Trust Your Gut!
The internet is full of trolls. Not the kind living under a bridge but the kind who sit at home behind the safety of their keyboard and say mean things online that they wouldn’t normally say in person. And if you’re like me, you HATE them. Why do people have to say mean things online?! I flat out refuse to read the comments in online news stories anymore.
And because of this sensitivity to trolls, I go out of my way to not be one of them. I’m nice. I ‘Like’ or ‘favorite’ all the pictures of cats and babies I see in my feeds. I help out with kickstarter campaigns for my friends and donate to the charities I think are worthwhile. It’s the least I can do to add to the positive things on the Internet.
But the one thing I have to remind myself is to TRUST YOUR GUT! If things sound or look strange they probably are. You’re dealing with cyberspace here. Things aren’t always as they appear. Seriously. And just because I am so nice, I need to remember that scams really ramp up during the holidays or after a national disaster when so many people are in a more generous and trusting mood.
Bad guys know to pull on your heart strings and perk your interest. Here are just a handful of scams to be on the lookout for:
* “Please give what you can today to help those in need…” But you
notice they want you to send a Western Union wire transfer or only
give you the option to use PayPal. S.T.O.P.!
* That “Free Trial Offer”? Well, buried in the fine print are often
steep financial terms you’d never agree to if an advertisement showed
the “$99.99 Trial Offer!” truth.
* That tweet from a follower who you don’t really know, raving about a
contest giving away a very expensive item? You click on it and guess
what?! You’re a zombie! What happened was the link downloaded but
software adding your computer to a botnet bad guys use to spam all of
Hone your Cynja skills. TRUST YOUR GUT. Everyone should be ‘nice’ on the Internet, but there is nothing wrong with ignoring or second guessing charities that don’t seem legit. We suggest only donating to charities using their own websites instead of clicking on email solicitations. Do your homework because scammers set up fake websites too. After all, you are nice and should know that you are helping the right people with your hard earned cash.