If you’ve not been sleeping under a rock, you will no doubt have seen or heard the name Invictus Obi at almost every corner you turn. The news of how a respected and prominent Nigerian personality who once appeared on the Forbes list of Young Nigerian Billionaires is a big-time online fraudster. Invictus Obi is said to have scammed thousands of unaware victims a total of $11 million through an internet scam known as phishing.
Being a hardworking and noble Nigerian, you will certainly find this news saddening and disgraceful. However, as much as you want to scream your lungs out at those involved in internet fraud or ‘yahoo yahoo’ and ask the world not to lump all Nigerians in one basket, it is also important to pause and ask yourself how on earth Invictus Obi was able to successfully scam hundreds of people without being caught. There are many others like him still on the prowl and the best you can do for yourself right now is to protect yourself against falling victim to online fraud.
Here are 5 ways to avoid being scammed online:
Verify That A Website Is Secure
How do you do that? By always checking that there is an ‘s’ behind the ‘http’ in any website you open, especially ones that require your personal details. Phishing is one of the worst online scams ever because it tricks you into believing you are on a legitimate website by reproducing the exact appearance of the original website. Fraudsters behind these phishing acts are able to easily convince you to enter your sensitive data as a result. So cross-check and recheck that the address of the website you are on is https:// rather than http://.
Protect Your Computer
We are living in a digital world now and avoiding online transactions as a whole is almost impossible. The best you can do is to be more careful: guard your digital or online privacy jealously. Install anti-virus software, spam filters and firewalls in your computer and make sure you update them regularly for optimal protection.
Be Skeptical About Money Related Opportunities
Question any emails, links or attachments that ask you to provide your personal details to secure an award you won or something of that sort. People asking to overpay you in exchange for a product or service you are selling is a thing. This overpayment method of scamming is so convincing because the money transfer you will receive is real. However, you will hear from your bank soon enough, after you must have dispatched your goods, telling you that the payment you received cannot be accepted.
Don’t Click On Links In Unsolicited Emails
If you cannot identify the source of an email or attachment you receive, don’t click on it. Links can steal your identity or infect your computer with malware—be careful.
Don’t Be Pressured Into Acting Immediately
Most fraudsters in the guise of a salesperson will try to pressure you into acting fast before you can tell anyone about your interaction with them and be convinced otherwise. Don’t give in to the pressure, take your time and think things through before making a decision.