How Easy It Is To Run a Scam
Many online scams need your compliance to operate. They need you to give the information that will be used against you. They need you to blindly trust and believe. Those who start from a position of scepticism, disbelief and caution are unlikely to be victims.
Those who step into the 'Net with a sense of safety and satisfaction are likely to be victims.
Most scams operate successfully because the victims are compliant, and in some cases, supportive of the scam.
This article is to alert you of what lurks out there and how you can protect yourself.
A Simple Example
A site requires your Real Name, Real Address, Email, Age and may require your Bank Account Number.
The last usually sets off fireworks. Unless this is some kind of Governmental Pension Scheme or private situation, in which the company you physically work for, (that is the place you get up and go each day and know the people in RL) sends your pay cheque, NO.
However, the other demands can also be suspect.
One of the interesting features of the Internet is your ability to search for people. There are many sites which allow you to enter a name and get a list of people with that name.
Whether you are on Facebook, whether you use a simple Google or go to a specific site which does searches, you can find people, just as they can find you.
If you have a peculiar name the search might be rather short, and perhaps you might be the only one. In other cases there might be a number turned up with the same or similar names.
Using your real name is not that safe for even if it is 'only' a writing site, it will not prove to be an 'only'.
This should never be given on any site. This allows you to be physically located. If one must give an address (I am not discussing those local sites run by your bank or government but general sites like forums, message boards, writing sites, etc.) be suspect.
Learning where you live, even if you only put your town, if one has your name they can find you and perhaps link you with nearby schools, and get map so as to become familiar with your neighbourhood.
On a particular site a user was advocating using real names. She had posted her name as A... T.... and stated she lived in Baton Rouge. It was simplicity itself for me to put her name and city into a search site and find her exact address, her phone number.
I warned her about it, but she shrugged it off, saying 'she can't live in fear'.
It does not require a great leap of faith or extreme deductive reasoning to know the danger she is placing herself in.
Anyone over fifty is assumed not to be aware of the tricks. Not to believe or know what an I.P. is, or how to do searches. It is believed that those over fifty are fair game for scammers because they believe. They do not know.
The person under thirty is assumed to know the tricks. To know how to hack (maybe tried at their school), know how to spoof, create duals, do all sorts of things. The insecurity of the Internet is known by them, (or assumed to be known by them) as they know their names.
The older person is expected to be unaware of all the tricks that can be played.
A Carefully Edited Report
A site, not in America, was taking 'contributors' and promising to pay them for their work. It asked for Real Name, Address, Email, Age, and Bank Information.
It is evident on the basis of this one sentence what happened to the contributors.
The fact that the site was taken down does not imply that the money that was sent to 'old friends' was returned or the information taken by the scammers deleted.
There was nothing that the F.B.I could do, the scammers lived in another country and had used computers at a cybercafe. They had used nick names and although it was possible to find out who was where at a particular time, the other country couldn't care less.
The attitude was, 'you have stupid people in America, that is not our problem'.
The infamous Jamaican Lottery Scamproves how easy it is to fool people, and it is only recently that a clamp down is being done. That does not help those who suffered ten years or even five years ago.
Firstly, create an email account under a nickname and use it everywhere.
Secondly, do not use your real name, even if it is asked for. Used a name that is not yours. Do not give your address. Giving a general is as close as you can go. When it comes to age, claim to be 30.
Being 30 suggests you were born with a keyboard in your hand. That there were computers at your school, that you have computers at your job and when someone says 'search' to you the first word is Google.
Anything you do online which needs to be secure, use the Dark Web.