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How to recognise and avoid online scams

If something on the internet seems too good to be true, that is usually the case.

The advice below can help you avoid online scams.

Never make any decisions in a hurry

  • Be suspicious if you are told that you must make an investment or purchase decision right away.
  • If you get an unexpected message, take a moment to consider it before taking any action, such as opening a link in the message, downloading a file onto your device, or adding the sender to your contact list.
  • If the situation makes you feel anxious, get help from someone you trust.

Use safe online stores that you are familiar with or at least check the website’s reliability before making any purchases. Kuluttajaliitto: Verkkokauppa (in Finnish only)

You can check the reliability of an online store or website using the Scamadviser service:

  • Open the link www.scamadviser.com
  • Type the full internet address you received into the search field in the middle of the page
  • The analysis tool will tell you, among other things, the age of the website (how long the site has been online) and the location/country from which the website is managed. if there is something suspicious about the site, the analysis tool will warn you about the suspicious site with a large orange-yellow warning triangle and specific text at the top of the search results.

Do not trust the sender’s information in the email or text message, because such information is easy to falsify.

Never share your bank access codes with anyone, because the only time they are needed is when you log into your online bank. Banks never ask their customers for access codes.

Do not provide any personal information to door-to-door salesmen and do not let anyone into your home if you have not invited them yourself, even if they claim to be police, rescue workers, insurance inspectors or some other authority. None of these people will appear at your door unexpectedly without just cause or letting you know beforehand. Even then you should contact the organisation to check if such house calls are part of their normal activities.

Do not believe everything you hear from new acquaintances.

  • Romance scammers are extremely skilful manipulators
  • Are you absolutely sure that your new online friend is the person they claim to be? Have you met them, or have you had a video chat with them?
  • Think carefully about what information about yourself is safe to share with an online acquaintance. Be cautious when sending pictures, as scammers can use revealing, identifiable pictures for blackmail.
  • What to do if you suspect a scam
  • Online romance scams

Pay for online purchases with a credit card.

  • If the store does not deliver your order, you can request your credit company to cancel the payment.

Make sure you use an encrypted connection for all online shopping and other transactions.

  • Never use online banking or other online services that involve private information if you are connected to an open wireless network, such as the network on a train or at a library.

Make sure that you are actually visiting the website you intended.

One way is to check the exact address is the address bar. You can also check if the message includes the company’s business ID and contact information; does it appear legitimate? Also make sure the address starts with “https”, not just “http”.

  • Scammers can, for example, set up pages that look exactly like the website of a bank. However, there will always be some tiny difference in the address line that reveals the website is fake, such as an extra letter: for example, osuuspankkki.fi.

Make sure your passwords are up to date.

Keep your computer software and systems up to date

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