Social media usage get an incredible growth because of the pandemic. But unfortunately, this presents an opportunity for scammers, too.
Stats show that that the number of people losing money after getting scammed on social media has tripled in the last year (2020). People are looking for ways to avoid identity theft or other scams on social media platforms.
Social Media Tips: How to Avoid Scams
Here are some useful tips on how to avoid scams or hackers on social media.
Types of Social Media Scams
There are many types of social media scams. The term is quite vague and can cover any type of scam you can find on social networks.
Types of common social media scams
● Phishing scams. Links sent to you via messages or published by fake pages may go to websites that are not secure. You might have accidentally given up personal details or even money.
● Romance scams. Some scammers go in-depth. They may pretend to be someone else and try to convince you to send them money, playing with your feelings. They may do the same thing to collect details from you to sell or use for credit card applications.
Dating apps have made romance scams even more prevalent. You need to pay more attention to dating apps.
● Quizzes. When you see quizzes on social media, you might think they are harmless. But these are common methods to get your personal details and they can be used to harm you.
● “Stuck” scams. People might use social media as a way to pretend to be a relative or friend. They pretend that they need help (Money) because they are stuck abroad or in financial trouble.
Unfortunately, these are just some of the types of scams. But there are even more inventive techniques to steal your information to make a profit.
How to Protect Your Privacy and Avoid Scams
Luckily, you can protect yourself against identity theft and social media scams. Don’t forget that people don’t need your card details to scam you. Identity theft is more complex, and they might make a lot of money applying for finance in your name.
● Use antivirus software. Effective antivirus software can help you a lot. There are also software solutions for identity monitoring or even managing your passwords.
● Don’t share personal details. On social media, a lot of people are sharing personal details. Do you know and trust everyone on social media? The answer is probably “no”. Don’t share personal details.
● Use secure passwords. Special characters and mysterious passwords are a must. Don’t make it easy for someone to access your accounts, it is better to use two-factor authentication. You can even use a secure password manager if you struggle to keep track.
● Verify who is contacting you. If someone reaches out, you should always check who it is and whether or not they are legitimate.
● Avoid public Wi-Fi networks. Public and unsecure networks may provide a way for scammers to track your activity and steal details.
General Safety Rules
Create strong passwords, and make sure you set up a different password for each social media account. Install Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication (2FA) and enhance your security.
Stay away from fake accounts. Some platforms allow anyone to follow you, but you can always block them or ignore them if you don’t know them in real life. Fake accounts may want to scam you, so don’t click on suspicious links.
Also, you don’t have to open every direct message (DM) or answer every question.
When it comes to your phone, make sure to use a password to protect it. Always use antivirus software on your computer. Regularly update your browsers and operating systems.
Also, it’s important to read the privacy policies of platforms you’re using and customize your accounts to hide personal information.
The threats or scams on social media are very common, and you need to know how to avoid them. Also, you can report anyone or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Work from home jobs is very popular because people realize the advantages of not having to commute to an office for work. You save time and money! However, it is important to be aware of work from home scams, which can put you at risk.
If you give your personal information to a scammer, you run the risk of losing your money and other assets. How to avoid work from home scams.
How to Recognize a Scam
Knowledge is the best defense when you are searching for work from home jobs.
So before you do, take the time to learn how to find legitimate work from home jobs. The more work from home job postings and ads that you call, the more scams you will encounter.
2. Common Sense and Opportunities
When you find a profitable opportunity, first think if it seems profitable from the company’s perspective. How would the promoters of the opportunity make money if they are paying you so much for so little work?
Also, if a company’s marketing strategy is based primarily on appearing legitimate, that is likely because it is offering a work from home scam or, at the very least, a poor money-making opportunity. That’s why any job that promotes itself in search engine ads as a “legitimate work from home job” most likely is not legitimate.
Remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t a good opportunity. But scammers are sneaky, so common sense alone is not enough.
3. Emotions and Logic
The most common way that scammers find victims is to play on their emotions. When you want something badly, your emotions can lead you to make illogical decisions in pursuit of it. Finding a work from home job is not easy, so you will need patience and a clear head. Be especially wary of any opportunity that tries to play on your emotions by saying you “deserve” something.
4. Search for Reviews
Do your research with a clear head. Even if an opportunity looks honest, do not send money to any organization without checking it out. This includes finding out where it is physically based, determining if there is contact information, and contacting them via phone.
Look it up on social media and do an internet search for any reviews. It often helps to do an internet search with the name of the company and “scam” or “review.” The results can be a starting point. Keep in mind that most legitimate companies do not charge job applicants and that business opportunities are never risk-free.
5. Don’t Pay for Work from Home Opportunities
Employers don’t charge employees to work for them, and scams posing as legitimate business opportunities will ask for money. The pitch is that businesses are expected to have start-up costs.
True businesses are typically not simple exchanges of unskilled labor for payment. A true home business is developed over time with careful planning and research.
There are many free reliable resources that list legitimate companies offering work from home jobs by industry.
