The internet has opened up new avenues for communication, commerce, and social interaction. However, it has also given rise to online scams that can cause financial loss, identity theft, and other forms of harm.
Pakistan is not immune to this problem, and many people in the country have fallen victim to online scams. On the other hand, a woman lost millions to an online job scam on Instagram.
The woman had seen a job advertisement on Instagram and clicked on the given link. She then filled in her details on the redirected page called “airlinejoballindia” and received a call from the scammer.
The scammer asked for a “registration fee” of Rs2,603 and then convinced the victim to transfer over Rs2.9m as a “gate pass fee, insurance, security money.” Even though he was caught, she lost the amount.
7 Tips to Identify Online Scams
To help protect yourself and your loved ones, here are 7 tips to identify online scams in Pakistan:
1. Check the URL Link
Check the website’s URL: Scammers often create fake websites that look like legitimate ones. To check if a website is genuine, look for the ‘https://’ in the URL, which means the website has a secure connection. Also, look for the padlock icon in the browser address bar, which indicates that the website is encrypted and secure.
2. Notice the e-Mail Address
Beware of phishing emails: Phishing is a type of online scam where scammers send emails that appear to be from legitimate sources, such as banks or other financial institutions. These emails often contain links to fake websites or attachments that can install malware on your device. To avoid falling victim to phishing, do not click on links or download attachments from unknown sources.
3. If it’s ‘Too Good to be True,’ It’s Fake!
Be cautious of unsolicited offers: Scammers often use unsolicited offers, such as lottery winnings or inheritance claims, to lure people into giving away their personal information. Be cautious of any offers that sound too good to be true, and do not give away your personal information without verifying the source.
4. Security Matters
Use secure payment methods: When making online purchases, use secure payment methods such as credit cards or PayPal. These payment methods offer protection against fraud and provide a way to dispute charges if necessary. Avoid using wire transfers or other non-secure payment methods.
5. Do Your Research
Research the company: Before making a purchase or giving away personal information, research the company or individual you are dealing with. Check for reviews and ratings on reputable websites, and look for information about the company’s address, phone number, and registration details.
7. Stay Discreet, Think Before you Act
Do not share personal information: Be cautious of any requests for personal information such as passwords, social security numbers, or bank account details. Legitimate companies will never ask for this information via email or phone. If you receive such a request, it is likely a scam.
8. Trust Your Gut
Trust your instincts: If something seems too good to be true or feels suspicious, trust your instincts and do not proceed with the transaction. Be cautious of high-pressure sales tactics, urgent requests for payment, or threats of legal action.