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 contain headlines that read something like “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.
How Do You Avoid The Scams?
Avoiding the scams is pretty much common sense. These tips will help.
- Don’t Send Money.
- Deal With Reputable Pet Dealers.
- Make an appointment to see the actual puppies.
The cost of the puppies, plus shipping fees and taxes are requested sent in advance. This sounds like a normal transaction at first. But, what happens next is a bit scary.
The puppies never show up. All of a sudden, 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.
Emails Demanding Payments Are Also Popular Scams
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 your computer being compromised.
Related Post: 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. Most credit cards will protect you against fradulent charges.
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 – This Is Another Popular Internet Scam
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.
Receiving Emails Like – Our 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.
Check With Your Bank
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 Out The Charity Before You Send Any Money
The Website 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.
Thanks for reading, please leave any comments below. I answer all my readers.
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4 thoughts on “Popular Internet Scams – Don’t Trust Them!”
wow, i was surprised. Every one of your scam warnings was scams I haven’t thought of. I mean I knew scams prey on people who don’t do research and are compulsive but I never thought about google calling me about my computer.
That be weird. like I was doing what? but the truth is all your information is out there when you’re online. and it’s scary.
But the best medicine for this ailment is information. once your aware your not an easy target and then scams can be avoided.
Thank you for making me a little bit more aware. I have run into internet scams before. and this is always a fear of mine for sure.
Yes,the crooks today are getting smarter and smarter.Years ago if somebody told you they were the water company or bank calling you could trust them to be who they say they are, not today. You have to check and double check, to be sure. I was actually called on my phone with somebody claiming to be a Microsoft employee, which he was not, Microsoft does not call you, and tell you they have received an error message from your computer! I was almost fooled…it really is hard to keep asking who it really is, and I finally hung up and they called back!
The point of my site is to try to help people become aware and help them avoid scams similar to the scams that I fell for. thanks for taking the time to comment, and if you have any more questions feel free to contact me again
Hi Chas, thanks for calling these scams to our attention. Lately I’ve gotten a couple of emails from companies thanking me for my purchase, and the money will be coming out of my paypal account as soon as I verify some details. It’s worded in such a way that if you believe it’s a mistake, just log in and let them know. I hate to say I almost fell for it, but I stopped to think for a second (thankfully!!), and realised it didn’t make sense. Who knows what would have happened if I was distracted (which I often am) and just followed directions like a robot?
I am also one who has fallen victim to fast talking sales people and skillfully written ads and promotions, so I know the sickening feeling when you realize you have been suckered once again. I think it is because people tend to look for the best in people, not the worst, and so we fall for if we are not careful. Scammers are getting more and more resourceful and elaborate, so their scams are getting more and more believable! But yes, then one thing companies do not do is ask for your acct numbers to verify your acct. In fact I had my bank send me to a company who is watching my acct and shuts the card down if I mistype something. I find it very annoying and called them. but, when they asked for the numbers for my acct,then several private questions, I said “enough already” They wanted too much personal info about me. That is how we get into trouble, when their acct is hacked!! Thank you for your comment and if you have any more questions feel free to ask.