Today, it is easy for criminals to create websites that look professional and generate emails that appear to be from legitimate sources. These websites and emails may try to get you to provide private information that could be used to steal your identity, or trick you into paying them money.
Scams can occur in many forms–by post, email, telephone or on the internet. Some scams are easy to identify, while others may appear to be the real thing.
The foreign lottery scam is one of the most common types of email scams, in which you receive what looks like an official email from a foreign lottery corporation. The subject line offers a congratulatory announcement, and may include the supposed amount of money you’ve “won.”
If the sender is an individual– or is, at least, obviously not an official lottery email – then you know you’ve got a scam on your hands. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org certainly is not going to be the guy to tell you that you’ve won several million rands.
If your name is not in the “To” section of the email, then this email has likely been sent to thousands of people, all in the hopes of snagging a few bites. And also learn to do a simple Google research you may find that not only is the lottery fake, but that it’s a well-documented scam.
Don’t give your information. Scammer emails routinely request your full name, date of birth, street address, and telephone number. This is known as a phishing scam, which is designed to get you to reveal sensitive personal information. Once you respond with this information, you’ve been hooked, and may ultimately end up with a stolen identity or, even worse, a drained bank account.
The best way to avoid the common email scam is to realize this one simple rule: If you did not enter the competition, you will not win the competition. And even if you do enter the competition, you probably will not win.
These are general surveys that can request your input. When you click on the link to take the survey, malicious spyware or malware is installed on your computer. Once this occurs, cybercriminals can spy on every move you make on your computer, collecting passwords, bank account information, and more. Suddenly, you may see thousands of rands worth of charges on your credit card bill for purchases you never made. This is result of identity theft, and it can ruin your life.
Offering jobs Scams
Scams that offer jobs have several different variations, but all are designed to steal your money, your information, or both. This common work-from-home scam attempts to suck you in with an email featuring a subject line promising you a large income, simply by working as a mystery shopper. You need no experience or education. Sounds too good to be true, right?
How to Avoid Common Scams Online
Whether it’s an email scam or a social networking scam, there are some dead giveaways when it comes to recognizing them before they get you. Here are five ways to avoid common scams:
Don’t Believe Promises of Money or Prizes. Any email or social networking link that promises free money or prizes should be dismissed, as these are almost always scams.
Be careful. Whenever there’s a national disaster, con artists have a field day sending bogus requests for donations. Instead of donating through email to an unknown charity, give to legitimate charities.
Never Disclose Sensitive Personal Information. Any person who sends you an email asking for sensitive information, such as your bank account number or Social Security number, is up to no good. No matter what they promise you, mark the email as spam and move on.
Whenever you receive an unsolicited email asking you to “click here,” beware – even if it sounds like a legitimate company. The same goes for social networking links that take you to what appear to be login pages. These may be, in fact, sites designed to steal your information.