Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Don’t be scammed by the scammers

Remember this. If you come across something you are not sure about, exercise caution. Your best defence against scams is to say no, or don't respond. If you are interested in an offer that has been made to you, make sure you seek independent advice before going any further. Also go to a search engine like Google and see what others have said about the so-called deal you are being offered.

Beware of scam online classifieds ads for smart phones, tablet devices and other small electronic items which are never delivered following payment.

Erase your hard drive before disposing of old computers. Scammers can download the information from your old disk drive and use that information against you. Simply deleting individual files is not enough to remove personal details.

Beware of scam callers asking for payment to deliver parcels

Beware of scam callers pretending to be from your post office and requesting payment to redeliver an undelivered parcel.

Beware of scam gift voucher & product offers on social networking sites users to beware of scam posts which offer fake gift vouchers or products for free. The vouchers are offered in exchange for personal details such as your date of birth etc.

Protect your credit card details from lottery scammers. They will tell you that you have just won a great deal of money but they need your birth date and bank information to transfer the money to you. Sometimes they will ask for sums of money from you to pay the tax on the winnings.

Be wary of scammers who offer bogus government rebates for the installation of solar panels. After you pay for the panels, you will discover that the government didn’t offer rebates.

Beware of scam websites making fake claims of government affiliation. Many times their websites look real so contact that government to confirm what you have seen on the suspicious website.

Beware of scam calls offering carbon compensation payments. Be alert to scam calls offering to pay carbon price compensation into your bank account and asking you for your bank information.

Be alert to scam telephone surveys which gather your personal and banking information and use it to make future scam phone calls you receive appear legitimate.

Beware of fake Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) emails which claim that you’ve visited illegal websites. These emails are a scam. If you receive one, delete it! Don’t open any attachments. There will be a virus or worm in it. NEVER click on pop-up anti-virus alerts.

Beware of scam callers pretending to be from the Government or a bank and asking for an upfront fee to reclaim your overcharged bank fees.

If you’re shopping online for a Mother’s Day gift be alert! Scammers use online classifieds and auction sites to post scam ads, taking your money but leaving you without that perfect gift for your mum.

Be wary of scam calls claiming that your computer is infected with viruses. How would they know this if they haven’t hacked into your computer?

Thoroughly check the legitimacy of charities when donating to Japan disaster relief or any other relief especially when they contact you by email.

If you meet someone special online, be careful: scammers use online dating websites too but they’re not genuinely after your love, only your money!

Could you really be lucky enough to win a new car or money in a promotion or lottery you did not enter? Don’t be fooled.

A state-of-the art DNA test that will reveal the blueprint of your genetic code and hold all the answers to your health, wealth and personal prosperity? Not likely! Don’t be fooled by that garbage. It stinks to high heaven. You will pay for the garbage you get.

Be cautious if you are approached on holidays by strangers offering travel club memberships which seem too good to be true.

Be on the lookout for scam online classified ads for residential and holiday rental properties. Say goodbye to your money before you give these crooks your money.

Check the authenticity of flight booking websites before making any reservations for domestic and international travel.

Be cautious of investing in expensive betting schemes and software packages which make false claims of guaranteed winnings.

Beware of scammers who call offering fake government grants. They want your personal information.

Don’t let someone trick you into paying to have your number listed on the Government’s free Do Not Call Register. It’s free.

Be cautious of classified ads for pedigree pups at prices that are too good to be true.

Beware of scammers offering compensation for disrupted travel plans.

Be wary of advance fee fraud disguised as bogus job offers.

Be on the lookout for an email purporting to be from the federal Taxation Office (trying to trick consumers into providing their private details.

Be very wary of door-to-door salespeople offering to sell you digital television products in your home.

If you are selling something over the internet or through the classifieds, you may be targeted by scammers posing as legitimate buyers! They will pay you with bad cheques.

Be wary of advance fee fraud scams disguised as 'winnings'.

Be careful when purchasing vouchers for discount holiday accommodation.

Be wary of bogus security software or 'scareware'.

Steer clear of sports investment schemes.

Some Facebook subscribers get a hoax email under the guise of a password reset email. They just want your information.

Businesses should watch out for unsolicited emails or letters that claim to offer 'free' business directory listings.

Use caution when entering competitions or responding to ‘free’ offers online and purchasing concert tickets from fake fan club websites rather than official ticket sales.

Be extremely cautious about getting involved in business opportunity schemes that promise a lot of income for little or no effort.

Avoid fake job offers and investment grants sent by scammers in an attempt to steal personal information and money.

Be wary about a fake Police email that claims your credit card has been used in transactions related to criminal organizations. They are looking for your card number.

Be wary about an email that invites recipients to claim a bogus tax return of $452 by completing an online application.

Small to medium businesses should be on the look out for unusual or complicated orders from overseas, particularly orders which are being paid for by credit card.

Don't tell scammers your holiday plans! They will show up at your house when no one is home.

Protect yourself from identity theft when using social networking sites especially during the holiday season.

