The more you use the Internet, the more you appreciate its convenience and access to services like banking and shopping. Unfortunately, the Internet also gets exploited for frauds that can sometimes look surprisingly genuine. Here are some of the tell tale signs of typical frauds, and some safety checks you can use to avoid them.
How it works: The most common fraud arrives by email, claiming to be from your bank, credit card company or some other service you use. It usually asks you to send your account details, and sometimes your PIN, either by return email or through a website. Various tricks are used to lower your guard, such as ‘security and maintenance upgrades’, ‘investigation of irregularities’ or ‘bills or charges due’.
Fraudsters can scan the Internet for email addresses or generate them at random. They don’t need an online service provider’s mailing lists. They may send just a few dozen emails or thousands. Even if only a few unsuspecting people bite, it can be worth the effort. These emails can look genuine by using the names of real people, logos and branding, links to pages from the real website, or “official looking fine print”.
Safety checks to avoid fraud
• Only use your PIN through the official login site offered by your provider.
• Check official websites for announcements.
• Use only secure sites for keying in financial or personal information.
• Take common sense privacy precautions, such as avoiding financial transactions at “internet cafés” and libraries.
• Act quickly if you think you’ve been conned. If you get a suspicious email tell the service provider. If you have sent any details through an email or website you’re a bit worried about, contact your bank, credit card company or service provider right away.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I might be of any assistance to you at this time!