Let’s face it, the internet just made a big difference in how we live these days. It had made everything easy, fast and just right at our fingertips. However, do you know that there are more threats that you can find in the online world than you can imagine?
Therefore, it would be more helpful if you make yourself familiar of these online scams and work on avoiding them.
1. Phishing Scams: Many internet users have received mails asking them to confirm their bank details by clicking on a link. The websites look very much like the real thing, and a lot of people have become phishing victims. They end up giving critical info like bank account numbers, passwords, and social security numbers and so on.
Avoid it: Banks will never ask you to verify such details over email. Never respond to such mails. Call up the bank and ask them about the mail you received.
2. Social Networking Scams: you may see posts saying you are being offered free products or some kind of prize/gift. All you have to do is ‘Like’, ‘Share’ or ‘Retweet’ or some such thing. Then a link usually takes you to a survey where you would typically be asked to divulge sensitive info. AT the thought of the prize, most people don’t realize they shouldn’t be giving out this info.
Avoid it: Anything that sounds too good to be true, usually is! Never fill out such surveys, even if they seem to have been sent by friends.
3. The Nigerian Scam: Though this is one of the oldest scams doing the rounds of the internet, many people are still falling for the bait. Typical letter asking for help to transfer funds is sent to you, and you are asked for help to do so. Once you agree, you are asked to send a small amount of money for bank transfers/fees. The reasons keep coming, and those blinded by visions of huge windfalls, sadly end up paying it. Or you get letters from people who ask you for money for their child’s surgery and so on and so forth.
Avoid it: Anyone who asks for your money or who wants to give you money without even knowing you is bound to be a fraud. Steer Clear! Delete the email and mark it as Spam. Report to your email service what is happening as well.
4. Wi-Fi HotSpot Scam: This is not very easy to detect. Usually happens at airports and other places where free or paid Wi-Fi is available. You login to the service and are happily browsing while the crook with his laptop nearby is in your computer digging for treasure.
Avoid it: change your settings and never auto-connect to unsecured networks. If you’re travelling, buy a gift card from Visa or MasterCard to buy Wi-Fi time at airports; your actual credit card info is safe. Don’t shop online or conduct any bank transactions unless you’re sure it’s a secure network.
5. Free Trial Offer Scam: You’re likely to see several such offers on the net, for a one month period. These are typically health related. You just pay peanuts for shipping. But there’s the disguised fine print that cleverly takes big bucks off your card every month.
Avoid it: Read the fine print very carefully. Check the company that’s making the offer. There are search engines that let you look for identical photos. You may find the same person testifying to the effectiveness of many different products; sure fire fraud. Try to get out of the contract immediately; otherwise cancel your card. Appeal to your card company for refunds.
There are still several scams and scammers out there. Basic rules of keeping safe are Never Ever divulging your personal and financial information to strangers and unknown websites, and never paying money before reading every single word on the screen.
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