Outsmarting Scammers: Tips to Recognise and Avoid Their Tricks

This post is aimed at helping all of us stay one step ahead of scammers. I’ll briefly discuss what you should watch out for and how to recognise common scam tactics. By being more aware and informed, we can make it harder for scammers to succeed and keep our online experiences safe.

First and foremost…

You are not any less intelligent if you fall for a scam. Scammers are good at what they do and can be clever in their tactics. Do not beat yourself up over this. Just take it as a learning experience and learn from it. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed, just that you’ve fallen victim for a moment. It’s okay!

Anyway, it’s important to understand the nature of scams. Scammers often create a sense of urgency or offer something that seems too good to be true. They prey on human emotions—fear, greed, or the desire to be helpful—to manipulate their victims. Therefore, developing a critical eye towards any online transaction is key to safeguarding yourself.

Always verify the website’s URL when money is involved. Scammers often mimic legitimate URLs with slight deviations. Using another company’s name in the URL is a red flag, as company names are typically trademarked, thus rendering them illegal for use by others.

Another clear red flag is the request for payments for intangible, vague, or non-existent goods or services. Legitimate transactions involve clear, trackable exchanges where the purpose of the payment is transparent and justifiable. In contrast, scams often involve convoluted explanations for why a payment is needed, playing on the victim’s lack of knowledge or fear of missing out.

A particularly insidious tactic is the gradual increase in the amount of money requested. This technique plays on the psychological principle of commitment and consistency, where the victim continues to invest in the scam, hoping to eventually gain the promised return. As a rule of thumb, any scenario where you find yourself paying more and more without receiving the promised product or service is a clear indication of a scam.

Many scams are characterised by persistent personal communication. While legitimate businesses might direct you to their website and provide customer service when needed, scammers often use constant, direct communication to build a false sense of trust and urgency. They tailor their language and approach to appeal to individual victims, making it crucial to be wary of overly persistent or personalised sales tactics. This isn’t good customer service, it’s a tactic.

These personal scammers also play on an individual’s ego to manipulate them into falling for their schemes. They use flattery and create scenarios where the person feels special or chosen, suggesting that they alone have been selected for an exclusive opportunity or deal.

They often use various aggressive marketing tactics to trick people into giving away their personal information or money. Some of these tactics include constant pop-ups and emails, creating a sense of urgency or FOMO, flattery, and making grand promises.

For instance, they might send you an email with an attractive offer that seems too good to be true or use a pop-up that claims that you have won a prize that you never entered to win. They might also use emotional triggers to manipulate you, such as fear, excitement, or curiosity, to make you act impulsively.

Alternatively, some sites offer a teaser of free information before gating the rest behind a paywall. This “drug dealer” tactic hooks you with just enough to pique interest, enticing you to pay for more. The real trouble begins when they bombard you with urgent messages and claim you’re missing out and must pay to unlock your full potential.

It is crucial to be sceptical of such high-pressure tactics and take the time to evaluate whether the offer is legitimate and in your best interest. Always verify the source of the message or call and do not share any personal or financial information unless you are sure of the legitimacy of the offer.

Not all terms and agreements are legally enforcable. Even those from legitimate businesses can contain clauses designed to intimidate or mislead users. It’s always wise to consult with someone knowledgeable about contracts if you’re unsure about the terms you’re agreeing to. Remember, not everything presented online should be taken at face value, including the legal consequences websites claim they can hold you accountable to.

In situations where you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a request or offer, it’s prudent to seek advice from independent, trustworthy sources. This can include online forums, consumer protection agencies, or legal advisors. Getting a second opinion from a source not affiliated with the transaction can provide valuable perspective and potentially save you from falling victim to a scam.



If you sense any anger in this post, you are correct. But I’m angry at scammers, not you. :joy:

Love to you all. :people_hugging: :black_heart:

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This! The aggressiveness and scare tactics are the worst. Also the fact that scammers often target vulnerable groups- such as elderly people or those who may not speak English well.

