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Online Scams and the Gambian Expatriates: Recognising and Avoiding Digital Threats while Living in Ireland

Online Scams and the Gambian Expatriates: Recognising and Avoiding Digital Threats while Living in Ireland

27 Oct 2023


Online safety is one of the biggest concerns of the migrants in the world. For the Gambian migrants who earn a living in developed countries like Ireland and help their families make ends meet through every money transfer to Gambia, online safety is of paramount importance.

The people of Gambia are pressed by poverty and unemployment in their native country to the extent that they have to find work opportunities abroad.

A report by Gainako stated that over 140,000 Gambian migrants live in different countries. Some of them also reside in Ireland to work due to the country’s robust economy and thriving job market. Their financial contribution to the Gambian economy is huge compared to the diaspora’s size. The World Bank said that in 2022, the Gambian migrants had sent over $600 million back to the country as remittances.

If you are financially struggling, you will be conscious about every single penny that you earn, and you are particularly concerned about your money’s safety.

Another reason for being careful about your financial safety is the rising digital threats that migrants have to encounter. Because not knowing about these threats can be a sure recipe for your financial disaster.

In Focus

This blog brings into focus online safety because nowadays, you send money to Gambia from Ireland using digital means. Be it banks or online money transfer companies, cross-border fund transfers take place virtually. And it is not only confined to cross-border payments in the context of remittances.

You are as vulnerable to online scams in remittance transfers as you are in your online shopping.

Furthermore, scammers tend to stay a step ahead of you and the technologies you use for these purposes. Therefore, one must highlight some of the most common online threats and fraud and also share some simple and practical tips to stay safe online.

The Need

Imagine where putting food on the table is a grave challenge; can you afford to lose the money you have earned after toiling hard in a foreign land? If simply earning money forces you to leave your family and loved ones behind and struggle in a foreign land, how would you feel about falling prey to an online fraud you had no idea about but could have guarded yourself against easily if you had a slight idea about it? Well, even a thought of it is frightening. Wouldn’t you agree? 

Therefore, the answer to these and many similar questions necessitates the need to be safe online and know about online threats.

Online Scams – Types and Modus Operandi

Imagine that you have to send money online to Gambia from Ireland, but you are confused about how to do it, which service provider to trust and most importantly, you are just unaware of online fraud. Would you do it? Well, the answer seems obvious.

But the need is pressing. So, the best course to follow is to learn about online scams and be prepared to guard yourself. But to appreciate the concept fully, it is important to look at some of the online fraud statistics. Take a look below.

Online Fraud Statistics

Over 4.8 million American consumers reported being victims of online fraud in 2020

Over 57% of global scam victims were targeted through emails in 2020

About 37% of reported online scams targeted social media and retail sites in 2019

Phishing attacks formed about 30% of online fraud in September 2020

Covid-19 was used as a pretext in over 80% of online scams in 2020

In 2020, 60% of online scams targeted Brits aged 25-34

Over 55% of people worldwide encountered at least, one type of online scam in 2020

Learn here about some of the common buying and selling scams.

Now, let’s look at some of the most common online scams.

Emergency Scam

In this, the victim is made to believe that their help is immediately required for someone they care about. A car accident can be cited, or you will be told that someone is stranded at an airport.

Extortion and Sextortion Scams

In extortion, the scammer will use actual force and violence to obtain your property and then make you pay to get it realised. In Sextortion, however, the same purpose is achieved by threatening to expose your sexual data.

Blackmailing Scams 
Scammers try to get the sensitive information they think they can exploit you with and will threaten to physically harm you for not cooperating and demanding money.

Imposter Scams

In this scam, the scammer poses to be the legal representative of an institution, for example, your bank, and first confuses and worries you by showing a false situation. Once you get worried, they ask you to make a payment to resolve the situation.

Investment Scams

In these scams, the scammers will ask you to invest capital in certain businesses because they carry no risk. It sounds like a ‘too good to be true’ kind of scam.

Romance Scam

In a romance scam, you will be tricked into believing that you have found your soul mate.

It is only at a later stage that the scammer demands money from you under one pretext or another that you realise that it is what it is – a scam!

Online Money Transfer Scams

In these scams, a service provider will offer you deals for money transfers that will excite and encourage you to do business with them. And once you are in, you will get fleeced.

Protecting Yourself Against Online Scams

Ensure your online safety, particularly when you are trying to find the best ways to send money to Gambia, because, as mentioned earlier, carelessness in this regard can be a financial disaster.

Your online protection, however, is based on the following two parts.

Knowing the Red Flags

Scammers insist on doing everything on texts or emails

Their communication has grave misspellings and grammar issues

They force you to send money immediately

Their emails are strange and unrecognised

You will be told to transfer funds via means that are hard to trace

Knowing the Tips to Safety

Never share your data online and on unsolicited messages or call

Never send money to someone you do not know personally

Confirm from your family members if you receive a request from them before responding

Keep changing your passwords; keep them unique and different for different platforms

Never share your login credentials

Never use an open and public Wi-Fi

Make sure to log out after every banking session

Keep your software updated

These tips are simple to follow but can help you with your optimised online safety.

Wrapping Up the Discussion

Make sure to send money to Gambia with a reputable service provider such as ACE Money Transfer to deliver funds safely and swiftly and get live and market-competitive exchange rates for a low fee to add to the financial aid you are providing your family with.

FAQs:

What is online safety?

Online safety is about protecting yourself from the rising and ever-present digital threats that are primarily meant to fleece you financially.

Why online safety is important for me as a Gambian migrant?

Your online safety is important as a Gambian migrant because you work in a foreign land to earn a living and support your family back home. In this context, your family financially depends on you absolutely, prohibiting you from being careless in financial matters.

What are some of the online scams I should know about?

Some of the common online scams you should know about include Phishing scams, investment scams, lottery scams, job scams, imposter scams, romance scams, emergency scams, extortion and sextortion scams, and blackmailing scams.

How do I know if I am being scammed?

You can know if you are being scammed if a) an offer seems too good to be true, b) scammers force you to make payments quickly, c) their communication has grammatical and spelling mistakes, and d) their emails are strange and unrecognised.

How do I guard myself against online scams?

You can protect yourself by a) keeping your software updated, b) knowing about the scams and modus operandi (explained above), c) not sharing your data online and with anyone, d) not using an open Wi-Fi connection, and e) changing your passwords regularly. 

Resources:


Online Safety Tips Business & Finance

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