Subtle scams that trap users


I have been subject to a scam when purchasing something online. It was not a scam that accessed my bank details, but I did part with some money. This could serve as a good activity to recognise scams.

  1. I desired to purchase inventory for an online business I run. This specific example is not important, rather, scams starting with a desired outcome is the point.
  2. The website was listed on a trusted site, like those adds on facebook that show Dick Smith apparently scaring the banks (surprise, they’re a scam), only this was on a buyers site.
  3. The items were listed at an appealing price, meaning I could make a profit (my desired outcome that can be altered to suit students desires).
  4. Incentives were given (coupons, sales section etc), however, the ratings were a little fishy (no negative ratings with little or no information about the site).
  5. Because the amount was so low I decided it was worth the risk.
  6. No bueno…

This example can easily be reimagined in an activity were there are multiple trust worthy and untrustworthy people involved and tell-tale signs can be given. Make the desired outcome a real one (exit slip, sweets, whatever), and make the consequences far worse than losing a small amount of money.

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