Emergency Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 8:25 AM

Emergency help centerEmergency scams targets family members and play upon their emotions to rob them of their money. Scammers have no shame, and scams that target the elderly are the lowest of the low. The "Emergency Scam" (sometimes called the "Grandparent Scam") is not new, but it is increasing in occurrences.

Compromised contact lists from hijacked email accounts have been used to send potential victims an "urgent" email request for money, from a friend or relative with whom they have a correspondence. Common themes continue to be hospitalization or imprisonment while away from home. The friend or relative is unaware that their account has been used to send out these requests to everyone on their contact list.

In the typical scenario of an emergency scam, a family member receives a phone call from a scammer claiming to be one of his or her far relatives. Callers go on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. They claim to have been in a car accident, are having trouble returning from a foreign country or they need bail money.

You may get a call from two people, one pretending to be your family member and the other pretending to be either a police officer or a lawyer. Your "family member" asks you questions during the call, getting you to volunteer personal information.

Callers say that they don’t want other family members to find out what has happened. You will be asked to wire some money through a money transfer company. Often, victims don’t verify the story until after the money has been sent.

In some cases, scammers pretend to be your old neighbour or a friend of the family, but for the most part, the emergency scam is directed at grandparents.

Protect yourself:

  • Scammers are counting on the fact that you will want to act quickly to help your loved ones in an emergency

  • Never send money to anyone you don’t know and trust. Verify the person’s identity before you take any steps to help.

  • Don’t give out any personal information to the caller.

  • Ask the person questions that only your loved one would be able to answer. Call the other family members or friends to verify the story.

  • Ask yourself if the caller’s story make sense?

 

Charity Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 7:47 AM

poor personCharity scams take advantage of people’s generosity and kindness by asking for donations to a fake charity or by impersonating a real charity.

Philanthropy misrepresentation is the demonstration of utilizing trickiness to get cash from individuals who accept they are making gifts to philanthropies. Frequently a man or a gathering of individuals will make material representations that they are a philanthropy or piece of a philanthropy and approach imminent givers for commitments to the non-existent philanthropy. Philanthropy misrepresentation incorporates imaginary foundations as well as misleading business acts. Beguiling business acts incorporate organizations tolerating gifts and not utilizing the cash for its planned purposes.

Charity scams involve scammers collecting money by pretending to be a real charity. The scammers can approach you in many different ways - on the street, at your home, over the phone, or on the Internet. Emails and collection boxes may even be marked with the logos of genuine charities.

Often, the scammer will exploit a recent natural disaster or famine that has been in the news. Other scammers play on your emotions by pretending to be from charities that help children who are ill.

Scammers can try to pressure you to give a donation and refuse to provide details about the charity, such as their address or their contact details. In other cases, they may simply provide false information.

Not only do these scams cost people money; they also divert much needed donations away from legitimate charities and causes. All registered charities in Canada are overseen by the Canada Revenue Agency and listed in its database. You can also contact your local Better Business Bureau to see if they have any information about the organizations that interest you. If the charity is genuine and you want to make a donation, get the charity’s contact details from the phone book or a trusted website.

If you do not want to donate any money, or you are happy with how much you may have donated to charities already, simply ignore the email or letter, hang up the phone, or say no to the person at your door. You do not have to give any money at all.

Protect yourself:

  • If you have any doubts at all about the person asking for money, do not give them any cash, credit card or bank account details.

  • Never give out your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.

  • If in doubt, approach an aid organization directly to make a donation or offer support

  • Search the databases to check that the charity that has approached you is genuine.

  • Ask yourself about how and to whom would I like to make a contribution?

 

Money Transfer Request Scam

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 7:33 AM

dollars in an envelopeMoney transfer scams are on the rise. Be very careful when someone offers you money to help transfer their funds. Once you send money to someone, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to get it back

The Nigerian scam (also called the 419 fraud) has been on the rise since the early-to-mid 1990s around the world. Although many of these sorts of scams originated in Nigeria, similar scams have been started all over the world (particularly in other parts of West Africa and in Asia). These scams are increasingly referred to as "advance fee fraud".

In the classic Nigerian scam, you receive an email or letter from a scammer asking your help to transfer a large amount of money overseas. You are then offered a share of the money if you agree to give them your bank account details to help with the transfer. They will then ask you to pay all kinds of taxes and fees before you can receive your "reward". You will never be sent any of the money, and will lose the fees you paid.

