Some common and internet scams

With anything on the market and available to a wide audience, there are going to be scams. It happens. With anything. Cars, Home buying, Donations, etc.

For people who are new to computers and the wide world of the internet, mass produced scams can be a new thing. They are not used to people knowing their email addresses or IP addresses, or pop-ups that alarm them about virus warnings and the like.

All of us, myself included when we first started out with computers were new to the “scam per second” world of email spam. So if you are new to computers and someone makes fun of you for not seeing what they consider an obvious scam because they pretty much live on the internet, remember, no one was born with an ethernet cable hooked to their viens. We all had to learn by doing.

That being said, I’d like to quickly go over some of the more common mistakes I’ve seen people make regarding scams on the internet. There are many scams on the internet, and I’d have to have a blog dedicated to just that if I was going to go into great detail on every single scam the internet has ever pulled.

But, I don’t like writing that much and I’d have to do a lot of unnecessary research. So I’m just going to give you some of the ones I’ve seen that maybe people aren’t aware of.

Scam #1: The outdated Microsoft Windows scam:

You’re on the internet and a pop up appears that your copy of Microsoft Windows has expired and you either need to buy a new one or renew it via said pop up.

Fact: Microsoft Windows doesn’t have an expiration date. It never expires. It gets outdated, needing windows updates now and again, but those are completely FREE and available 24/7 on the microsoft website. But your OS never runs out.

Scam #2: Virus alerts

You are alerted by a popup that you have a virus on your computer and to scan your computer via said pop up.

How to tell that this is a scam is to look at the pop up. If it is NOT the anti virus anti spy ware brands name you have installed on your computer, then it is a scam. Usually these virus warning pop ups don’t have company names like Norton or McAfee or ZoneAlarm or the like. They may have a red dot or red sheild or some generic symbol to that effect, but they definitly won’t have a brand name in the pop up.

Anti Virus and Anti Spyware software will pop up windows to alert you that they found a virus. However, if it’s legitimate, then when you close your internet browser the pop up should still be there and linked to your virus software on your computer. Close the pop up and open your virus software. It will tell you upon launch there is something it caught. If not, then it’s a false alarm.

Thing to remember here is, NEVER REPLY TO THESE THINGS. the worst thing you can do is confirm to the pop up that you acknowledge it. This actually is designed to send a message to the virus servers about your computer. Same goes with email scammers. Never reply back. It’s confirmation that the email account is valid, then the real scamming begins.

Scam #3: Email Scams.

These come in all shapes and sizes. From dating scams to donation scams. Some of the more popular ones are emails about helping people in foreign countries and children asking for money. It usually involves money. And people have been taken on these.

Normally the rule is, don’t answer or reply to anyone you don’t know. Most scammers are pretty obvious in that they leave a lot of links in the email, or the email addresses are the opposite of what they are claiming to be. For example if someone is asking for money to move out of their country, and they need you wire them money, and the email came from somewhere other than the country they are referring to. Someone in Haiti, yet the email is from the UK or Berlin or China or something. Obvious scam.

Scam #4: Email Prize Scam

This one is an old and obvious one. You’ve just won a large sum of money due to being automatically enrolled in our contest. They need your personal information to confirm that you are who you say you are and so that they can personally deliver said sum of money directly to your door. It’s your lucky day. Or is it?

Same old scam, different technology.

Rule of thumb, NEVER give personal information over the internet. But NEVER EVER give it to people you don’t personally know. That’s how identity Theft happens.

Scam #5: Internet Hottie Wants To Talk To You:

This scam is designed to get your personal information and being signing you up for all kinds of stupid websites. They get a picture of some young attractive female and email her picture with a tag line of, I’m bored let’s talk. Or some other provacative statement. She may want to go to a bar, or show you her very personal side quickly because she just broke up with her boyfriend, etc etc.

When you reply back, they email you a form to fill out saying that they don’t know you and need to be safe because they’ve been hurt in the past, etc etc.

The form is usually a fake questionaire that they photoshop their IM or email service too. For example AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Craigslist, etc. Whatever looks official. The questionaire has a blank for your email address and your address where you reside. They will claim it is detailed so they can look you up and make sure your not a sex offender or something.

It’s detailed so that they start signing you up for websites or get your account number or sell your information to mail a thons and the like.

The thing to remember here is that there is no company authority to check you out without a company paying them. In other words, no one has the right to go into your bank account, social security or other personal information without authorized permission by you. When you fill out an application and sign the background check section, you are giving that company your personal go ahead to check that information out. Which is why they make you sign it. But for free services like Gmail, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, etc, there is no authority other than the police or government that has the right to see your personal information. So it’s a scam.

Those are just some general scams that I’ve seen in my time on the internet.

Just remember to use common sense, be careful who you converse with and never give out personal information to just anyone.

Be safe out there, Identity Theft is a real pain to have to deal with.

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