Many people have fallen for scams, and not just any body. The “big” and the “small” alike. The artisans and the professionals alike too.
Scammers are always your “nice pals”. They come with several juicy, wonderful and very beneficial offers that of course result in great financial reward or better still solutions to to your unemployment or lack of a partner. It could be a win in a lottery run by a bank or a mobile phone operator sent into your email when you have never entered into any lottery or sweepstakes for that matter, it could be on your dating site inbox where you are shown very great pictures and possibly taken through a webcam session with a semi nude girl to entice you!
They will promise you heaven in advance but at the end you lose your whole savings, your whole world to them. In that way, businesses have been lost, and families broken, and sometimes life ended in suicide when the victim totally falls out.
How scam artist know you exist?
Scam artist are very internet savvy and they always hang out in social places, or use email harvesters, or look up phone numbers to get your contact details. Once they get your contact details, they start their project on you.
Scams have been rife for quite sometimes. They have been there as far back as before maybe before the telephone came into existence. But with the coming of the Internet, it becomes very easy for scammers to target you from any corner of the world. Globalization has boosted scam activities in the past decade.
Scamming is unnoticed by various government and non-government agencies. The commonest Scams by the scammer as listed on National
Consumer League’s website (an agency that tracks people’s reports about scams) are
1. Fake Checks – Imagine you are selling over the net or mail a car. The car is $3,000 and sending the car is $1,000. Then someone comes along and offers you $7,000. Send the car, cover your costs, and send me the balance.
Such a nice offer. So you get a check (only that it is fake), you send the car and in the process lose $4000 plus anyother money you wire back to this scammer.
2. Bogus Internet Sales Offer
You could have this coming from several Asian merchandise sites or even ebay. You are shown a picture of a very perfect product but when you order for it, you get “potatoes” or nothing at all.
These are commonly sent to your mail. “You have won …. in …… Click here to redeem…” If you have every seen that sort then you have seen a scammer at work.
You see a mail appearing to come from Chase Bank or Aol, very often companies you do not have any business dealing with sending you information that you need to verify your details for instance. That is a phishing scam there.
Sometimes they send you a link that has the anchor text correct but the link is to a scam website. These are commonly sent to people’s emails to trap them into divulging personal details and parting with money for fake bills and services.
5. Bad credit loan offers
You are offered a loan even without credit check, without bottlenecks but you are asked to pay something upfront to access the loan offer.
This scams operates and succeeds in some cases. Unfortunately the scams succeeds in a fairly good number of cases. A main reason why it succeeds is that scammers play on a number of factor. They often have better information than the victim. How? A scammer knows that when you deposit a check in a bank, it has to clear. This process will take some hours or days depending on where the bank to honour the check is located. They send a check to you in excess with instructions to deposit immediately. You do that. Later you are asked to refund excess money “accidenally” sent to you in error. No problem, you send back the seeming “excess” funds. Then comes the unbearable aspect – the check never clears because it is a fake. The victim enters into problems.
A lawyer sent two very costly laptops to a lady who he met in an online dating site. It was only after some issues that he found out he was being swindled. This type of relationship scams are common anywhere on the Internet where relationships can be struck. They could happen in opposite sex or same sex relationships. You start to get along with a person that has a pretty looking face (from the profile pictures you saw) and giving in to your entreaties. You chat with them, send mails back and forth and then they begin to demand for money from you.
Avoiding and escaping scams
It is very simple. Be too cautious. That is be over cautious. When you get a mail from someone or some organisation you have never heard about, assume it is a fraud.
Google the name of the person or the company. It is very likely you are not the only person that would have been targeted by the fraud attempt. One reason frauds succeed is because the victim often plays on alone. Try to research. If you do not want to discuss it with people close to you, go online. Open an annonymous message in a forum that talks about scams. People will help you decipher what is like fake or real.
If you are being pestered or threatened that you will lose your account or house or whatever if you don’t take acction, you can contact your local government attorney or call 911 that you got a mail something will happen to you. Well 911 option is the extreme, but if you are very lazy and want someone to do the research for you, it may be a good option