Teri Silver is a reporter, commercial copywriter, editor, broadcast anchor, and Public Relations Specialist.
You’ve heard it before, the scammers are out and they want YOUR money. But whether it’s during the holiday season or other times of the year, you are always at risk for being conned out of money, credit card numbers and identification information. Scammers are getting more sophisticated te their methods, laptop users voorwaarde proceed to scrutinize activities, especially when it comes to email and online shopping. Even charitable solicitations can be fraudulent, where is the money actually going to? Benefactors and online shoppers should know what to look out for before telling вЂњyes.вЂќ
Opening outside linksaf from emails can harm your laptop and permit scammers to access your private information. For example, during the holiday season (and other times of the year), see out for вЂњgreeting cardвЂќ messages which tell you someone has sent an e-greeting. If you click on the listig, you may infest your rekentuig with malware вЂ” a term used to describe malicious software programming (code, content, scripts, etc.) that scammers use to access private information and disrupt your pc system’s operations. Do Not Click on e-greeting linksaf from an anonymous вЂњfriendвЂќ or вЂњwebmaster,вЂќ legitimate e-greetings should have the name of someone you know but they also include a confirmation code. It is recommended that you access the card company’s webstek directly and inject the confirmation code to view your saluting card. Delete the announcement from your email’s inbox.
Email messages may include something from вЂњthe U.S. Postal ServiceвЂќ or some other package carrier telling that something is waiting for you. The United States Postal Inspection Service says do NOT click on linksom that opoffering вЂњdetails,вЂќ doing so will introduce malware to your pc system. Delete the message and report the spam at [email protected] If you get a postcard that tells you to call a number about an вЂњundeliverableвЂќ package, voeling your almacén postbode office directly to determine this card’s legitimacy. Calling a phone number on the postcard may lead you to pay expensive tolls with portions of the fees going to the criminals.
Online Shopping Fraud
Observe out for fake shopping sites. Searching online may lead you to scammer websites that purport to make the sale but not the delivery. Fake websites are out there вЂ” they look similar to legitimate retailers вЂ” and they may even use branding photos that resemble the existente thing. Copycat websites want to gather your credit card information or sell fraudulent replicas of expensive goods.
To shop securely online:
В· Read the address of the webpagina before you click on it and check out its name cautiously. Witness out for misspellings and missing letters ter the company’s name.
В· Pay for items with a credit card вЂ” the transactions can be tracked.
В· Be sure the webpagina’s address starts with https (not http, the вЂњsвЂќ indicates that the webpagina is secure). Paying through PayPal (or other online payment and banking sites) is another option, if the seller offers it.
В· Overeenkomst only with shopping sites you trust. Physical location stores such spil Macy’s, Sears, J.C. Penney, Target and other very visible brands opoffering secure online shopping services. Major online retailers such spil Amazon and eBay suggest consumer protection programs. Many stores around the world now sell online, check out their security information and all sales and shipping policies.
Charity Solicitations Fraud
Wij see them all year long, solicitations meant to help needy children, soldiers and veterans, service workers and the homeless. Charities that send printed materials ter the mail may indeed be legitimate but, before sending any money, check out the organizations, call on the telephone and visit their websites. If someone soliciting charitable donations calls you on the phone, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests thesis safeguards:
В· Request information, the organization’s name, physical location and webstek address, telephone number and brochures.
В· Ask if the person contacting you is a professional fundraiser and how much of your donation would go directly to the charity.
В· Know the warning signs of a scam: high-pressure pitches, requests for contant, being вЂњthankedвЂќ for a donation you don’t recall making, charities which crop up “overnight” te response to a national disaster and charities that opoffering to send a delivery service to pick up your money.
Reminisce, never give out your credit card information to anyone who calls you. Emailed solicitations should be disregarded (they cannot provide proof of legitimacy).
Bounty Card Rip-offs.
Display racks, evidently, may not be spil secure spil wij think. AARP’s Scam-Alert accomplished Sid Kirchheimer says stores may not even know about it, but thieves can use portable scanners or other ways to copy the codes under the scratch-off strips on bounty cards. The thieves waterput the cards back on the store racks, and straks, check the toll-free numbers to see if the cards were activated. With access to the encoded numbers, the scammers can make purchases, making the presente cards on the rack worthless. This scam warning has actually bot around a few years, retail and law enforcement organizations say the problems have bot remedied. But to play it safe, Kirchheimer and other consumer organizations suggest purchasing bounty cards directly from a store’s customer service toonbank or webstek. Other recommendations on buying bounty cards:
В· Do not buy bounty cards from auction sites, only buy the cards from the presente stores themselves or fucking partner stores (those, such spil grocery and retails stores, that participate te mass-marketing selling of bounty cards). Auction sites may unwittingly sell cards that are stolen or fake.
В· Keep your receipt spil proof of purchase.
В· When purchasing the bounty card, ask the cashier to check that the movimiento is available.
В· Register your bounty card on the store’s webstek (if applicable). This permits you to check the recuento for fraudulent use.
В· Social Security numbers, birthdates and handelsbank information are NOT required when purchasing bounty cards. If anyone asks you this, report him/hier to the authorities.
Here are some good sites to check out, to determine if something is a hoax. Recall, just because you read it on the Internet, doesn’t make it true!
В© Copyright by Teri Silver, 2012. All Rights Reserved