The Internet can be a good way to meet new people or stay connected with those you already know. However, the Internet is also a good place for people to not be 100 per cent honest about who they are. Some Internet scammers might try to cheat you out of money or try to find out personal information for malicious purposes. If using the Internet for social purposes, there are simple ways to tell if a person is lying online, which will help you stay safe.
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Ignore unsolicited gifts of money. No matter what part of the world you live in or who you are, there really isn't a person in Nigeria that just collected an inheritance but wants to give all the money to you because he can't access the funds. If something seems too good to be true, it is. If the details seem too confusing to be true, the person is lying.
Run away from moneymaking deals that leave out the details. Internet scammers leave these details out for a reason: the deal is a rip-off. An honest, moneymaking opportunity online will outline details and allow you to read of the fine print before you agree to anything.
Watch out for liars. An online "friend" full of inconsistencies is no friend at all. A person that is lying will have a hard time keeping a story straight. You may review a chat log to find a person stated they are three different ages. Or, you may find yourself saying, "I thought you said...," often. Don't let a fibber talk you into thinking your memory is bad when she is the one changing her story.
Ditch those who are too vague with details. A person that wants to get to know you will let you know information about himself. Be wary of answers that are vague or unsupported. For example, a person that says he is an executive chef at a fancy restaurant, but won't tell you what culinary institute he attended or where he works, may be the night-shift manager at a fast food place.
Block virtual friends that ask for money from your contact list. Perhaps you met someone on a forum that you really connected with. But then the person sends you a message about being hit with a financial crisis asking you for financial help. The story may be sad, but it's just that---a story. Add this person to your blocked list.
Tips and warnings
- Never give out your personal information online to anyone you don't know.
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