Avoid telemarketing calls promising ‘free' holidays’.

Be wary of fake rental properties and shared accommodation listings. After they get your money, you then discover that you have been scammed. If the owner makes various excuses as to why you can't inspect the property, run away.

Beware of an airline ticketing scam that can download malicious software onto your computer.

Be wary of inheritance scam letters from scammers.

Beware of fake advertisements offering used vehicles for lower than expected prices continue to appear on car websites, online classifieds and online auction sites.

People who use the internet to buy goods from overseas should be wary of fake emails asking them to pay 'Customs' a range of fees, duty or taxes before their goods are released to them.

Domain name renewals – don't be dot conned! Small business operators and individuals with their own internet sites continue to be confused and caught out by unsolicited letters warning them that their internet domain name is due to expire.

Have you recently received a spam email offering you work as a 'transfer manager' or 'financial' manager for an overseas company? These 'job offers' are scams!

Beware of calls from anti-virus sellers. They will pretend they know your computer
It’s a consumer scam that reached epidemic proportions in Canada last year.

You get a call from someone who says your computer is at risk of crashing because of a virus or malicious software. The caller may suggest he or she works for Microsoft and is aware of issues with your Windows operating system.

You may be asked to open a program called Windows Events Viewer, whose contents are worrisome. They look like a long list of errors, some labeled critical. The caller offers to guide you through the steps to fixing it.

Some victims report being scammed after responding to Internet pop-up ads for anti-virus software.

The irony: By falling for a service that falsely claims to remove viruses from your computer, you may be installing viruses that are even harder to remove.

Once you have downloaded their software, there is no guarantee that any reputable anti-malware program will get rid of it. So, now you also have to go to the added trouble and expense of reformatting your hard drive.

The selling of fake anti-virus programs — often called shareware or spyware — has gone viral in Canada.
A scammer sent me this message by email on January 8, 2012.

Dear Subscriber,
Virus Notification

A DGTFX Virus has been detected in your rogers folders. Your email account has to be upgraded to our new Secured DGTFX anti-virus 2012 version to prevent damages to our web mail log and to your important files. Click your reply tab, Fill the columns below and send back to us or your email account will be terminated to avoid spread of the virus.

User name:
Reconfirm Password:

First of all, Rogers is always capitalized. That told me right away this was a scam. Second, I contacted Rogers and they told me they didn’t send that message.
Obviously, the scammer wants my username and password. Naturally I didn’t give it to him or her.

On December 18th, 2011, I received the following scam.

This is an Official alert to inform Rogers account users.

We regret to announce to you that with the rate at which we have newly registered members everyday, our data base is getting congested and now we have decided to under go deactivation of all unused account and some other of our account we find error on for both premium and free accounts.

Every account owner that receives this message has encountered this error and will have to update his/her account with the requested information below.

Please be sure to click the REPLY button first before attempting to fill the info.

User name:
Date Of Birth:
Country Of Residence:

After you must have filled this information and have it sent back to us, your Rogers account will not be interrupted/terminated and will continue as normal.

Did you notice that the scammer used the word account when in fact he or she should have used the word accounts? That tells me that the scammer is not educated very well. He or she is probably from a third-world country.

Naturally I didn’t give them that information. The scammer could have used it to get credit in my name or even apply for my birth certificate and use that to get a passport in my name.

As much as 70 to 80 per cent of the frauds are reported daily, says the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. The centre, formerly known as Phonebusters, is operated by the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police and the federal Competition Bureau.

If you put your name on the national Do-Not-Call List, you’re not immune to such pitches. These people don’t have to follow the law since they’re calling from outside Canada. Hang up right away. One such scammer told me that I couldn’t be on the Do Not Call List if I didn’t pay the fee. I knew he was full of shit because there is no fee to be on that list. The fact that he called me is proof that he is not a registered telemarketer because those that are registered have copies of that list.

Don’t give the caller your computer access codes and don’t provide any credit card information.

Be proactive about malware. Use anti-virus software that you have acquired from reputable sources. Keep it up-to-date.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission made an $8 million settlement with sellers of bogus shareware called Winfixer, Drive Cleaner and XP Antivirus. The average refund mailed to 300,000 consumers last month was $20.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says payment for the repair service sold by phone or online ranges from $35 to $469 a call.

Allowing a third party to download software or remotely access a computer carries risks. They can use key loggers to capture sensitive data such as your online banking user names and passwords.

If someone calls you out of the blue offering to provide this kind of help, it’s probably a scam. Remember, it’s not rude to hang up on somebody who’s trying to steal your money and information. Tell them to go to Hell.

I get calls from scammers offering duct cleaning services but the companies they claim they are representing aren’t listed in the phone book. I usually then ask the following question. “We don’t eat ducks but we do eat chickens. Do you also clean chickens? By then, they realize that I am aware of their scams.

An ounce of awareness is better than a pound of anxiety.

1 comment:

Sabrina Taylor said...

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