My partner moved to the US a few months ago and the number of scam calls, messages, and emails has been through the roof. Not sure how they got the information (my first guess is a leak somewhere in the green card application process, but we’ll never know for sure). This past week there were two- from the “bank” and from a sketchy “loan company”. In comparison, I have not had a direct scam approach me yet this season (knock on wood).

Anyways, enough of my rambling- I really dislike scammers :face_exhaling:

On another note, the Night of Hekate is this Thursday- might be time to call upon justice to lend Her patient ear :pray: :woman_judge:

Thank you so much for this very helpful collection of tips! It is super helpful- knowledge and being aware go a long way in anti-scammer protection. You are very kind to share them! :heart:

Lots of love to you too- stay protected and safe! :shield: :sparkles:

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Good idea! :black_heart: I’ll make a post for people who wish to have prayers of justice sent to Hekate, and I’ll include those in my ritual (and so can anyone else who wants to).

I’m going to need to get this up ASAP so people actually have a chance to get their names down then…

:bowing_woman: It’s a topic I’m passionate about. (Yes, among very many, I’m aware. :joy:) When I was getting my teaching certification, I had to teach a couple of classes on a curriculum topic of my choice. So I chose to teach classes on spotting internet scams and avoiding downloading viruses. :smiling_imp:

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What a gift! :heart_eyes: With all this talk of scammers going around, I’m putting justice work on the schedule this week. Can’t wait to take a peek at your ritual- thank you, Katerina! :heart: :pray:

Not all heroes wear capes! (Although I’m sure you could rock one if you wanted to :laughing: :+1: :woman_superhero: )

They are such important topics. I feel like- along with basic cooking skills, how to do taxes, and other necessary life skills- avoiding scammers and internet safety should be part of the curriculum in every school. Very valuable things to learn about!

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Post is up:

I will add details after I make some tea. :black_heart:

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Thank you for the information! Ugh! I’m still seething over this. Another thing to look out for is if cryptocurrency is involved, there’s a strong chance, it’s a scam.

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I do have a witchy black velvet cloak. :grin:

Maybe I’ll wear that for the ritual. With something underneath, of course! That would be awkward for the forum if I didn’t. I’m not Plato. :sweat_smile:

100%! Those are all such essential topics. :black_heart:

Cryptocurrency is a scam/grift itself and NFTs are even worse. If anyone ever wants the story of how I copied Bitcoin in one evening, I’m happy to share sometime. :joy:

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An amazing post, @starborn :clap: Scammers are everywhere, and even the spiritual community isn’t averse to their tactics. Scammers on Instagram, for example, copy the accounts of well-known people or influencers. Then they follow people and send messages offering readings. They say payment or donation needs to be made first, and then the readings never happen (surprise!)

I don’t want to overshadow your post, but I do have a video specific to scammers in the witchcraft space that I’d like to share, too.

There can never be too much information out there about dealing with scammers of all kinds! :clap:

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Just wanted to add, don’t click on links in emails from Amazon, Ebay, etc that direct you to log in via the link. Go to the retailers website directly. I clicked on one from an “Amazon” email. Looked exactly like the login page. Logged in and BAM they were in my account. Fortunately I got it soon enough to fix it!

Stay safe! :people_hugging::heart:

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True! Thanks for sharing the video! :black_heart: My brain is fried from meetings so I’ll have to watch it later. :smiling_face_with_tear:

Same thing happened to me but with my World of Warcraft account back in 2006. :joy:

“Why is your character online, Katya?”
Me: :scream:

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Something like this happened when I was a kid with my Neopets account. I was locked out and devastated :sob: my mom was able to work with support to get it back for me, but they had wiped all of my items and stuff already.

No worries! :heart: I hope your brain is un-fried now :laughing: I totally relate to fried brain feelings lol

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Megan thanks so much for the info amazing video!thanks so much!
starbornthank you very much!

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You’re very welcome! :heart:

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Oh my! I totally forgot about Neopets.

Making a copy of Neopets was probably my first big web development project. I mean, personally, as a kid. Not for work – I was too young to be employed at that point and too inexperienced. :joy:

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I’ve gone back to play a few times :joy: but ever since the internet at large phased out using Flash, it hasn’t been the same. I know they were working on it at one point, but I haven’t gone back to check lately :joy:

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