There was a time before the internet when people used to con other people through physical contact. However, as the internet has made communication effectively contact-less, online scams have become much more popular in recent times. Now, for people like us who know the internet like the back of our hands, it is easy to spot the scammers. However, for a layman who receives an email out of the blue stating that he/she has won a lottery of Rs 50,000 would surely believe it. So, to help these people spot and avoid these types of scams, Google has come up with a new “Scam Spotter” website.
“Scam Spotter” is not actually a tool for the users, rather it is an educational website for the scam-spotting-noobs out there. The Mountain View-based tech giant has partnered with Cybercrime Support Network to build the website. This website provides information that will be help users to spot who a scammer is and who is in real need of money.
Now, when you go to the homepage of the website, you will encounter the “three golden rules” that should be kept in mind to spot a scammer.
Now, the site says that the first rule is to “slow it down” a little bit. According to the site, when a scammer calls or emails, he/she is always in a hurry to make money from the victims. So, the guide suggests the respondent remain calm and “avoid being rushed into a bad situation”.
The next rule, “Spot Check”, states that the victim, after the call or the chat conversation, should always do a background check of the organization, be it a bank or an agency.
The third and final rule, “Stop! Don’t Send”, suggests that scammers often demand you pay them through crypto-currency or buy them gift cards. So, if the agent asks you to send a gift card or transfer funds directly in a given bank account, just stop talking, hang up the call or exit the chat and send the contact details straight to the block list.
So, if you experience any of the above red flags in a conversation, then there is a high chance that the person on the other end is a scammer. However, if you still have your doubts, Google also has a built-in “quiz” that you can take to test your knowledge about scams.
Now, hackers and scammers are getting stronger and better than ever in this time of global crisis. We recently saw the CERT-In release a warning to Indians that suggested not falling prey to a new email scam. We also saw how a dating-service scam cost a Bengaluru man a massive amount of money.
Also, going by the website, it also states that hackers and scammers are now planning to steal over $2 billion in 2020 alone, using the Coronavirus as a stimulator. So, to stop these scams and protect the users’ money, Google has started this “Scam Spotter” to halt the efforts of these scammers.
I think this will be very helpful especially during these times when scams are increasing like anything.
It certainly can’t hurt, and spreading awareness is always a positive thing. However it does not address the root of the problem by any means. Google can do a lot better than this public display of concern.
Very nice. Google is finally making “efforts” in the scam prevention arena. How about starting with screening the Forex and crypto scammers from using Google ads to target their victims.