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Stay safe online - spotting a scam

Community Manager

Stay safe online - spotting a scam

Can you spot an online scam?


We all know if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. But how safe is your business? Following chat in our community we take a look at how you can protect yourself. And we chat to a Pioneer who’s taken on the scammers, Cornel Lazar, @cornellazar, from Vibe Tickets.


Watch out for these warning signs

  • Being charged for something you can get for free (for example, the information about government funding, which sparked the debate on our community pages).
  • People claiming to be experts with very little presence online.
  • Anyone claiming they’ll make you money very quickly.
  • Phishing: always log on directly into your bank, never from an email link.
  • Many scams have unique links for each email they send – so even if you open it in an incognito window – they’ll know where it came from.
  • Spoofing links: hover over a link on desktop without clicking, to see where it goes.
  • Spear-fishing: Someone seems to know a lot about you? If they aren’t a regular contact, they may be harvesting information from social media to trick you into trusting them.
  • Upfront fees. Look twice at any service (Business coaching, marketing, or funding advice, for instance) that asks you for payment upfront.
  • You’re offered a free directory listing (probably with tiny/no circulation). Then charged and threatened with court action if you don’t pay.
  • Check out the police’s Action Fraud site; it lists an A-Z of online scams (worth a look if something seems a bit dodgy). 


Vibe Tickets fights back


Untitled design (30).pngVibe Tickets offer fans a transparent, safe and secure social marketplace for live entertainment tickets. So their business depends on users feeling secure on their site. We chatted to Cornel Lazar, their marketing director, about his experience dealing with online fraud.


What sorts of scams do you face?

“Playing on the buyer’s desperation, scammers list highly sought after tickets at a discounted price and ask the buyer for a BACS transfer – BACS are an unprotected payment method and could leave the fan losing out on money and tickets.”


How can you stop them?

“Trust is good; active prevention is better! All our users are required to register and verify their accounts before they can buy, sell and chat on our marketplace. We ask them to only use our in-app checkout feature. Vibe Tickets uses PayPal ‘Goods & Services’ natively, offering the industry-standard to all our buyers and sellers.”


What else do you do to protect customers?

“The Vibe Tickets Fraud Team constantly monitors chat activity. We don’t spy, but make sure all users can always feel safe.


“We aim to deal with every breach quickly and are very proud of our success rate in stopping most scam attempts early in their tracks and suspending suspicious users from the Vibe Tickets community.”


What advice would you give other businesses?

“Put yourself into your users’ position, understand their behaviour and instinct. Apply data and search for patterns since scammers usually follow a pattern repeatedly until they’re caught. This approach has helped Vibe Tickets to quickly spot areas in need of improvements and allowed us to act quickly.”


Been scammed? What now?

  • Call your bank immediately if you’ve handed over credit card details.
  • Credit cards offer some protection (if you’ve paid for something that wasn’t delivered you might get compensation). So does PayPal.
  • Contact Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre.
  • Don’t pay the scammers, even if you think it’s easier just to get them off your back. There are lists of soft-touch businesses, so you could get targeted again.

Good luck and stay safe!