Popular internet scams show up each year particularly around the holidays.The pet scams are a perfect example.The scam is to offer pets for sale, and request money be sent.Then, no delivery is ever made and the pet owner disappear. And of course, the money is gone. Pet lovers beware, this is becoming one of the most popular internet scams.
In Georgia, Wsav.com reports Hinesville police investigating ads that read something like this:
Popular Internet Scams – Adorable Puppies for Sale
When people inquire about the puppies, they are told the puppies are in Hinesville,Georgia. They are then told the puppies can be shipped to them. It sounds so very nice and convenient, it’s like a magnet. It sucks people in.
- Don’t Send Money.
- Deal With Reputable Pet Dealers.
The cost of the puppies, plus shipping fees and taxes are requested sent in advance. This sounds like a normal transaction at first.
Then, the puppies never show up. It is not so normal anymore. They have your money.
Hinesville Police Department Detective Kyle Laraimore is working on several cases of internet fraud and says two websites have been identified.
The investigation is ongoing.
Armloads of Packages Are Easy Targets
Pickpockets and thieves realize that people are distracted with holiday shopping and are easier targets when you have armloads of packages.
- Unload Packages Into Your Car.
- Keep Them Out Of Site Or Covered.
- Always Be Aware Of People Around You.
The same goes for the internet, being in a rush to get things done, and looking for the cheapest price, we aren’t as cautious as we should be.
When you see those low priced specials with big discounts always keep this in mind. If it sounds too cheap, it probably is! Somebody is trying to get your money into their pocket.
Popular Internet Scams – Emails Demanding Payments
Beware of phishing scams and unsolicited texts and ads that come into your emails demanding payments for goods and services you never used. I have stated over and over, check to make sure it is legitimate company.
- Don’t Click On Any Link That Is Not https
- Avoid Any Numbers That Are Listed To Call
- You Must Recognize The Company
Do not call any numbers that they give you.
If they are crooks, the number they give you, is one that calls them back!
If you don’t recognize the company, shipper or article they mention, get the real phone number and call them first, before clicking on any link.The danger is the link may infect your computer with Malware and lead to an Identity Theft The New Cyber Crime.
Use Secure Websites To Avoid The Popular Internet Scams
One of the most important things to look for is the “S”. A secure website has an S after the http (https) A padlock or similar icon is also shown to let you know your information is safe.
Use safe ways to buy, like a credit card that carries theft protection if your numbers are stolen.
Always check the website you are using to make sure it is a legitimate site. You can get information on this from the BBB, Better Business Bureau, and if they have any issues or complaints listed on that site.
But, do not think all is well because they are not listed, always check by phone, get a legitimate number for the business and call them.
Call and ask the U.S. Attorney Generals Office in your state and check for complaints on that business or site. They know first hand what is going on in your state.
Microsoft Never Calls You
Another popular internet scam that actually starts by phone is people calling claiming to be technicians from Microsoft. They are telling people they are calling to inform them their computer is infected with Malware. In order to fix it they need to access their computer by remote control.
Then they actually cause the computer to send error messages, or copy data from personal files in the computer. you are told you need to buy protection to stop this from happening. The people affected usually have to pay a legitimate computer technician to fix the problems these scams have caused.Remember, Microsoft will never call you to tell you about your computer.
Your Bank Needs to Verify Your Account Number
People have been finding emails, that are made to appear to be from their banks, saying that the bank need to verify your account number before they can send the new chip card to them. Well, banks do not ask you to confirm account information, because they already have it.
This is simply a form of phishing used by cyber crime criminals to get your account number, and use it for identity theft.
Do not reply, do not give any information. If you get one of these emails, either delete it or simply copy the url and paste that into an email and send it to your bank.
In the email, ask your bank if they sent this email. The answer will be “no” of course, but they will be aware of the criminal activity.
And of course report it to the FTC- Federal Trade Commission, and IC3- Internet Crime Complaint Center. Never, never, send your information in an email to anyone, even if they claim to be a bank or credit card company,unless you have verified who they are first. Call a number you know to be legitimate, and check first.
Check the Charity Out First
www.komu.com reports that the Missouri State Attorney Generals Office gets over 100,000 reports of internet fraud each year.
Website fraud is very common and growing all the time.
Do your own background checks. People not only fake accounts, but also entire websites. They fake people, testimonials, and can fake charities as well!
They don’t always want your money! Some are simply traps to get your personal information. They use the same method, claiming to be a charity such as GoFundMe, and only need to confirm your bank account or your credit card numbers.
That is not how reputable charitable organizations operate.
Fraud victims can call the Attorney Generals Office. They can help you. You can find the number below.
How to File a Complaint
Call the Attorney Generals Consumer Protection Hotline number – 800-392-8222.
File online complaints here Attorney Generals website.
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