Internet Scams You Should Watch Out For

By January 5, 2010Online Scams

Advice About Popular Internet Scams

The FBI states that “Internet auction fraud was by far the most reported offense, comprising 44.9% of referred complaints.”  With the number so large, one must need to know how to protect themselves when shopping online, checking emails, and avoiding credit card fraud.  New people are logging on to the internet everyday, not knowing that they may be scammed through their emails or visiting their favorite website.  NAI receives numerous calls daily in regards to internet scams and criminal investigations, and we’re here with some tips to help you avoid becoming another victim.

Tips to Avoid Internet Scams

  1. Examine feedback on the seller: Always check out sites such as Ripoffreport.com to see if there are negative reviews on the company you are about to do business with.
  2. Find out what actions the company takes if a problem occurs during the transaction or shipment.
  3. Check if the company is on Better Business Bureau.  If they are not, this should be a warning flag.
  4. Find out if shipping and delivery are included or if there are hidden fees.
  5. Do not give out your social security number or driver’s license to the seller.
  6. Make sure the source you are purchasing an item from is credible.
  7. Verify the companies telephone number and physical address.  Also make sure the email address is active.
  8. Be careful about offers that seem too good to be true.
  9. Be careful about offers that are from unsolicited emails.
  10. Be careful about companies that are not located in your country.
  11. Avoid COD or money orders; the safest way to track a purchase is through your credit card. Do not give out your credit card unless the site is secured.
  12. Make sure online the website is secure (HTTPS websites).  Make sure the site uses encryption software if you are sending your credit card out through the internet.
  13. Make sure any emails you receive from a company are from the companies domain.  Fraudulent companies often use a ‘phishing’ technique to have the victim log in to what they think is their account, only to steal the victims identity and log in information.
  14. Nigerian scams are very common – be careful of individuals representing themselves as Nigerian or foreign government, looking for you to help put money in oversea banks.  These Nigerian Scams have been seen a lot through unsolicited emails being sent as spam.
  15. Make sure you are attending the site you think you are.”.CM” sites trick customers to believing they are visiting the .COM site they thought they typed in, however, they are redirected to a fraudulent website.

Above all, be careful if offers are ‘too good to be true’, knock-offs, or from a website with little credibility.  If the site does not seem secured, professional, or has bad feedback, you may want to avoid purchasing from the company. Make sure to file an internet crime complaint officially at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx if you are a victim of any cyber crime.