With the ravaging pandemic, many people have found refuge in remote working. The lockdowns and the safety considerations have driven up the demand for remote working. The reality of the virtual world has received a considerable boost. With the enhanced adoption of remote working come the added risks. The demeanors that characterize the physical world are more pronounced in the virtual world and made worse by the ability of anonymity. People are capable of saying anything behind their Smartphones.
Take remote working for example. Online-based contracts are more likely to be misrepresented than in the physical environment. The potentially transient nature of online business transactions lends itself to what could be expensive litigations that are conducted in the physical world. In simple language, if you enter into an online business arrangement and you are defrauded you can only seek remedy in a physical court where you end up spending on lawyers. The sheer hustle of the physical court process is enough to discourage victims from seeking a remedy.
Anyone who has consistently worked remotely for a considerable time would likely admit suffering some form of fraud from the transactions at some point or the other. The most common form of deceits online is failure to receive payments for services rendered. It is a common practice online for people to seek the procurement of services with no intention of paying. In the physical world, nonpayment is shunned upon but the inability to be anonymous in the physical world could be a greater deterrent.
There is no shortcut to avoiding being scammed other than familiarizing yourself with the virtual environment. The virtual world could be wide but not actually as deep as it would want us to believe. On the surface, you encounter an outer layer of ‘free and universal access.’ This may give you the notion that, despite the costs of the device coupled with broadband or Wi-Fi costs, internet access is ‘free.’ Maybe free may mean universality of availability but even that only a fraction of internet users can stream services like Netflix and so on. Furthermore, in some countries, the internet is a restricted service that is closely monitored by authorities.
So, when your online invoice is ignored for an exceedingly long period or dishonored completely, you may be tempted to give up on online-based transactions. However, once you begin to observe a certain trend, you become wiser and more productive online. You may find, for example, that majority of online frauds seem to have a sense of urgency. The initiators seem to have figured it out so well that they demand transactions almost immediately after the hurried virtual introductions. On the other hand, you may find that genuine online transactions may take a while to take shape with initial negotiations emphasizing building of familiarity and trust.
I once got a local person who needed my services so much that he suggested that we postpone the drawing up of a written agreement. I reasoned that since the deal was indeed urgent and in any case, from the chemistry that we had struck on the online chat, I was assured of longer term prospects. The initial chats and emails were just spontaneous and optimistic exchanges promising long-term benefits together. I did the first task and the second and the third and continued doing more for a couple of months. When I decided to raise the issue, I did so by raising an invoice and attaching the evidence of the services rendered. That was the last substantive exchange we had with him. I considered going to court for the hundreds of dollars expected from him, but the thought of the processes of procuring a lawyer and presenting my ignorance at a court of law was enough of a deterrent.
Genuine online transactions cannot be based on quick profits and exceptional ROI. Rather, they require time, caution, and perseverance. You will also benefit from developing a thick skin. If you are the litigious type, you may run out of steam fast upon finding yourself chasing shadows. This could affect your overall online efficiency. Taking time to build meaningful relations with enough self-disclosure among the participants. As a matter of fact, one of the most important aspects of online efficiency is the establishment of an online footprint. People and organizations with an established online footprint are less likely to be fraud. Frauds are usually fads.