Protect Yourself From Online Scams
While there are legitimate online jobs, just as many are scams. According to an FBI Scam Alert Fraud Advisory for Consumers Agency, “many of the internet business opportunities seen online are blatantly fraudulent and almost all have some degree of fraud attached to them”. While nothing is foolproof, the same government agency says, “following these guidelines as well as having a general awareness of the potential threats will greatly reduce your risk of getting scammed”.
- Commercial Account Holders – If you have commercial accounts, you should perform periodic assessment of their internet banking procedures and evaluate the controls they have in place to reduce the risks they identify.
- Use Anti Virus Software – This is one of the most important things you can do to protect your computer from viruses. There are many different ones on the market today. It is also important to only use or purchase Anti-Virus protection from reputable companies.
- Security Updates – Keep your security system up to date by checking your system’s website for periodic updates. Some systems will update automatically.
- Personal Information – Never open a link from someone requesting that you provide them with personal information. No reputable company will email you requesting that you update your personal information, such as account numbers, passwords, or social security numbers through a link to their site.
- Change Passwords – It is recommended that you change your passwords as often as every 30 to 60 days. Never use the same ID, Pin #, or Password for other online accounts. Do not store your ID and Password information where others can gain access to it, and never disclose your “log in” credentials to other people or companies.
- Dedicated Computer – It is highly recommended to use a dedicated computer specifically for your online banking. The dedicated computer should never be used to “surf” the internet, read emails, or access websites other than that of your online banking.
- Wireless Networks – Avoid accessing your online bank account with a wireless network, unless you are sure that it is secure. If you have to use a public computer avoid storing usernames and passwords, and always be sure to log off when you are finished.
- Do Your Research - When dealing with online products or services never dive in head first without doing your homework first. Read as many product and service reviews as you can find. Just run a Google search and you’ll find tons of reviews. Everybody writes reviews about everything these days. If it’s at all possible, try it before you buy it. Just like test driving a car, it’s the same thing. If it’s an online education or training service don’t even waste your time unless they offer you a free trial. Now that your homework is done, you’re well armed with product knowledge to make a well informed and educated decision.
The security tips above are considered to be pretty much standard and common sense practice even for those with limited experience working with computers.
Fraud Advisory For Consumers
In a Scam Alert report published as part of a joint effort between the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internet Crime Complaint Center, and Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center they say that consumers continue to lose money from work-from-home scams that assist cyber criminals to move stolen funds. Worse yet, due to their deliberate or unknowing participation in the scams, these individuals may face criminal charges. Work-from-home scam victims are often recruited by organized cyber criminals through newspaper ads, online employment services, unsolicited emails or “spam”, and social networking sites advertising work-from-home opportunities. Once recruited, however, rather than becoming an employee of a legitimate business, the consumer is actually a “mule” for cyber criminals who use the consumer’s or other victim’s accounts to steal and launder money. In addition, the consumer’s own identity or account may be compromised by the cyber criminals.
Example Of A Work-From-Home Scheme
- An individual applies for a position as a rebate or payments processor, ( also known as a trading partner or currency trader), through an online job site or through an unsolicited email.
- As a new employee, the individual is asked to provide their bank account information to their employer or to establish a new account using information provided by the employer.
- Funds are deposited into the account then the employee is instructed to wire the funds to a third (often international) party. The employee is then instructed to deduct a certain percentage of the wired funds as his commission.
- What is really going on here, is that rather than processing rebates or processing payments, the individual is actually participating in a criminal activity by laundering stolen funds through their own account or a newly established account.
In January of 2010, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission coordinated with state law enforcement officials and other federal agencies. They launched a sweeping crack down on job and work-from-home fraud schemes ignited by the economic downturn. Individuals who are knowing or unknowing participants in this type of scheme could be prosecuted.
Looks Too Good Too Good To Be True
Everyday American consumers receive thousands of calls that just sound to good to be true. These offers come in the form of junk mail as well as by telephone. With more than two billion people having internet access, the scam artists are now capitalizing off the World Wide Web pitching their fraudulent schemes. The scammers have one objective and that is to separate you from your money.
Greed and the idea of making fast money with little effort are key factors in you, (the consumer’s) vulnerability and the way these online swindlers think. They understand how to use these human traits to their advantage by being very persuasive, making you offers too good to pass up, and many tricks they’ve developed over the years to separate you from your money.
Avoid being a victim to these very clever scam artists. Think it through before you make decisions relevant to online transactions with a third party that you aren’t familiar with. Ask questions, get their contact information like names, addresses, phone numbers, and anything else you can think of before you go giving anyone your money. Don’t let greed cloud your senses, and always remember, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any concerns or unanswered question, please don’t hesitate to leave your comments in the box below, and I will get back to you asap. Make sure to leave all your contact info, including your name and email address.
My Username is pesurfmayr My website is http://financialfreedomops.com My email is email@example.com
If you would like more information about Scam Alerts go to www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams