90 percent. According to eMarketer, 90 percent of the internet time of users is spent on apps. Sometimes these experiences aren’t as smooth as users will like them to be. One common obstacle that people find themselves navigating through is phishing and spams.
We are sure, at this moment in time, there are at least a handful of junk emails in your inbox. Every time you use an app or website, third-party ads may pop up, enticing you to click on them. But, you are better off avoiding them!
As per Nucleus Research by Radicati Group, Email spams alone cost businesses as well as users a whopping 20.5 billion USD a year! The fact that this is just one kind of spam means that the overall act is much more costly for users and businesses alike.
As spams become prevalent in the online world, it is essential to be careful when using apps, opening emails, and browsing the internet.
Types of Spam
Third-party billing spams are of various types.
Sometimes links are embedded in emails, while other times, you might find them when browsing the internet.
For instance, various Vodafone and Telstra subscribers reported about how they ended up bearing the brunt of a third-party billing scam where users were charged for airG chat without consent for it.
airG took swift action when the issue was brought to their notice. They also amped up the security of their services along with offering better transparency to users about the terms and conditions along with the mechanism of charges.
There are other ways you can end up subscribing to services as those described in this airG spam. For instance, sometimes, you may receive a call from an operator who persuades you to place additional charges to your bill, which they allege belong to your friends or family members. If you fall into the trap and accept the charges, the additional amount starts being reflecting in your bills.
Similarly, you might get spam emails that are disguised as lucrative offers. If you click on the link provided, you might end up unknowingly sharing your data with the business, or worse, sign up for a service you don’t need.
In case you are experiencing a similar issue, make sure to:
- Find the website link shared in the message of the charges, and see if it is a legitimate service.
- In case it is, call the helpline to unsubscribe to the service as well to block such billing from your account.
- Request a refund by lodging a complaint. If the telecom operator doesn’t respond, you can complain to the ombudsman.
How to prevent falling for spams?
For a smooth experience, it is imperative that you take action by yourself to prevent such spams from occurring. Here are some ways you can do so.
Protect your email id
Email is by far the most common medium for spams. As per Spam Laws, 45 percent of all emails received are spams! However, there are measures you can take to protect your email id from unwanted emails.
For starters, don’t share your address or any personal data on unknown sites. Trust us; you are better off without that free coupon.
Always use multiple email addresses. It is advised that you have three email ids. One for work, one for socializing and another one for subscribing to services, etc. This ensures that your personal emails are not mixed up with junk.
Avoid entering a spammer’s mailing list
You might argue that getting on a spammer’s email list is not in your control. But, it turns out it is! You see, there are actions you take to make it easier for spammers to find you.
Begin by making a rule not to open emails that seem fishy. Even if you mistakenly do, never click on any links in the email. Additionally, don’t reply to spam even if your intentions are to teach the spammer a lesson. It is best to avoid them.
A lot of people think that unsubscribing from a mailing list is the ideal way to block such advances. However, it is actually counterproductive. It notifies the spammer that a given email address is valid.
While apps have simplified our lives, they have also made us susceptible to attacks. Learn from the various third-party spam incidents happening around you. Keep your guards up. To prevent billing issues, keep a close tab on your phone charges to best identify any spams before they end up becoming a nuisance.