable multifactor authentication when available to better secure data.


Connectivity online continues expanding globally each year, and with it opportunities for online scams to reach users via emails, messaging apps, bogus websites and texts. But understanding the common tricks and traps scam artists employ makes it possible to enjoy social platforms, gaming, networking and commerce sites while sidestepping deceitful overtures.

Identifying red flag situations and analyzing concerning behaviors for indications of dishonest intent, thinking critically about every online interaction, and following best security practices allows internet users today to confidently navigate the digital world while avoiding costly consequences of scams. Stay alert and keep basic precautions top of mind, but don’t let fear prevent you from experiencing all the legitimate connections, knowledge and conveniences the online world provides.