One of my Facebook friends started a very funny thread about a Nigerian having sent her an email that she had millions of dollars coming to her and just needed to send a small fee. We had a lot of laughs but it made me start thinking. As long as humans have had anything worth stealing scammers have existed. No doubt the first person to discover berry bushes got scammed out of most of their berries by a cave dwelling neredowell that saw easy pickings. May have told her he knew of a bigger berry patch that could be hers just for handing over her basket of hard earned picked berries.
Today scammers have gone global with the internet and social media platforms like Facebook. I sat stunned watching Dr. Phil one day while one elderly woman after the other told how they met the love of their lives. Usually handsome middle aged white guys living in another country usually Africa that needed help getting their fortunes out of the country and had fallen madly in love with them. One poor soul watched as her elderly mother told him how she gave her life savings of over $600,000 to one of these. It boggles the mind of how easily they were taken in but are the rest of us not much better? Greed and fantasy sometimes overwhelms our good sense. Who hasn’t fallen for the Facebook color scheme hoax or one of the many sick children hoaxes that are all over the internet? Let’s all be honest at one time or the other we have fallen victim. Usually it is just a harmless hoax but sometimes these are vehicles for trojans or other viruses or ways to get our personal information.
These are the top ten internet frauds:
Phishing scams these are emails that pretend to be someone else to get your information. Be very wary of any emails that show up from banks, credit cards etc. If you look at the link take a good look at where it comes from. That will appear in your search bar. If you get anything from a bank etc. Do not click on the link email or call the institution and ask them about it. This is a very old scam and dangerous as they will ask for you information and once given can raise havoc with your identity and finances.
Nigerian 419 Scam these have been around so long that my friends joke was that she heard that she had won a lot of money and only had to send a fee of a couple of thousand dollars. Sadly a lot of people have been taken in by these and other similar scams. If someone asks you for money to get money it is a scam. I had this pulled on me at a bank a person outside stopped me and said that they were illegal and had a lot of money coming in could I just give them the cash and they would give me their check. I told them let’s just go in the bank and take care of it there. Of course they declined.
Greeting Card Scams these arrive in email pretending to be from a friend or family member. Once the link is clicked a trojan is launched on your computer or other malicious software. Never click on something that is suspicious. Call the family member and ask.
Shopper needed check fraud these as well as other check frauds are in all kinds of guises. They ask that the recipient cash a check and then forward part of the funds to the sender. Of course the check is bogus and the recipient is left holding the bag. If you get a check like this show it to your bank. They can usually tell you if it is a fraud. Also people don’t just send random people checks. Use your common sense.
Reshipping and Payment processing frauds these ask people to process payments through their bank it is also called money laundering. Again people don’t send people money for nothing.
Lottery Winning Scams If someone tells you that you won a lottery you never enterred why would you believe it?? Don’t.
Pump and dump stock scams again if someone offers insider information on a stock think twice. It means the price is being pumped up fraudulently then dumped leaving the other stockholders holding the bag. Usually you.
Fraudulent link scams Be very careful about any link you click specially on social media for so called fun apps for instance changing Facebook colors and others these usually contain malware that can ruin your computer or worse take it over.
Killer Spam: If someone emails you that a hitman is after you go directly to the police. It usually is a scam and wants to extort money. If it isn’t then why take chances. Regular people are not targets of hitmen. This isn’t Goodfellas.
Scareware Scams: This will pop up claiming that the system is infected and instructs the user to click on the link to clean the bogus infection. Do not do it. When you do you get an advertising bug or worse. Never install any software except from a certified provider. If you don’t understand this get a friend to help you. If you download something that is not it can ruin your computer or steal information.
These are the top ten. Since I am a lady of a certain age I know that a lot of you in the same boat can be victims of these scams. Please be careful. Also you must be very careful of how much information you put on your social media. Make all your information private. Hide your friends list and photos. Never, ever, ever take any romantic overtures as real unless you meet the person and then only with a couple of friends in a very public place. Social media is a haven for frauds of all kinds. It is perfect. You can be anyone and claim anything. You have all been on this Earth long enough to know that what seems to good to be true usually is and nobody gets something for nothing.
Thanks for reading and please stay safe.