Online scams are annoying and if you are unaware of them – they are downright dangerous.
But for a lot of us Netizens – the ones who live on the internet, they are nothing more than a bit annoying. That being said, there are a lot of people out there who get fooled by online scams.
Although Nepal has been saved from most of the international online scams – thanks to our government policy of Nepali citizens not being able to use international payment methods, online scams are still prevalent in our country.
Let’s be honest here, who among us doesn’t have a whole bunch of spam emails in our account? A lot of us know about online scams and choose to just ignore them. But a lot of us don’t. And then again, how do we deal with them if we don’t want to ignore them?
Here we will talk about How to avoid online scams and how to take deal with online scams through a bit of petty revenge.
Let’s start by briefly talking about ‘How to avoid online scams’ and once we cover this briefly, we will move on to the fun part.
How to avoid online scams?
The first part of avoiding online scams is knowing what the online scams are. You cannot avoid something that you cannot detect. We have covered this in detail in another article so do check out the link at the bottom to know them in more detail.
But for now, let’s focus on avoiding online scams.
Read the email and messages carefully
The first thing that you have to note is that online scammers are smart. They impersonate genuine websites and try to trick you into paying for things that you never asked for or trick you into spending money at places where you have no interest.
One way to avoid being scammed online is to read the initial message or email carefully. While the scammers do try their best to impersonate the official sites and businesses, since their mails do not go through rigorous checking and proofreading, there are bound to be grammatical or structural mistakes. Keep these in mind when you receive an email or message unexpectedly.
Also, keep a lookout for triggering words such as “alert!” or “Last chance”.
Unexpected Emails or Messages
One of the key features of online scam messages is that they are unexpected. Normally when you sign up for a service or buy something online, there is an expected time for when they will send you a mail.
If there is mail from the said organization at an unexpected time, there is a good chance that it is a scam. Don’t open up any links attached to those emails and read the content of the mail carefully. If the mail looks genuine reply asking for details.
Now if the email is genuine they will provide you with detailed explanations and will not encourage you to pay without giving you full details. After all for the genuine one, the longer you delay your payment, the more they benefit from it.
If the service is subscription-based, they can easily ask you to re-register for the subscription (which will cost more) and if the service is a one-time payment (like shopping) they can easily charge you extra for delay of payment.
While the genuine ones will remind you of your payment date at an appropriate time, they won’t ask you to hurry for any sort of payment randomly.
Avoid clicking on random links
We may not have to tell you this but it is very easy to attach links to malware in an email. It is even easier to disguise the links to the malware in an email. All you need to do for disguising email is type the site of a genuine website and link it to another website.
Let’s take an example:
This link looks like it is just another article from our website – but it is in fact a rickroll. The thing is while our small trick was a rather harmless one, not all of the false sites are harmless. So until you verify that the email or message is a genuine one, don’t click on random links. These links can easily invite malware into your device which the scammers can use to get your data and scam you.
Time to talk about some revenge
This is the part about dealing with online scammers. While it is not a recommended one, if you are someone who is petty and annoyed by scam emails and messages, you can take revenge on them. Just be sure to use a trusted VPN service to hide your IP address while doing this.
Now there are a few ways to take revenge on the scammers. But among all of these 3 are by far some of the most satisfying ones.
1) Waste their time
Believe it or not, scamming is a full-time job for a lot of these scammers. Most of them are involved in organizations and they are rather busy people as well. So nothing is better than wasting their time as revenge.
You can do this by either acting like someone who is willing but innocent or someone with a short attention span or just someone who is having a hard time accessing your own information. But remember that whatever you do, don’t give them any of your details. Talk to them and show them that you are interested but don’t give them your details.
This will undoubtedly annoy them and soon enough, they will stop replying to you because of their annoyance.
2) Give them false details and links
Now, this is one of the best ways to take revenge on scammers. Whenever a scammer asks for your details just give them false details. These details can be some random nonsense. But if you are petty enough, you can use the trick we did above to send the link that leads to governmental organizations.
While this is not the most satisfying of the ways, it sure is one of the most direct ways to deal with scammers.
3) Scam them back
This method of dealing with internet scams is the classic definition of “tit for tat”. This is better if used in conjunction with the first two methods. Play innocent and lead the conversation while asking them for their details and payment to support you for paying.
While this does requires some practice, it is possible. This will not only waste their time but also eventually lead them to expose their details which you can use to report them to the rightful governmental agency.
Do note that online scammers don’t normally expect their target to waste their time or scam them back. The normal scenario is either compliance or ignorance.
The best way to deal with scammers is naturally avoid them. But if you are someone who is targeted a lot, it can get annoying. In this case, taking a bit of revenge is not a bad idea. Just remember to keep your IP address hidden and not leak your information accidentally.
There is one side benefit to actively confronting the scammers – they won’t try you again. For those who don’t know, the scammers have a list of potential targets and potential dangers. This information is shared among the different circles of scammers. So if you are seen as a danger or annoyance by them the chances of you receiving those annoying scam emails will decrease drastically.
In the end, hope you found this helpful. If you have any suggestions for us, do let us know in the comments. And as always, thank you for reading till the end.