Weekend Thoughts: Avoiding Scams

Avoiding scams: Don't fall victim to internet trolls.Over the weekend, I checked my email and briefly skimmed through my inbox to see if there was anything that required an immediate response. As you’ve probably read here before, I don’t constantly check my email (especially on my phone) because it’s a distraction for me. Anyway, I continued to then check in on my social media (really, Instagram) and see what was happening there. I received a comment from someone which has led me to share a post on avoiding scams.

That’s a weird transition, right?

I noticed I had a message from a jewelry company asking me to check out their stuff and they’d love to send me something to share with my readers. Sometimes brands reach out via social media so it’s not terribly unusual. Most of the brands I’ve partnered with (like this one) usually come from a direct email but a social media inquiry isn’t a red flag.

Entertaining at home with Robert Mondavi Private Selection.I continued to read their comment to make sure I understood and then took notice of their profile photo. The photo wasn’t too weird but for such a large company (according to them), I expected they would have a photo that was a little more appealing and eye-catching. I looked at their Instagram page and noticed that it was um…lacking. They had a ton of followers, less than 20 posts and the photos weren’t that impressive. First red flag.

Tips for avoiding scams

The first rule of avoiding scams: do your homework.

Homework doesn’t have to mean investing hours and hours of your time to dig up dirt on a company or individual. Homework in this case simply means, research what’s available to you. Look at their Facebook or Instagram accounts and see if it looks legit. Next, do a Google search. That seems obvious doesn’t it?

How to avoid scams.Google searches will quickly give you information that you need. When I did a quick 5 minute search on this particular company, the first page of results was littered with the word “scam”. I read many posts and articles on folks who had also been approached by this company to be an ambassador only to be asked to pay for shipping of the product. My experience with legit brands have never required me to pay for shipping or shell out unnecessary amounts of money to then turn around and spend time and resources crafting a blog post or article.

I say all of this to say: you don’t have to be a blogger or an influencer to experience scammers. Practice due diligence so you don’t end up in a situation you’ll later regret. Most importantly, go with your gut. Most of the time, our instincts are right. If it seems funky, it probably is.

Have you ever been the victim of a scam?

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