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Online Scam Awareness

Updated on September 26, 2009

Be Safe Online and Off

There are more and more people falling victim to Internet scams. Several of the common scams that people are getting are usually from bogus email. These can range from letters informing them that they have won a foreign lottery or asking for contributions for different
charities. There are even scams involving the heart. Everyone should to be aware of the many
forms of scams. I don't really think one single entity would even know of all the different
scams. There are many government agencies that try to keep up with the many different
versions. It's not so much they can't keep up with the scams it's more the scammers. The
numbers seem to multiply daily with the amount of scams traveling through the web.

The best possible advice I have to offer is delete with out even reading them. In the
instances where you may actually read one think about this for a minute, this seems to good
to be true. Now that was your first warning sign in your own head. If your still reading now
you may just be desperate yourself. These people are looking for just this type of person.
Don't let false hope and promises of wealth blind you to the facts.

If you did not sign up for the lottery you have all of a sudden won it's a scam. This is one
of the biggest scams people fall victim to every day. People lose thousands in hopes of
having millions. Never give personal information about yourself to someone you know nothing
about. Chances are you will lose a great deal of money are even your credit identity. If you
enter personal information there is no way to retract your information. Even if you don't go
so far as to send the "required" fees they will ask for they now have you in a nutshell.

There are various scams where people will contact you in regards to charity donations. Most
people already contribute to specific charities but may be willing to give to others if the
charity seems worth while. The best possible way to know if you are really contributing to a
specific charity is leave the email notification and look them up. Individual people should
not be profiting from charities so to go into the main website of any charity to donate will
prevent false contributions.

Selling and buying on auction sites, newspaper listing or even magazines can even involve
forms of scams. These will usually involve high dollar items like land, automobiles and even
exotic expensive pets. There are many variations which these could be in buying or selling
the item. Be vary leery about giving personal information to people during these particular
transactions. Bogus check frauds hit people really hard here. If you are selling items you
may be over paid and asked to send the difference back. Always wait until the check clears
to know it is a real check. Most all people will send the correct amount if it is anything
other than the agreed amount you may be a target. Western Union payments are another big way people get targeted here. Western Union employees are trained to abide by all laws and
different forms of fraud and scams but still some fall through the cracks. I have listed a
couple of websites where you can see, hear and read about various scams.

* Never send money to a stranger using a money transfer service.
* Beware of deals or opportunities that seem too good to be true.
* Don’t use money transfer services to pay for things like online auction purchases.
* Never send money to pay for taxes or fees on foreign lottery winnings.
* Never send a money transfer, in the name of a friend or relative, with the intention of
changing the name to someone you have not met personally.
* Never send a money transfer, in the name of a friend or relative, in order to delay
payment of the transaction to someone you have not met personally.

These are just a few warnings listed from Western Union to help prevent scams and fraud.

Scams offering jobs paying top dollar. If we all think about this why would you pay some one
to work for them. If a company wants you to work for them should it not be them paying.
So many times I have read if you pay X amount of dollars we will send you X amount of jobs
which you may qualify. I can't really see paying a company to work for them then they will
pay me. Maybe there are some real companies that work this way but for me I prefer to be
paid for my work. If I submit an application or send a resume and get a job that seems real.
If I have to send them X amount of dollars work a month then wait on a paycheck seems like I
just wasted a month and still have bills to pay.

From personal experience I want to warn people about emails from banks. I was not a victim
but could very easily of been. Recently I saw an email from my bank. This didn't seem
strange since I am always getting emails with offers and such. The strange thing was it was
in my personal email address. The bank in question was my business bank. I have a separate
email address established for business so it was strange. The subject line said my account
had been suspended so with out thinking about it being in my personal email I opened it.
Then I actually realized the bank did not have this email address. The email said I needed
to update my information and provided a link which would access my account once I entered
the required information. I printed the email and drove to the bank and presented it to the
bank manager. She looked it over and it appeared to actually be from the bank but she
noticed the one small glitch. The email address it came from was missing one letter. She
told me to go home and forward it to the fraud division of the bank so they could trace the
link back. People can very easily fall victim to this scam because like me my first thought
was why would my account be suspended. The one thing that saved me was knowing banks never send links for you to click on your account. They never send personal messages in your
email. They send emails telling you that you have a message in your secure message center.

If your bank does not follow this practice I would advise you to change banks.

The last scam I want to bring to attention is of the heart. Sometimes this one hurts more
than any amount of money lost. Online dating is something I have previously written about in
a positive way but now I want to stress the disadvantages it could have. People prey on
people who seem or appear to be desperate to find a mate. Be aware of foreign exchanges
where people speak of love to quickly. Be even more aware when they start talking of
marriage to quick. Mostly be aware when they start talking of how desperate they are to come
to your country but lack the funds for travel. If they start talking of the failing health
of relatives that need medical attention and need money. Know that people can fake pictures
they can fake email love letters they can even fake phone calls. Don't be fooled by far away
love that seems to good to be true, it probably is.

There are still many scams and fraud activities that are on the web daily. If you just do a
search on any search engine you can read more.

Love, trust, honesty and truth it would be so

nice if everyone lived by those. Be safe online and off.

Keep Our Money


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    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 

      8 years ago from United States

      Very good info, it seems like so many people are still taken in by these types of scams.

    • Helen Cater profile image

      Helen Cater 

      10 years ago from UK

      I have noticed that since strating hubpages I am being sent more and more of these type of emails. I do not read any unless I know the person, but my friends would not send this type of email. People who try to scam others are rotten and should be banned from the internet for life. I know this is impossible but with articles like this we can make everyone a little more aware.

    • SunShineSnow profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Texas

      Jiberish you are so right. I pretty much never answer the house phone anymore.

      BkCreative thank you for sharing the story. We are really on our own, without any knowledge and totally trusting we fall victim everyday.

    • BkCreative profile image


      10 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      It just never ends. Even if you don't respond to a scam - they come looking for you. Yet we condemn other countries that have stopped such activity on the internet - but here we are told it violates our freedom so we can't offer such protections. Good grief! It is only when it gets so out of hand - will it be addressed until are on your own!

      Here's a story:

      A co-worker who was waiting for her IRS refund had been online contacting the IRS. So one day when an IRS email arrived for her - she responded. An official looking site - but fraudulent. I had to tell her that the IRS never sends emails - her bank account had been wiped out immediately. She showed me the email - it looked exactly like the IRS - except they do not send emails.

      In S. Korea for example (number 2 in the world in technology after Japan - we claim to be 16th) when you use the internet you must use your special i.d. number - this eliminates all this nonsense we go through - people can be easily identified. Further, you cannot open some US sites, even by well known companies as they are often filled with viruses, cookies, spyware, etc. Here, it is allowed but other countries do not allow it.

      We should not be naive but we should demand better internet safety.

    • jiberish profile image


      10 years ago from florida

      Wow, it almost makes you not want to go online or answer the phone. Good Info, thank you.


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