1. Don’t fall for unrealistic prices
A new game console for €50 or an expensive coat that has been reduced by 95% will almost always be too good to be true. Be wary and don’t fall for extreme price reductions. Have you found a good deal online? Check if the website is safe. Usually, when something seems too good to be true, it is.
2. Never click links to verify your IBAN
Scammings through Marktplaats and other second hand websites are unfortunately very common. Scammers will respond to your advertisements as if they’re interested in buying.
They pose as potential buyers and ask you to ‘verify’ your bank account (or IBAN) by telling you that they’ve recently been scammed and want to be sure. If you click the link, it sends you to a website that looks like it belongs to your bank. If you enter your details, they can use them and gain access to your money. The link in the text below is the type of fake link they might use.
3. Look for reviews
Found a webshop that looks a bit dodgy? Look for reviews of the site. Often times you can find out a lot about a website by using google. Found a mention of internet scamming? Don’t use the website!
4. Use your credit card
If you use your credit card or PayPal for an online purchase you’re protected more than if you’d use iDeal. It’s often easier to get your money back after a scam if you used a credit card or Paypal.
5. Be wary of unknown foreign phone numbers
This tip does not concern internet scamming but we thought it might be important to include it anyway. Thousands of people in the Netherlands have recently been contacted by Algerian and Tunisian numbers.
These numbers belong to scammers who hope you’ll return their call. They phone you and immediately hang up. By phoning back you’re obliged to pay hefty charges which they forward to their own bank accounts. Don’t phone back!
6. Never send confidential information online
Prevent identity theft by never disclosing personal details like your social security number or a scan of your identity card. If you hand a scammer this information they’ll be able to pose as you when scamming others.
7. Pick up the product from the seller
Buying something from an individual or through a second hand website? Pick up the product. By doing so you’ll be sure the product is real. It also might help to bring someone else. Two pairs of eyes might help to assess the quality of the product.
8. Protect your computer
To prevent internet scammers from hacking into your computer, it's very important to protect your device. Several programmes can be used to protect your computer.
Many computers are automatically protected by the manufacturer, but older models might be lacking in protection and a good virus scanner never goes amiss. Let an expert advise you when it comes to computer protection.
9. Protect your accounts with strong passwords
Use passwords with different types of characters and never use the same password for all of your confidential accounts. We advise to use a password manager like Dashlane. This service generates strong passwords for different accounts. These passwords are only accessible with a main password that you’ve picked yourself. By using a service like Dashlane you’ll only have to remember one password.
10. Don’t simply send money to a friend
If a friend or family member asks you to send them money unexpectedly, they might be hacked. You’ll be sending your money to a scammer.
Reach out to your friend or relative using a different form of contact than you got the request through and check if they’re really after your money or if someone else is.