With the advent of better technologies and a huge advancement in the world of internet marketing, there had been a parallel increase in the incidences of Internet Frauds. Online frauds have increased many folds in the couple of years and have become a severe headache for the entire humanity. Of all the different types of frauds present in cyberspace, it’s the scams that steal your money that are obviously the worse.
Types of scams that target your cash are usually the Check Cashing scams, Advanced Fee Fraud scams, and phishing techniques like fraudulent requests for your bank details, all of which are typically initiated via email.
Here are some of the tips to avoid these fraud emails and avoid getting scammed:
- If the emails contain no personal information about you or come with some wrong information, beware that it might be a spam. That’s because in most of the cases spammers have no idea about you and mostly guess it from your email id. Try to avoid using any unnecessary links provided in those mails. The fraudsters will try and cover their tracks by addressing you as “SIR” or as “The Recipient” or other titles, but it is a good thing to watch out for. Obviously if you do reply to an email like this, they will then probably have your name so expect the follow up email to be addressed to you. But how ever this is not the perfect indicator as many spammers are capable of stealing personal information from your machine and are well aware of your name.
- Another good giveaway is the bad spelling and grammar. Sometimes it gets too bad and is difficult to understand. Get alert. It may noy not be from trusted sources and may be a scam.
- Web Based Emails: This indicator is especially seen in cases of Advanced Fee Fraud. To have a own POP3 domain email account (for examples ours is …@something.com) you first have to purchase that domain, or work for the people who own that domain. Fraudsters don’t work for businesses like this and don’t want to purchase domain accounts. So they will set up free web based email accounts for you to contact them via – for example hotmail, msn, yahoo or gmail or others which are all heavily used by scam artists. Legitimate business personels always have their own domain, so that they have no need to send or receive emails from these free web mail accounts. Web based email have also grown popular with scammers not only because it is free but requires little or no identification.
- Paying with Cheques: This is another give away where you got to be alert. In this modern age of computing and internet banking, when most of the money transfers are done through the net via the different banking and pay sites, the scammers generally prefer the old methods of payment via cheques. They will ask you to return a certain amount of the cheque money and promise to send you the cheques there after. But if it is a scam you will probably find that the cheques will bounce after a certain time and you will end up losing some of your own money rather. So avoid schemes which ask you to receive money and forward a percentage of that money on to somebody else, whether it be by check or money transfer. This may not only cause a loss to you but also remember that transferring money for someone else is also a severe crime and you may fall on to serious troubles.
- Urgency of the mails: This symptom is present in many, many scams that you find on the Internet. The scammer always wants you to take quick and hasty decision. This is for many reasons. The longer you take to decide, the better the chance you have of determining that it is a scam. Also scammers don’t use the same email addresses for too long because they either get shut down or because people have become aware that they are being used to commit fraud, so scammers need you to reply before they move on to their next scam, and their next email. So the scammers will provide you with a thousand of reasons to get you with a quick decision saying that the offer is for a limited period only or that only a few copies of the product is left. So get aware from these type of offers and take your own time. Inquire properly about the source and make sure as to where your money goes before buying anything on the internet.
- Unexpected Fees: This sign is usually isolated to Advanced Fee Fraud because the victim paying “fees” is the premise of the scam – its how these types of scammers actually make their money, but it is worth mentioning so we can highlight some common examples of what fees you are expected to pay that show up in many scams. Probably the most common is the “release bond” which is sometimes referred to as a “security fee” – the scammers will usually say that you have to pay this for some sort of insurance so their bank will release the money to you. But get the red flags on your head…. inquire properly about the person you are dealing with otherwise you may end up with some serious losses.
- Sympathy: Many scammers try to earn your sympathy by making up a sob story to get you on to the trap. Be aware of them and protect yourself before taking any hasty decision.
- Poorly constructed websites: Most types of email scams are conducted through email alone, but a significant number of scams like fake job offers will create fake websites to promote the scam, in order to get the victim to further believe the scam. The websites however, are often poorly constructed, with bad grammar, spelling mistakes and don’t really do a whole lot. So, it is advised that get a thorough knowledge of the information provided on the web site before jumping on to those luring offers.
- Our final indicator is a truly universal one that practically counters all Internet scams. A scammer knows that people aren’t going to jump through hoops for them unless they have a pretty significant motivation, and with 99% of scams out there, its money. So they try to motivate you with money against little or no effort. It is true that people make money all the time on the Internet, but what people often don’t understand is that it takes time, dedication, luck and hard work. Scammers usually fake easy ways to earn a fortune which simply never exists. There are no easy ways to make large amounts of cash online. If you come across an offer claiming to make you a millionaire or something to that effect, stand back and use your common sense.