Sadly, there are several types of online scams that you need to look out for. Many of them have been around for some years, whilst others are newer. Many online scams concern phishing or asking for your personal details and banking details. We’re going to look at some of the most prevalent online scams, along with looking at what you need to do to protected yourself from them. A rule of thumb is never to give your personal details online unless you are absolutely sure that the site is genuine (Paypal for example) and that the site is secure. You can ascertain if the site is secure if you see a little padlock on the left of your search box on your tool bar. You might think that most of these scams are easy to spot, but you’d be surprised how many people fall for them. The scammers only need a small percentage of people to fall for such a scam in order to make it worthwhile for them.
1. Unsolicited requests for money
One type of scam is a direct request for money, after you have been groomed by the sender of the email. This might be from a person who has posted a job offer on a professional jobsite, for example. You send you CV, and they send you a contract, but if you look at this carefully you will see, somewhere, that it is a sample one that has been downloaded from the internet. You will be asked to sign it and return it and then, as happens in one scam, you will be asked to send money to cover your air fare.
2. Fake lottery wins
There are emails telling you that you have won a lottery that was held by a reputable company such as Microsoft, and of course an amazing amount of money has been won. Check with the legitimate company to find out if they have run a lottery and don’t follow any links on the email, as they will be to a bogus site and not the real one.
3. Phoney investments
You may also get an email asking you to invest in an incredible new company. Now, if you get one of these, stop and think; how could you possibly be considered good investor potential when you only earn an average salary?
4. Poor service offers
If you have a website, you may get an email saying that if you buy into SEO services, your site could easily get into the top search engine rankings pages (SERPS). If you have one of these, check the first ten pages of Google’s SERPS. If the company who sent the email isn’t in these, then how could they help you?
How to steer clear of online scams
The best piece of advice to give you about online scams is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, so don’t waste your time or money. Always check website addresses and look carefully at where the site is registered, for example ng is Nigeria where some of these scams originated. Also look carefully at the grammar, spelling and punctuation as some emails are clearly not written by native English speakers.
Take care and don’t be a victim of an online scam!
Lynne Evans is a writer who knows the importance of being aware of your online security and disregarding emails which don’t seem quite right! She recommends the Accident Advice Helpline as a great way to claim against physical injuries.
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