Then there is the scam email that claims to be from a lawyer or bank representative advising that a long-lost relative of yours has died and left you a huge inheritance. Scammers can tell such genuine sounding stories that you could be tricked into providing personal documents and bank account details so that you can confirm their identity and claim your inheritance. The "inheritance" is likely to be non-existent and, as well as losing any money you might have paid to the scammer in fees and taxes, you could also risk having your identity stolen.

If you or your business is selling products or services online or through newspaper classifieds, you may be targeted by an overpayment scam. In response to your advertisement, you might receive a generous offer from a potential buyer and accept it. You receive payment by cheque or money order, but the amount you receive is more than the agreed price. The buyer may tell you that the overpayment was simply a mistake or they may invent an excuse, such as extra money to cover delivery charges. If you are asked to refund the excess amount by money transfer, be suspicious. The scammer is hoping that you will transfer the refund before you discover that their cheque or money order was counterfeit. You will lose the transferred money as well as the item if you have already sent it.

Protect yourself:

  • If you have been approached by someone asking you to transfer money for them, it is probably a scam.

  • Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.

  • Don’t accept a cheque or money order for payment for goods that is more than what you agreed upon. Send it back and ask the buyer to send you payment for the agreed amount before you deliver the goods or services.

  • Ask yourself if it is really safe to transfer money for someone I do not know?

 

Internet Fraud

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 2:56 AM

three monkeys: don't see, don't speak, don't hearScammers can use the Internet to promote fraud through unsolicited or junk emails, known as spam and advertisings. Even if they only get a handful of replies from the millions of emails they send out, it is still worth their while. Be wary of replying, even just to "unsubscribe", because that will give a scammer confirmation that they have reached a real email address. Any email you receive that comes from a sender you do not know, is not specifically addressed to you, and promises you some benefit is likely to be spam.

Malicious software - also referred to as malware, spyware, key loggers, trojan horses or trojans - poses online security threats. Scammers try to install this software on your computer so that they can gain access to files stored on your computer and other personal details and passwords.

Phishing scams are all about tricking you into handing over your personal and banking details to scammers. The emails you receive might look and sound legitimate but in reality genuine organizations like a bank or a government authority will never expect you to send your personal information by an email or online.

Scammers use a wide range of tricks to get their software onto your computer. They may trick you into clicking on a link or pop-up message in a spam email, or by getting you to visit a fake website set up solely to infect people’s computers.

Scammers can easily copy the logo or even the entire website of a genuine organization. So don’t just assume an email you receive is legitimate. If the email is asking you to visit a website to "update", "validate" or "confirm" your account information, be sceptical.

Delete phishing emails. They can carry viruses that can infect your computer. Do not open any attachments or follow any links in phishing emails.

Online auctions and Internet shopping can be a lot of fun and can also help you find good deals. Unfortunately, they also attract scammers.

Scammers will often try to get you to deal outside of online auction sites. They may claim the winner of an auction that you were bidding on has pulled out and offer the item to you. Once you have paid, you will never hear from them again and the auction site will not be able to help you.

Listed below are tips to protect yourself and your family from various forms of Internet fraud:

  • If you choose to shop online or participate in online auctions, make sure you know about refund policies and dispute-handling processes, and be careful that you are not overcharged. Also, you may want to use an escrow service, such as PayPal. This service will hold your payment and only release it to the seller once you have confirmed that you received what you paid for. There is usually a small fee for this service. A legitimate bank or financial institution will never ask you to click on a link in an email or send your account details through an email or website.

  • Never buy from bidders with poor ratings on auction sites, and do your best to ensure that you are only making purchases from genuine shopping sites. Never provide your personal, credit card or account information unless you are certain the site is genuine.

  • Don’t reply to spam emails, even to unsubscribe, and do not click on any links or call any telephone number listed in a spam email. Make sure you have current protective software or get advice from a computer specialist.

  • If an email or pop-up offers you a product or service that genuinely interests you and it seems reasonable, be sure that you understand all the terms and conditions and costs involved before making a purchase or providing your details.

  • Ask yourself: By opening this suspect email, will I risk the security of my computer? Are the contact details provided in the email correct? Telephone your bank or financial institution to ask whether the email you received is genuine.

 

Dating and Romance Scams

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 5:15 PM

Sunset on the beach

Whether you are a male or a female, you should read this as the scenario below could easily apply to either gender. Months of online dating doesn't seem to be paying off. You're flipping through hundreds of profiles a night and everyone's either shallow or not that good looking. You finally think your luck is turning around when you hear from a lonely widow from Eastern Europe. She is gorgeous in her pictures and seems really into you! Alternatively, maybe you are a female and you just connected with a man working or being a soldier overseas.

