Why You Shouldn’t Talk to Strangers Online: Consequences and Safety Measures

Why You Shouldn't Talk to Strangers Online

In an era of continuous technological and communicative advancement, users are presented with increasingly more opportunities for interaction through messengers and social networks. However, this expansion also broadens the scope for fraudsters to deceive individuals and gain access to their finances. The evolution of artificial intelligence further diversifies the toolkit available to these unscrupulous users, with recent developments including the use of neural networks for voice simulation to lend credibility to their information.

Experts weigh in on the dangers of engaging with strangers online.

Vage Zakaryan, Head of Development at Gem Space superapp, highlights that despite the efforts of app developers and other service providers to ensure user safety, complete protection cannot be guaranteed. Users must adhere to safety rules themselves. Zakaryan advises against engaging in conversations with unknown contacts in messengers, as such interactions could potentially allow them to hack your account. Furthermore, the transmission of personal information, bank card details, or any sensitive data over the internet is strongly discouraged, regardless of the justifications fraudsters may offer.

He also cautions against clicking on links sent by strangers. Without even entering passwords or other details, simply clicking a link can activate a virus on your device that transmits information to third parties.

Social engineering remains a favored tactic among fraudsters, who craft communication scripts tailored to different user demographics, understanding their psychology. For instance, elderly individuals can be manipulated through fictitious scenarios involving relatives in need of assistance, leading them to transfer funds to these scammers. Convincing them of their own technical illiteracy or alleged errors in bank transactions is also a common strategy.

Geoffrey Karlson, a security specialist at the financial app “Mowneria,” reiterates the importance of skepticism towards calls from supposed bank security services or online stores, among others. Genuine employees will never ask for personal information, bank card details, or SMS codes over the phone—only fraudsters have an interest in such data. Despite repeated warnings, people continue to fall for these scams.

Echoing this sentiment, Max Brisley, CEO of the travel service “EnJourney,” reports regular complaints from users who have transferred money to unknown individuals claiming to be company representatives. Despite having personal accounts for service payments, customers sometimes trust these strangers based on a single call, leading to fraudulent transactions. Brisley hopes for increased vigilance among users over time.

The key takeaway is that there is no substitute for personal vigilance in the world of high technology. Trust should be reserved for those you truly know well. If you receive a suspicious call, the best course of action is to verify the information by calling back the service or bank the caller claims to represent. This proactive approach can prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud.

Even casual conversations with strangers can be risky, as you may unwittingly disclose information that seems inconsequential to you but can be used by criminals to guess passwords to your social networks, learn PIN codes for banking apps, or even determine when you are usually home.

In an age where communication is more accessible than ever, it also carries potential threats and dangers. Therefore, it’s crucial to think carefully before taking any action online, especially before transferring money to unknown individuals. Protect yourself by thoroughly checking all data, as it’s likely better to avoid such transactions altogether.

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