Nearly everyone knows someone that has been scammed. There are many forms that a scam can take and many are quite convincing. With some actually having a 70% success rate. This blog post is going to shed light on some of the most common scams that involve the internet.
1.The Nigerian (or some other country) email scam,
This scam has been around for years, and yet people fall for this scam all the time. The scam starts with an email sent from someone overseas that would like to give you some large amount of money. Once you respond they will tell you that in order for them to send you a fortune, they will need some money to cover expenses. They will then ask you to wire them a sum of money. This will continue, and they will keep asking for more and more money. Obviously, you are never going to get a large amount of money from them, and you just lost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. There are many different forms this scam takes, but they are all fake. If someone from another country contacts you, it probably is a scam, and you should delete the email. People do not just give you money. If it is to good to be true…it probably is.
2. Craigslist Scam,
Craigslist, unlike eBay, is not regulated very often, so scams are relatively common. This scam happens very often, and if you are not aware of it, you can be easily taken. Let’s say you list your item for $300, but then you have an interested party send you a check for $1300. They will say that the extra money is to cover the cost of “shipping your item overseas.” Generally, they will not use the actual name of the item you are selling. They ask you to send the extra money they gave you to the “moving company.” The money you send to the “moving company” is real, but the check that the person sent you is fake. Obviously, the moving company is not real, and the scammer just received $1,000 for free. Never send money to anyone, unless you actually know the person, but still be careful even if you do know the person.
3. Phishing scam,
This scam is one that causes more viruses and steals more information from people than almost any other scam. The scammer will send thousands of emails that look just like emails of major companies such as: eBay, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, etc. These emails are formatted to look just like the actual emails; however, they are coming from email addresses that are slightly different from the actual company. If you are not sure what the real email address is, just Google it. Also, never click on links from email, as these can link directly to viruses and other malware. To be safer, navigate from your web browser directly to the website (ie: www.amazon.com). You can also check the spelling and grammar of these emails, since they are often filled with typos and other simple mistakes. Never click on a link from an email and put in credit card or any other personal information. Many times they will disguise this with a “reactivate account” or something similar to this.
4. The “I’ve been mugged or arrested” scam,
I, personally, have had 3 or 4 grandparents almost get scammed by this one. It can be convincing since the scammer will use the name of someone close to you. This is usually an email or even a phone call from a so-called family member, saying that they are being arrested or mugged and need you to send them money. They generally try to call a grandparent and actually use the real name of their granddaughter or grandson. There is a simple way to make sure that the person calling is really a family member. Ask them a question about their self that does not have to do with their name, birth date, or address. Try to ask a question only you would know the answer to.
5. The “Infection Detected Scam”
This is a very common scam, and also a great way to get a virus on your computer. These fake notifications often will be seen while you are navigating the internet. Usually, they usually will have flashing colors and warnings all over. The scams will often use scare words such as infection, virus, malware, destroy, injected, Trojan, etc. These are all used to scare you, and are not real threats. The actual virus is not on your computer yet, but if you click on it to protect yourself, they will then try to scam you out of a substantial amount of money. Again, do not pay money to someone you do not know. If you click on one of these and believe you might have a virus, take your computer to a local computer repair company.
These scams happen constantly. We have had lots of people come into our office that have given hundreds of dollars to these scammers. A basic rule of thumb is to not trust the Internet. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. The Internet is filled with scams and false information. It is simple and inexpensive for people to scam others out of money. Be careful, and if you are in doubt, feel free to call us or your local computer repair store.