The real survey companies offer legitimate paid online surveys and enjoy good reputations. They pay in cash or equivalent and respect the privacy of their survey participants. There is trust between them and those who take their surveys.
But in recent years a new group of fake survey makers have used the name “Survey Maker” and claimed to offer paid surveys to would-be survey participants. The real intention of many was not to offer paid surveys at all, just to sell various products or services to those who signed up.
So the fake survey makers can recruit new hopeful survey takers. They do this through agents that get paid recruitment fees for finding and recruiting new people to exploit. Some do a pretty good job of faking it.
So while you can still find the real survey makers and take online surveys for cash, you have to avoid the fake survey makers. It’s not hard to get paid for survey work or take a paid survey at home. It’s hard to sort through the pretenders and wannabes and find the real survey makers.
Any survey maker that sends you more sales offers than invitations to take surveys is highly suspect. To get paid for survey work you will need to stay focussed on surveys and rate all survey makers with which you have signed up by the number of actual, paying surveys they send you.
You should not have to buy anything in order to take a paid survey at home. Ethical survey makers ask your opinion. Sales companies try to influence you to buy their products.
The best advice is to avoid these. If they don’t offer you online surveys for cash, you should resign and take them off your list. If they bombard you with offers, let them know that you only want to get paid for survey work and not to buy things.
Some will keep on sending you sales offers, cluttering up your inbox. Ask them to quit, and to take your name off of their lists. If that doesn’t work, note their e-mail addresses and “blacklist” or block them at your e-mail service provider.
Start with the best list you can get. (Usually from a paid survey membership site with a good money back guarantee and a low refund rate.) A good list will have over 50% good survey makers.
You can still take online surveys for cash, get paid for survey work, take a paid survey at home and get paid for it. But you will need to avoid the fake surveys and their sales letters.
How to Identify the Legit Survey Sites
You have learned about the opportunity to get paid for taking online surveys. However, you may not be fully convinced that this opportunity is legit. It’s good to be skeptical because if you aren’t, you’ll likely fall prey to scams who like to target naive people.
Yes, paid survey scams do exist. But not all “make money taking surveys” opportunities are scams. You can actually get paid for sharing your opinions but you could also be scammed if you are not careful.
If you are new, you may not know how to identify paid surveys scams from legitimate paid surveys. If you don’t believe that you can actually make money taking surveys, you probably won’t even attempt to give legitimate paid surveys a try.
Why you can get paid to take surveys
Companies need consumer feedback and are more than willing to offer a reward for the feedback they receive. Why would they pay for consumer feedback? Because this feedback could help them improve their product and make more money.
Once a company has collected feedback from a group of individuals through a survey, they can analyze that feedback to make changes that will make their product more beneficial and appealing. They need to increase sales and generating better revenue for the company when their product finally hits the market.
A lot of research and development goes into many of the products you see on the market. Products aren’t just put out on the market without careful planning and market research. Millions of dollars are spent on market research every year, so it isn’t so hard to believe that someone is able to get paid for participating in market research studies.
The market research company, or survey site, is already getting paid for executing the survey and collecting feedback from those who match the survey qualifications.
They are simply giving them a cut of the money they make from the companies that pay for their services.
The market research company wouldn’t do that well if they didn’t have members who would be willing to participate in surveys. A company goes to these survey sites to get quality feedback. If the survey site doesn’t have people who can participate in surveys, the company probably isn’t going to use their services.
How do market research companies get people to participate in surveys? They offer incentives which range from sweepstake entries to cash.`
This is how you are able to earn cash taking surveys. You take advantage of the surveys that offer cash incentives. And in order to do this, you need to sign up to legitimate survey sites that connect their members with paid survey opportunities.
How to identify legitimate paid surveys
Before you start searching for legitimate paid surveys, you need to be able to tell the difference between a legitimate survey site and one that could potentially be a scam.
Legitimate survey sites usually meet all of the following criteria:
They offer free registration
It should cost you nothing at all to join and participate on a survey site. Any site that requires you to pay a fee, either upfront or after you join, is likely to be a scam.
Never pay money to take surveys.
Legal forms are present on the website
Disreputable sites don’t like to include these pages on their site since they are often unprofessional, to begin with, and they follow an unethical policy that they don’t want to disclose openly in fine print. If they did reveal their policies upfront, they would have a hard time scamming people.
They don’t make unrealistic income claims
Earn $1000 a month taking surveys! Earn $50 an hour taking surveys! Get rich taking surveys! You won’t find these kinds of claims on a legitimate paid survey site. Actually, most reputable survey sites don’t even make income claims. They just simply state that you can be rewarded for taking surveys.
They don’t send spam
They don’t sell your information
They don’t ask for sensitive information
Legitimate survey sites do not need any sensitive information from you and will not ask you for it. If a site asks for your social security number or credit card information, avoid that site at all costs. You should never supply such information to a survey site.
