Many internet scams take place without the victim even noticing. Scammers may attempt to put programs on your computer that can wipe or lock your data. To prevent this ensure you have anti-virus software and a firewall installed on your computer and keep it up to date. If you are aware of the following precautions and apply common sense then you should be able to prevent yourself from becoming in a victim.
Protecting your Address
- Scammers can use the internet to promote fraud through unsolicited or junk email known as spam. Delete the email.
- Any email you receive that comes from unknown sender is likely to be spam especially if it not addressed to you personally and promises you some gain.
- If you receive an email with an attachment from someone you know but it is not the usual sort of message you get from them do not open the attachment. Speak to the person who is supposed to have sent it to confirm its origin. It may have been infected with a virus and forwarded through their address book.
- Online market places can be a lot of fun and can save you money but they are also used by scammers. Scammers will try to steer you away from online sites and request that you use unusual payment methods for example money transfer agents or Emoney, a digital equivalent of cash.
- The most common scams at the moment are for concert and event tickets, holiday lettings, dating sites, and vehicles for sale or hire. Adverts and websites can be very sophisticated so do some research to ensure everything makes sense. Always consider your personal safety when meeting anyone you met on the internet.
- Be careful of bogus official looking websites, claiming to assist in applying for passports, visas and driving licences.
- There are lots of ways scammers gain personal and/or financial information from victims, for example, Phishing, unsolicited emails purporting to be from a legitimate company requiring personal details. Vishing, voice over cold calling purporting to be from a legitimate company requiring personal details. Spear Phishing, a type of phishing scam that focuses on an individual or department within an organisation, addressed from someone within the company in a position of trust. Using these methods scammers request information such as login detail and passwords.
- Never give your personal or financial details to anyone unless you know and trust the person you are giving them to.
Delete all messages without reading them if they are from someone you do not know. If you open it by mistake and it has an attachment, do not open the attachment, it may be a virus.
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. Ensure you have up to date anti-virus and firewall software.
Why is this person contacting me? Be wary of any request to use an unusual payment methods.
Make sure the sites are genuine as some business websites can be copied, cloned or redirected.