Don’t be an Internet Fraud Victim

Melissa Meschke Blogging Leave a Comment

I am back, and I survived my first blog. Thanks to all of you that had a chance to read it. Thanks to Melissa she has nominated me to write more blogs because she thought my first blog was so good, which did come as a surprise to me because I never really thought of myself as a good writer. But now that I know what I am capable of I will continue to wow my supporters with great reads!

Before I get going on my blog, I would like to quickly update everyone with how my internship is going so far. Well, I am still here, and I am still thriving. I am getting great feedback from my lovely peers here at Michigan Creative. I wish that I could hear what my clients had to say about my work, but I haven’t heard any complaints, so I will take that a good thing.

Anyways, so this week I wanted to touch on a topic that I think is pretty relatable to many people out there. First of all, who likes to internet shop? If your hand isn’t up, it should be. Online shopping is an ever-growing trend with most internet user. You get online and you look at whatever store or site that you love most and you get more choices than the store itself offers. Many times stores will have online exclusives where you will only be able to purchase that item online. I love to online shop because it is just so convenient. You sit on your couch, you have the T.V. going, and you’re eating ice cream, and avoiding that prime time traffic and all the horrible drivers you scream at on the way to the mall. Come on, I know you all know what I am talking about! Anyways, online shopping is great, and has many perks, but it also can be dangerous. If you are not paying attention to the sites- and where you are plugging in your information, you can become a victim of internet fraud.

Now there are many types of internet fraud including: auction fraud, credit card fraud, investment fraud, and business fraud. All of these are really common, not to mention there are tons of scams out there all the way from email scams to scams on Craigslist. You must pay attention to what you are doing while on any internet site and working with your private information. Once your information is submitted and on the internet, there is no taking it back. There are some amazing hackers out there just waiting for people with a lack of awareness.

Here are the top 10 internet/email scams of 2013:

  1. The Nigerian scam also known as 419
  2. Advanced fees paid for guaranteed loan or credit card-
  3. Lottery scams-
  4. Phishing emails and phony web pages-
  5.  Items for sale overpayment scams-
  6. Employment search overpayment scams-
  7. Disaster relief scams
  8. Travel scams-
  9. “Make Money Fast” chain emails-

10. “Turn Your Computer Into a Money-Making Machine!”

I highly advise you to take the time and read up a little bit on these scams to make yourself more aware and even help to make someone else aware.
(http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/scamsandidentitytheft/ss/top10inetscams.htm)

I will be focusing today on tips on avoiding credit card fraud. I think this is the single most important thing to be aware of personally because online shopping has become such a huge trend. Here are some really important tips:

  • Don’t give out your credit card number online unless the site is secure and reputable. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but provides some assurance.
  • Don’t trust a site just because it says its secure
  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure they are legitimate.

    To me that means look up reviews. That is really important. People out there will let you know if it’s a scam or not. Do the homework, it will save you. And this is just a side note, but recently I lost my pet and I have been contacted by these people who keep saying they are some pet rescuing company and that if we pay then $50 they will go out and find our cat. If they don’t find our cat in 4 days, they will return the money and continue to look anyways. They were asking for a payment over the phone, and of course we denied it. But we asked for more information, including their website. We looked at the website and it does look legit. But when we went to look for reviews and such, we found absolutely nothing. Now, I am not saying that they are or are not legit for sure, but to me that sent up a red flag. I think it is pretty uncommon for not even one person to have a review on it. Needless to say, we passed the opportunity up.

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country
  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card number

Now, these are just a few tips of many. I highly advise you to really understand and make use of these tips; it really can help you to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Check this website out where I found these really useful tips, and please do look at all of the information on this site, it is really helpful.
(http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud)

Another thing I want to point out is that I have an account with Bank of America and I know they do this really cool thing called ShopSafe protection. It adds an extra layer of protection when you shop online. You use ShopSafe service to generate a temporary credit card number that links directly to your real credit card account number. Your card number remains completely private and protected. Now this is only for Bank of America that I know of. You will have to check with your own personal bank to see if they offer a similar service for you. But, if you do have an account with Bank of America, check this out!
(https://www.bankofamerica.com/privacy/accounts-cards/shopsafe.go)

I hope that you enjoyed the information that I shared with you guys. It is really important that you keep an eye out when you are doing your online browsing and shopping. The single most important thing I hope you got out of this blog is to just do your homework. It really will save you from a potential disaster, and will be one less headache for you to worry about. Thanks for tuning in guys…Until next time!

-Sheryl

internet_fraud_1Again, thank you to the articles, “The Top 10 Internet/Email Scams” and “Common Fraud Schemes” for the helpful facts and tips, and thanks to Bank of America for their information on their services.