They provide contact information
You should be able to easily contact someone at the website if you need support or have some sort of inquiry. Legitimate survey sites always provide contact information.
They only deal with paid surveys
Sometimes, you may come across a site that says you can get paid to take surveys but once you become a member, you find out that you can also complete offers, sign up for trials, watch videos, and so on.
These types of sites are often referred to as “get paid to websites”, GPT sites for short, since they are paying members to do various things, primarily filling out offers and answering surveys.
GPT sites are often confused with paid survey sites since you can get paid to take surveys on both types of sites. It should be easy to tell how the two are different. Legitimate paid survey sites only deal with paid surveys. They don’t ask you to complete offers, sign up for trials, or do anything else besides taking surveys.
In review, legitimate survey companies are free to join, include proper documentation and contact information on their website, do not make unrealistic income claims, do not abuse your personal information or ask for sensitive information, only deal with paid surveys, and they make good on their promises – if they say they will pay you to take surveys, you will get paid when you have met their payout requirements.
If you run across a site that fails to meet any of the criteria above, there is a possibility that it could be a scam and you should either avoid the site altogether or proceed with extra caution and do extra research until you have enough information to confidently judge whether or not the site is indeed a scam.
How to find legitimate paid surveys
Finding legitimate paid surveys is simple but it does take time to gather enough information to make sure that the site you are interested in joining is reputable.
There are sites that list these types of sites free of charge. So, you won’t have to do much research in the end. But just in case you want to know how to find them on your own, here are a few tips that will help you locate legitimate survey companies.
Locating and Researching Survey Sites
Go to Google and search for a list of surveys. You can use queries such as these: “legitimate paid surveys” “list of paying survey companies” “legitimate survey sites that pay cash”.
You will come across websites that supply the information you are looking for. But since some websites can be deceitful, misleading, or unreliable, you need to make sure that you do your own research.
If a website provides you with a list of paying survey companies, research each company on that list before signing up.
Here is a real survey site. Paidviewpoint – Invite Your Friends and Earn Money for Free!
You can simply invite your friends, post on your blog, post on social media to attract more interested people or send an email to your list. A pretty easy way to make money from home.
There are many horror stories about affiliate programs and networks. People have heard them over and over again, that some are even wary of joining one. The stories they may have heard are those related to illegal programs or pyramid scams. This kind of market does not have a real, worthy product.
It is obvious that you want to be with a program that offers high-quality product or service. The growing number of those who have joined already and are succeeding immensely is proof enough that there are reliable and quality affiliate programs out there.
The Positive Effect of a Profitable Affiliate Program
It allows you to work part-time. You work from home and it gives you the opportunity to build a generous residual income. Also, it makes you an owner of a small business. Affiliate programs have already created lots of millionaires.
They are the living testimony of how hard work; continuous prospecting, motivating and training others pay off. The affiliate programs are an awesome solution for many people.
If ever you are deciding to join one, you must take note that you are getting into something that is patterned to what you are capable of. This will be an assurance that you are capable of doing anything to come out successful.
How to choose a good and profitable affiliate program to promote
1. A program that you like and have an interest in. One of the best ways of knowing if that is the kind of program you wish to promote is if you are interested in purchasing the product yourself. If that is the case, chances are, there are many others who are also interested in the same program and products.
2. Look for a program that is of high quality. For instance, look for one that is associated with many experts in that particular industry. This way, you are assured that of the standard of the program you will be joining into.
3. Join in the ones that offer real and viable products. How do you know this? Do some initial research. If possible, track down some of the members and customers to give you testimonial on the credibility of the program.
4. The program that is catering to a growing target market. This will ensure you that there will be more and continuous demands for your referrals. Make inquiries. There are forums and discussions you can participate in to get good and reliable feedbacks.
5. A program with a compensation plan that pays out a residual income and a payout of 30% or more would be a great choice. There are some programs offering this kind of compensation. Look closely for one. Do not waste your time with programs that do not reward substantially for your efforts.
6. Be aware of the minimum quotas that you must fulfill or sales target that is too hard to achieve. Some affiliate programs impose pre-requisites before you get your commissions. Just be sure that you are capable of attaining their requirements.
7. Select one that has plenty of tools and resources that can help you grow the business in the shortest possible time. Not all affiliate programs have these capacities. Make use you decide on one with lots of helpful tools you can use.
8. Check out if the program has a proven system that can allow you to check your networks and compensation. Also, check if they have it available online for you to check anytime and anywhere.
9. The program that is offering strong incentives for members to renew their membership each time. The affiliate program that provides continuous help and upgrades for its products have the tendency to retain its members. These things can assure the growth of your networks.
10. Be aware of the things that members are not happy about in a program. Like with the ones mentioned above, you can do your checking at discussion forums. If you know someone in that same program, there is ho harm asking if there are many downsides involved.
Have a thorough and intensive knowledge about the affiliate program and network you will be promoting on.
Knowing the kind of program you are getting yourself into will make you anticipate and prevent any future problems you may encounter.
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