Why You're Likely To Fall For A Scam

Why You're Likely To Fall For A Scam

And Ways To Prevent It
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It’s hard being an adult in today’s world. Sometimes it feels like there’s another person waiting around every corner to pull the wool over your eyes.

All across America there are poor, naïve souls being bamboozled, taken for a fool and plain old tricked into giving away money. Scams are more common than you’d like to believe, and you can’t let your guard down, even if you haven’t experienced an attack from scammers.

Scams come in all shapes and sizes — phone calls, emails, pop-up ads and even physical mail. Scammers dream up countless methods to steal your money, each more sophisticated and harder to track. And unfortunately, you’re probably one of their prime targets.

Millennials Are Easy To Fool

This sounds harsh, but Millennials are far too easy to scam. So easy, in fact, that this age group has officially occupied the “helpless old lady” spot on scammers’ prospect lists. If you’re between the ages of 18 to 24, you’re probably caught in their crosshairs.

The Better Business Bureau reported from a recent study that out of 30,000 adults who registered the details of a scam they encountered, only 11% of seniors (age 65 and over) actually lost money. 89% of seniors caught onto the scam in time, and successfully avoided losing any savings.

Conversely, the same study found that 34% of Millennials reported losing money. Three times more adults ages 18 to 24 lost money to scams.

We can attribute this new phenomenon to an “invulnerability illusion,” also called an “optimism bias.” This is the idea that others are far more vulnerable and helpless than you are. The attitude is associated with taking unnecessary risks and failing to take precautions with life decisions in general.

The optimism bias makes Millennials much easier to scam, as it makes them more trusting, and creates a false sense of security in their ability to discern the truthfulness of a situation. In short, it makes them naïve and a bit lazy in protecting their finances and identity.

Ironically, seniors and Baby Boomers are incredibly careful with their finances and identity, because they suspect a threat is around every corner. Millennials are too quick to trust the credibility of a stranger claiming to have their best interests at heart.

Protect Yourself

As was mentioned above, scams come in all forms. Scammers’ techniques have become more sophisticated as technology itself has evolved, making their scams much harder to identify.

For example, you could receive an email from “PayPal” that tells you about “important account information you need to review immediately” and provides a link for you to follow.

However, if you examine the email closely, you’ll notice a couple of oddities — the email never mentions you by name, doesn’t provide even the smallest documentation of your account or personal information (last four digits of your social security number or account number, etc.), and provides a very vague reason for you to just “check up on your account.”

So obviously, don’t click the link. Ever. These and other red flags should make it clear that the message didn’t actually come from a credible source. You’ve received this email because a scammer knows you have a PayPal account. The link likely contains a worm, or some other way for the scammer to get into your account and take control of it.

If you’re not paying attention, you’ll give someone the easiest access possible to all of your money.

It’s time for you to protect yourself from these scammers — arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to combat their incessant attacks.

Remember that you too have the internet on your side. If you get a call or email from a business claiming to give a great deal, do some research on that business. You’ll most likely find forums or other search results from other people warning about this scam. You can even use this method to inspect specific phone numbers.

No matter what, don’t pay upfront for a promise. Even if you don’t do any research, never give anyone your credit card information or write them a check without verifying their credibility first.

Always ask questions. The deeper you dig, the easier it is to uncover a scam. Scammers always want to catch you off guard and pressure you into making a hasty decision.

If your questions aren’t answered, chances are you’re staring a scam right in the face. A legitimate opportunity should yield clear explanations, but if the person you’re talking to keeps sidestepping your questions, then it’s obviously not the opportunity to you think it.

As a general rule, always be skeptical of any contact that is made from people or businesses you don’t know. Ask pressing questions and don’t give up your personal information.

Following these simple rules will equip you for deflecting and avoiding potential scams in the future

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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