Scammers, a tradition of people that reaches back to the dawn of humanity. A quick way to ruin an entire day, month, or even life in some cases. Today I want to talk about the increasing threat of internet scammers and how to watch out for yourself while journeying the world wide web.
Why have I suddenly decided to write this paper in the first place? Well today was the day I got targeted myself. Many people, myself included, think that they know how to counter these fraudsters in their daily lives. While that may be correct in some cases, today showed me you can never be careful enough. Long story short, I made friends with someone on a social media app around 3 weeks ago. Everything seemed fine, we had some nice conversations being "fellow writers" as he said. Suddenly he sent a link today with his "new story" in tow. Naive me didn't think my phone would go dark and uncontrollable until I restarted it. Then I was greeted in his chat with a warning "either you send us money or we will ruin your reputation with what we found on your phone" I was baffled, admittedly having had certain types of anime pictures on my phone (yes you may laugh) but he continued on to threaten my friends, family and even my loved one.
That was the point when I blocked him, he tried to message me again under a new account name but I repeated what I did earlier. Luckily I took some screenshots, went to the police and put a charge against the unknown person.
My heart was racing the entire day, redoing all my passwords, checking posts, my bank account and so forth. Naturally I kept it to myself as I usually do with all my problems, even though I should've definitely told somebody as soon as possible. A good friend then asked about my day a few hours ago and I fell apart at that point. I was admittedly crying because I was still scared about everything. When I regained composure I posted about it on Instagram and am now writing this story.
On to the ways you can protect yourselves. Since scammers seemingly have long term projects like myself nowadays always ask for the person you talk with to verify in some way, shape or form. Apart from this never click any links these quote on quote strangers send you. Do not forget, you never know and some scammers are undoubtedly talented at their craft. Try to find out as many things as possible about the person social media wise, it's a big red flag to not have instagram or at least facebook nowadays (always check for stolen pics too). Should it still happen to you, do not be too hard on yourself. There are more than 2200 of these severe attacks each day according to statistics, so nobody is truly safe. Immediately go to your local or closest police station and let everybody know it happened. It might seem a bit embarrasing, but the heavy weight on yourself will definitely disappear.
With all that being said there are many more dangers when it comes to internet strangers. Since I can't list them all please check as many safe websites that focus on that topic as possible and keep yourself updated on the latest scamming types.
Stay safe in the depths of the internet and be a bit paranoid at times. Regardless I wish you all a wonderful day whenever you're reading this and may it be less complicated than mine when I wrote it.🍉
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