In this post, I cover how any of us is vulnerable to a scam and why. Three tips are unpacked along to be aware of to keep you safer from scams (online or offline).
What makes us vulnerable?
Over time I have noted the following in people I have worked with or talked to recovering from cybercrime and fraud.
The complexity of our everyday circumstances mean that at any given time, we may pursue an offer, request, link, document, email (or other) due to:💡the level of sophistication of a scam or fraud attempt + our vulnerability to it in the very moment of time it targets us🌟
Meaning: what we are doing, how we are perceiving everything around us, what is important to us, what we need and much more - are factors that in the moment we are targeted by a scam, can leave us vulnerable to it.
🆘So what are examples of those vulnerabilities?
· Being tired, distracted
· Pushing away red-flags (never be afraid to double check)
· We are looking for something particular or need something or a service that is part of the scam
· Cutting corners: not taking time to check something out properly
· Trust! We see the good in people and situations and this is abused by fraudsters
· Being dazzled 🌟by the promise of something you want or something unexpected and wonderful.
· Reacting from a place of fear to a threat
01 Don’t assume you are invincible
No matter how cyber-smart, experienced online or educated you consider yourself to be, there is still a story or scenario out there that at the right time and place:
🙈you are vulnerable to not seeing the red flags of
🙈 you can be fooled into thinking is genuine
02 Don't respond to something new or irregular before taking time to check it out
Be very conscious about your actions to an unusual request or something you don't know.
⏳ If you are busy and distracted, look at it when you have more time. Don't assume that because you have spotted fraud before or you haven't been scammed before that you never will be. Some scams are very sophisticated in nature. If you are visible online - some scammer will even know what you do, what you like/want/need and target this.
Consider how help pass on what you learn here with people around you. Especially consider vulnerable people in your family or friends groups that a fraudster could trick more easily. The process of informing others may also help embed the knowledge more firmly in you too.
A scam for everyone
People often declare they don't understand why someone fell for a scam. Victims themselves often don’t believe it when they look back, the problem was in the moment, one or other of the vulnerabilities above was at play. So if you are someone that doesn’t understand why someone falls for the spam email with the lawyer somewhere offering you his millions in return for a deposit, take care. The scam that might fool you, is also out there.