People are getting victimized by online scams everywhere in the world. In Uganda, Emails and Facebook are the major platforms through which conmen target individuals. The Sunday Vision investigations team released an article in March 2018 where it told a story about young men scamming people under the pretense of running orphanages.
These men used Facebook as a platform to target faith-based groups with a large following and soliciting funds from them.
Other Ugandans got conned through a fake job advert on WhatsApp that saw individuals receive emails congratulating them upon getting shortlisted for Java House jobs. Desperate job seekers were requested to send money for uniforms. The individuals showed up at Java House with employment letters which officials from Java House denied having sent.
Getting conned online is very easy and you always need to pay keen attention to avoid falling victim. Below I take you through a few tips that will sharpen your eyes and have you spot red flags the moment they appear.
What to look out for
If you have received an email claiming to be from your bank or an official entity, then these are the things you should look out for:
You can always tell a scam firsthand if “money is involved” and if “it sounds too good to be true”.
Official entities never ask for your PIN, password or full memorable information of any nature such as a date of birth.
Official entities never send links to customers that when clicked take you to a page which asks you for your username, password or any personal information.
Official entities never ask customers to email or text their passwords or login information. Never submit personal information online or through phone calls. Instead visit offices directly to handle your details.
Communications from companies must be collaborated and must match with what is posted on their official platforms.
Emails requesting to confirm some personal information are a red flag. Always visit entity offices and have your personal information confirmed or changed from there.
Scammers will always use a scarcity principle instructing you to “hurry up” and “not miss out”.
Scammers will always bully you and use scare tactics to motivate you. They always threaten to report you to authorities or reveal something private about you to the public.
Many scams use “short links” that are intended to hide the destination URL where the scammers want to send you. Official entities do not shorten URLs. A shortened URL always looks like, http://xplyyp.ex, and has a combination of letters that don’t make sense.