Avoid an Internet Scam
The internet is a fantastic place that provides an almost infinite source of information, entertainment, education and more. However, the internet is at the same time a meeting place for a large number of people, which means that you can easily become the subject of some internet scam. Many of us consider ourselves to be experienced users who can’t be surprised, but there is always an imaginative scammer who can mislead even the greatest experts, let alone the average internet user.
We present you the most common internet scams.
Fake Social Network Email
One way in which scammers can reach you is to send emails that contain logos or social network signatures. Some even buy domains that contain names of official companies such as linkedin.tk.com or microsoft.k.ml or similar. They present themselves as experts. They often tell you that your profile was stolen or hacked. In order to get it back, you need to give them your password and address. They will then check what can be done and let you know if they have managed to recover your profile, your files, or something else. If you receive this email, you need to check the following:
- Does email come from a non-official website, that is, does the address contain an unknown web site (for example @facebook.com can be @facebok.com)?
- Do you have access to the profile that was allegedly hacked and can you use it?
- Are they asking for your password or money to help you?
If the answer to any of these 3 questions is affirmative – you guessed it, it is most likely an internet scam.
Unexpected Attachment In the Email
We get attachments in emails all the time. Scammers use this fact when it comes to internet scams because people are used to getting attachments. These attachments often hide malicious programs that can damage you in various ways. Therefore, if you receive an email from an unknown address, our advice is not to open it, but simply delete it. If you believe that this email is important, be sure to scan it for viruses and avoid falling for an internet scam.
Social Media Scams
Today, a large number of people are constantly connected to the internet, and social networks contribute to that. Almost everyone can find you, follow you, and start communicating with you. It has many good sides, but it’s also easy for scammers to get to their next victim. They use this to find a victim to tell their story, seek help, and promise a valuable reward if you help them. Social networks make it possible for these people to tell a lot more different stories than by email. They can send pictures (which may not be theirs), and you can get the wrong impression from their profiles. Therefore, unexpected friend requests can be an introduction to various internet scams.
When it comes to social networks, most often we speak about money scams. There are certain ways to safely pay the money. If you are unhappy, that money can be quickly and easily returned to your account. Also, if you order goods over the internet, there is also the option to pay when the goods arrive. This way you can see what you have purchased and whether it meets your expectations and requirements.
There are many profiles which people use to see goods over the internet. This is great, and the initiative is justified. But scammers can easily enter the picture here. They use fake profiles and look for money in advance. So when they get enough money, they shut down the profile or rename it. Therefore, make sure to check the payment methods they accept and use the official money transfer channels in order not to get scammed.
Pop-Ups and Other Suspicious Advertisements
There are three types of advertisements on the internet. Those that are boring, those important to you, and those that are part of some internet scam. It’s easy to get rid of those boring ones by simply clicking on the [x] button, you do not want to remove the ones that are important to you, but how to identify an ad related to an internet scam?
Recognising those is not always easy – many scams are based on the fact that you gain confidence in what you are watching, reading, or listening to. Given that a large number of pages are now blogs on which users post images of their lives, they can also serve the purpose of false representation and speech. In these situations, it is best to think in the following way: would you give your money, your documents, or anything else to a stranger on the street that makes promises? If the answer is no, why would you do it with some internet site?
This type of internet scam is common around the world. Scammers randomly dial numbers on Skype and represent themselves as experts in solving technical problems. If you allow them to access the computer, they can disable it, and in return ask for money on the pretext that it is “for repair”. They present themselves as technical staff of Microsoft, Intel or other well-known IT companies, with the desire to gain your trust. Then they convince you to go to a random site to download the “latest program” that can solve your problem, which didn’t exist in the first place.
What are the responsibilities of this online store? What is all in the small print? Before purchasing or paying for the service, be sure to pay attention to this section and to the following items:
- Do they have a return or refund policy if you are not satisfied?
- In what way and through which channels they return your money?
- Is their profile verified and is the website secured? This is extremely important because although the site is verified, it may happen that there is a code that tracks your entries, so it can easily get to your important information. It does not have to be the seller’s intention. If the site is unsafe for using and entering data, there is a possibility that there is a script that follows what you type in. Most search engines mark secure and insecure sites, so look for that in order not to get into an internet scam.
- Have they clearly stated their warranty?
- Are there complaints channels if you are not satisfied with the service or product?
These are questions that you should pay special attention to because you do not know what is behind the front page you are looking at. Internet browsers have improved and protect users, but scammers can find a way to overcome this protection.
How to Avoid an Internet Scam
Whether you are an experienced user or have little knowledge about the internet, you can always fall for an internet scam. Scammers have gotten more clever with the way they operate and will stoop to nothing to get your money or valuable information.
Seniors are often targets of internet scams because many of them are not aware these scams even exist.
For this reason, it is important to know you have someone you can contact to ask for advice when you fear you might be the target of an internet scam.
Zoe from Computer Coach Australia has over 35 years of experience in working with computers and scammers recently targeted her too. She got an email inviting her to a peace conference and promising all expenses would be paid. This is just the newest altruistic scam going around. These people target those who are good at heart and willing to help others.
The internet is becoming more and more popular. It is expanding and with it the danger and the possibility for criminals to commit the so-called internet scams. Cynics would say that once you connect to the internet, you have given the green light to scammers, hackers and criminals. However, the benefits of the internet are too great for you to simply give it up.
If you get a suspicious email, Skype call, or you fear an online shop is shady, contact Zoe for advice.
Phone: 0407 956 071