E-security scams –
Internet thieves come in many guises
Every day, people and businesses fall victim to scams that compromise their electronic security (e-security). With new scams being created regularly and old scams still working their way through the Internet, one can't be too careful. Having a good anti-virus program with firewall, spyware and virus protection is a good start, but e-mail scams and hoaxes are sometimes cleverly disguised as legitimate offers and e-mails.
A common e-security scam is known as phishing. This is often an e-mail disguised as an official message from a trustworthy source such as your bank, eBay or PayPal. Messages like, “Your account information must be confirmed, failure may result in account suspension” or “A large sum has been debited to your account, provide your account details to confirm that the charge is incorrect” create a sense of urgency and are often followed by a link that will take you to a fake Web site designed to look identical to the legitimate one.
Usually confirming your information includes account numbers, passwords, security phrases and PIN numbers, making your account entirely vulnerable. Instead of following a link in an e-mail, type the Web site's homepage address directly into your browser before filling out forms with account numbers and passwords. Often, phishing e-mails will be littered with improper grammar and poor spelling. Subject lines containing all caps and misspelled words are also a good way to identify phishing. When in doubt, the way to confirm a possible e-security scam is to call and confirm that there is a problem with your account.
Another scam commonly known as the Nigerian Bank Scam can originate from a variety of different countries, but the method is exactly the same. A person promises large sums of money, sometimes unclaimed inheritances or lottery winnings or a reward for helping them transfer money out of Nigeria. The outcome is always the same. Before you can claim millions, you must first send thousands of dollars to get the money transferred or for required paperwork. Of course after you've completed your end of the bargain you'll start hearing excuses as to why your money is being delayed and then you'll never hear from them again.
The Internet is crawling with a variety of ways to part you from your money. Just remember, be skeptical and don't believe everything you read. If it's too good to be true it probably is!