What is Scam?

I’ve written a few review on fraudulent websites from the past. Mostly with marketing schemes and it came to my attention that some people are still confused about the term “SCAM.” We have collated the definitions from popular online dictionaries and sources.

SCAM (noun) (References: Merriam Webster, Wikipidia, Urban dictionary, etc)

  • A dishonest way to make money by deceiving people
  • A fraudulent or deceptive act or operation
  • To deceive and take money from (someone)
  • To get (something, such as money) by deceiving someone.
  • A fraudulent business scheme;
  • stratagem for gain
  • To swindle (someone) by means of a trick
  • A ploy by a shyster to raise money.

So basically any fraudulent scheme created by a dishonest person/group, in an attempt to get money or anything with value can be called “scam.” Of course anyone who does everything in his or her power to steal from another by any form or deception, brute force or trickery is called a scammer.

With the current technological age, internet or mobile is now being used as a tool in doing different forms of scams due to its anonymous nature, also its fast accessibility to people. Scammers are said to be increasing in numbers. New forms of scams emerged such as lottery scams, text scams, pyramiding scam, email spoofing, and phishing. What’s even scary is the fact that scams keep on evolving, imagine how many people all over the world become victims of this vicious strategy.

So why people get scammed online?

Scammers are very persuasive by nature, if you don’t listen or have an eye on the details (for websites), you can easily be tricked by them. Scam looks like it’s legit, as if it can meet your needs or desires. (extra money or promise for financial freedom) Also scammers are manipulative, they can ask you to do something for them, like hooking up to social networks, remember larger network, more chances of baiting people. I really think that people get scammed, because they are naive or unaware of the scam schemes, or they can be too trusting with others.

To stop the scammers putting you into their traps, it would help you to know the following:

  • Anticipate what could have happened to you. Be a little cynic. (Don’t always believe in everything that you see or hear)
  • Don’t just stick with what you know. Always challenge yourself, you could be wrong too. Even the smart ones get fooled, that is how manipulative scammers are.
  • Not all company or businesses you know are legitimate, therefore always do background check.
  • No such thing as easy money. We don’t magically become millionaires for no reason at all. People are vulnerable to scam because they have this idea that there are shortcuts in becoming wealthy.
  • The sucky idea that ALL internet websites are legit, or very difficult to setup. This thinking would lead you to believing that the organization spent a lot of time and money in putting up a company thus you spare them from bad intentions. The truth is, it is easy to setup a pro-looking website. Check the operations of the website and the information posted.
  • Search for the person or organization or office, these should be basic info and should be readily available if it is truly legitimate.
  • Not because it is posted on your Facebook or Twitter meaning it is real because a lot of people are talking about it. Again scammers use social platforms to lure you into believing that they are operational.
  • When you hear keywords like, “Don’t miss out this opportunity” or “Act now to become rich” or “Get paid by doing nothing!” — Anything that has an authoritative form, or with a sense or urgency to do something like to buy, to subscribe or to register with them. These are influential strategies being used by the scammers.
  • Any bank transactions should be done within the bank premises, as some email bank scams are deceiving you to provide them your account information.
  • Be careful in providing your information, once it gets to the scammer’s hand, it can be used for something else. (Identity theft)

We hope this post helps you in understanding the nature of scam. Listen to your instinctive gut-feeling, as it will provide you the answer you are looking for.

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