You Can't Always Trust the Internet

Are you aware of some of these dangers online?

What To Watch For

1. Advance-fees Scams - The thief baits you in by getting you all excited about a free prize you have won over the internet. The catch is that before you can get your free prize, you must pay some fees. These fees keep coming and coming, and you will probably never receive any free prize.

2. Wire-back Scams - The thief sends you a check or puts money into an account in your name. You are then told to wire some of that money out for some logical reason the thief has come up with. The payment for the funds they sent to you is returned because they were fraudulent to begin with, and you're left to cover the amount of their fraudulent payment.

3. Phishing - These are fake e-mails sent out by a thief trying to get your information. For example, you may receive an e-mail posing to be your bank asking you to update your password. You do so, but come to find out it wasn't really your bank, and whoever sent you the e-mail has access to your online banking.

4. Vishing - Since Voice of Internet Protocol technology became available as an option to traditional telephone services, criminals found an opportunity to steal PINs, SSNs, and passcodes from people thinking they were talking to an actual organization.

What You Can Do

1. Protect your personal information - Don't give away any of your personal information (banking info, SSN, credit card number) on the Internet unless you are actually going to purchase something.

2. Watch out for unsolicited emails - Never respond to an email when you don't know the sender. Usually responding to these emails only verifies that it is your valid email address, and this can result in further illegal activities.

3. Be sure the person exists - Before you start giving out any information to whoever is asking, make sure that you are talking to a legitimate representative of a legitimate organization. Don't be afraid to do some research or ask some questions. Make sure you know who you are talking to!

4. Verify your method of payment - If you're making a payment online, make sure you are on a secure site. Also don't forget to go back and check your statements to be sure someone charged you the correct amount.

5. Don't fall for the pressure - Watch out for high pressure sales. Most fraudsters don't give you a chance to think twice about a decision, and are demanding you to pay right then and there. These usually come with "sketchy" ads found on the Internet.

6. Pay with a credit card - A credit card is probably the safest way to pay for something online. If any problem comes up when paying with a credit card, you can easily dispute the charges.
Internet Scams - Protect Your Money Series

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