Everyone Is At Risk
Using the internet has become an everyday thing for most of us, especially computer teachers. People buy, sell, download and share things over social media, or simply surf the web. However, there is also a large number of scammers, and these people go out of their way to convince us that they are “the best thing that has ever happened to us.” People who believe such a story very quickly realise that it was just a story served in a very convincing manner and that they now lost something very important to them – be it money, a password, social security number or, in the most severe cases, identity.
Accordingly, the most common ways to get scammed over the internet are via email, social media, pop-up ads, Skype calls, suspicious websites and small print on the bottom of the page.
Internet Scams Via Email
The first email in the world was sent back in 1971 when Ray Tomlinson sent it to himself. Since then, emails have become the main means of communication on the Internet over time. It was not until recently that instant messaging became more popular. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber and others are commonly used. But the email is still the most important and easiest way of formal communication within companies and among people. In 2018, a total of about 270 billion emails were sent. Of this number, about 60% of emails were spam, which makes about 160 billion emails!
Spam emails are unwanted emails that serve to advertise a service or product.
Spam emails are very often not scams. In the past, if you left your email address on a site, and another company bought that site, they got a mailing list along with it. Now you receive emails from some unknown company you do not want at all. Most often you are not even interested in the company’s business, nor their new offer, nor some promotional codes that promise you a discount. If you do not open them, certain email clients (such as Google’s Gmail or Microsoft Outlook) delete spam messages like they never existed.
Spam Message Scams
However, there are also spam e-mails that are not so harmless and they do not offer you any discounts. At first glance, these malicious spam emails look the same as the rest. However, if you open them, there may be several things:
1. The harmful program is hidden in one of the pictures (many companies have electronic signatures in the picture);
2. There is a hyperlink to a website that can insert a malicious program into your computer;
3. There is a risk of identity theft or so-called “phishing” – the email looks like it came from an official institution (for example, from a bank) and threatens to shut down your account if you do not pay a certain amount;
4. Nigerian scams – someone offering you a large sum of money in you give them money first so they can pay taxes or expenses.
Do-Gooders Be Warned
Most often the people who fall for these scams are altruists who only wanted to help a person that seemed to be in need. These selfless acts seldom go the way that they imagined, as was the case with my friend.
This scam below was sent to my friend who is a therapist. It seems that therapists, coaches, yoga teachers and even nurses – people who actually help others – could be at risk here.
My friend got the email from a colleague who didn’t realise it was a scam. My friend trusted the colleague and that it was legitimate.
This scam below is particularly cruel as it focuses on good-hearted people. I believe it is important to warn those who care for others that they are at risk of being scammed.
Recently, people have been getting emails titled: “Invitation….AWPAD International Global Peace Conference 2019” which is what Zoe received as well. Luckily for Zoe she was alerted to the altruistic scammers, after finished chatting with her friend about her shocking experience of organising grief therapy for a mothers daughters, while she the woman was supposedly dying in hospital from cancer.
AWPAD stands form American Women for Peace and Dialogue but this email is a complete scam.
They invite people from all over the world to attend the conference with promises that they will cover all of the expenses, while theirsays that the delegacies will be responsible to pay for their own accommodation.
And while they claim the AWPAD conference started in 2010, a check conducted by Scamadviser.com proved that the website was only 92 days old at the time.
Here is how the infamous email looks like:
How To Prevent Getting Scammed
We do not want to scare anyone, but internet scams are everyday occurrences. Scammers are devising all sorts of ways to get to something that matters to you. As the internet has evolved, and now everyone can communicate with each other, scammers use it for their own selfish purposes and on people who are unaware of their most common tactics.
For this reason, it is advisable to get a computer teacher, especially if you are not so familiar with the way things work on the web.
Zoe is a qualified computer teacher who’s been in the computer industry since its inception in the mid 1970’s. With her help, you can learn all the important things that will ensure you are safe while browsing the web, sending emails, or simply looking up recipes.
Zoe can teach you how to use your computer, and do it a way that will suit your needs and learning style, as well as teach you how to avoid falling into tech traps.
She is an NDIS registered computer teacher who has extensive experience working with seniors and people with disabilities.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch today! We’ll be glad to answer all of your questions.