After a few emails, you start to fall in love - and are thrilled to hear she reciprocates, calling you (after four to five months) "the love of her life". When it comes time for you two to get together, she tells you she needs money. Maybe she can't afford a plane ticket. Maybe she's sick and needs medicine. Maybe she lost her wallet in a foreign city or maybe she had a flood or a fire at her home. Or, one of the latest reasons ... she needs to take an AIDS test, which is required in her country before international travel.

Whatever it is, it seems like a small price to pay for true love - and it would be, if the love were "true". But this isn't who you thought it was - she may not even be a woman, but a guy in Nigeria. Don't feel bad: tens of thousands of men have fallen victim to this and tens of thousands more will

Despite the many legitimate dating websites operating around the world, there are many dating and romance scams as well. Dating and romance scams try to lower your defences by appealing to your romantic and compassionate side.

Some dating and romance scams work by setting up a dating website where you pay for each email or message you send and receive. The scammer will try to hook you in by continuing to send you vague-sounding emails filled with talk of love or desire. The scammer might also send emails filled with details of their home country or town that do not refer to you much at all. These are attempts to keep you writing back and paying money for use of the scammer’s dating website.

Even on a legitimate dating site, you might be approached by a scammer - perhaps someone who claims to have a very sick family member or who is in the depths of despair (often these scammers claim to be from Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia or another low wage country). After they have sent you a few messages, and maybe even a glamorous photo, you will be asked (directly or more subtly) to send them money to help their situation. Some scammers even arrange to meet with you, in the hope that you give them presents or money - and then they disappear.

In other cases, scammers will try to build a friendship with you, perhaps even sending you flowers or other small gifts. After building a relationship, the scammer will tell you about a large amount of money they need to transfer out of their country, or that they want to share with you. They will then ask for your banking details or money for an administrative fee or tax that they claim needs to be paid to free up the money.

Some sentiment con artists search out a specialty of different fixations where they will locate a dark interest and they will make the casualty believe that in the event that they pay for the con artist's plane ticket that they will get the chance to carry on a sexual dream of theirs by having the con artist come to them to engage in sexual relations. The con artists likewise like to lure casualties to perform sexual follows up on webcam. They then record their casualties, play back the recorded pictures or features to them and after that blackmail cash to keep them from sending the recordings to companions, family, executives, regularly found by means of online networking destinations, for example, Facebook, twitter and so forth.

The expert dater contrasts from alternate tricks in system for operation; a vis-à-vis meeting really does happen in the con artist's nation however is committed singularly into controlling the imprint into spending however much cash as could reasonably be expected in generally little time, with little or nothing consequently. The plan as a rule includes associates, for example, a mediator and a cab driver, all of which must be paid by the casualty at a swelled cost. Everything is pre-orchestrated so that the well off nonnative pays top dollar for convenience, is taken not to a standard open bistro but rather to the most exorbitant eatery (generally some off the beaten path spot evaluated far above what local people would ever be willing to pay), and is controlled into making different extravagant buys, including endowments, for example, hardware and fur garments.

The merchants are regularly some piece of the plan. The imprint allows pretty much as to sit unbothered yet poorer toward the end of the excursion. The stock is come back to the merchants, the genius dater and the different accessories stash their separate cut of the take. As the expert dater is anxious to date once more, the following date is instantly situated up with the following well off outsider.

The assumed relationship goes no further, but to immerse the hapless imprint with solicitations for more cash after they return home. Dissimilar to a gold digger, who weds for cash, an expert dater is not so much single or accessible, all things considered.

What makes this scam even worse is that most of the victims refuse to believe they have been scammed, even after they lost the first round of cash. They’ll keep putting in money, truly believing they are helping a future life-mate and ignore all advice from friends.

Protect yourself:

  • Check website addresses carefully. Scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses to legitimate dating websites.

  • You should never pay for somebody you have never met. Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.

  • If she insists on you paying for the plane ticket, buy it for her directly with no refund option. At least that way, he/she can't just take the money and run.

  • Don’t give out any personal information in an email or when you are chatting online.

  • Make sure you only use legitimate and reputable dating websites.

  • Ask yourself if someone which you have never met really declare their love for you after only a few letters or emails?

  • Run their name (even if they are fake) by professional companies that provide background checking of online dating users. There are just a few legitimate companies that provide this service.

 

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AboutMe

I'm since more then 35 years in the computer business (programming and technical support) and using the Internet since it has started. Since 2002 I'm programming solutions for Asterisk and since 2004 I'm in the call center industry.

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