How Do You Know If You’re Being Scammed?
When it comes to scams, stolen credit cards or pyramid schemes may come to mind first. But today’s con-artists are cleverer and will use marketing- and advertising-based tactics designed to come after your business and make you sweat. So, how do you know if you’re being scammed or if the claim is legitimate?
At Image Makers Advertising, our clients depend on us to handle these things—it’s just another reason to have a full-service ad agency on your side. We’re sharing a few of our tips on how to identify a marketing scam below.
How to Spot a Scammer
A client of ours recently had an interaction with an online scammer. The crook claimed that she was a photographer, and that our client had used copyrighted images on their website without consent and was threatening legal action.
When the client brought this to our attention, our website experts recognized it right away as fraudulent. How? Here are some tips we used to spot the online phishing.
1. Do Not Click on Any Links Sent From Someone You Don’t Know
Another piece of the above scam was the “photographer” sending a link that allegedly proved she owned the copyright to the photos in question. She wanted our client to click on this link.
Do not click on any link like this.
In general, you never want to click on any links sent to you by someone you don’t know—there’s no telling where they lead to. In some cases, clicking on them can download a virus to your computer that could corrupt the system or even your bank account.
2. Use Reliable Sources for Imagery
This is how we knew immediately that our client was being scammed. When building websites or other platforms on which you intend to showcase images, it’s important to give credit where it’s due. By licensing photos from sites like Shutterstock or finding royalty-free sites—and understanding where and how you can legally use them—you protect yourself from scammers like our client’s scammer.
3. Keep Records of All Purchased Media
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. When you license media like photos, videos, or songs, make sure you keep track of your confirmation and receipts. That way, if someone tries to claim that you stole their property, you have a paper trail that can prove otherwise.
4. Google Will Never Call You
In a case where someone from Google or another large, reputable business calls you looking for an emergency payment or asking for some other urgent action, hang up. Nobody who officially works for Google or the IRS or similar organizations will call you directly. Only scammers will.
5. Know Usernames and Passwords for Your Business
Keep a secure log of all usernames and passwords you use for your business and know who can access them. Then, if you notice strange sign-in attempts or other activity, you have a record of who might know what happened. And if it wasn’t anyone in your company, you can take the appropriate actions.
It’s also a good idea to change your passwords every 90 days to avoid any hackers or scammers getting your information. And, if possible, make them complex and non-specific to you as a person or a business.
What to Do If You Get Scammed
So, how do you know if you’re being scammed? In our client’s case, the solution was simple: Let the pros at Image Makers handle the trouble. When you work with us, you get our marketing knowledge and experience. Not only do we help build successful marketing campaigns, but we also take care of the little stuff—like helping you avoid online scams—so you can focus on your business.