Many of us are aware of the most common type of fraud that can happen online, which is identity theft. But what some people are not aware of is that there are numerous other frauds and scams online that people fall victim to everyday. The thing about online scams and frauds is that if you use some common sense and follow a few simple steps to protect yourself and your family, you can actually avoid falling for any online scams or frauds, which means your identity will continue to remain safe, not to mention your pocketbook.
Difficulty rating: Easy
The first thing that you are going to need to do to protect yourself and your family from online scams and frauds is to become familiar with the most popular online scams and frauds. You don’t need to know about all of the various online scams and frauds because most of the time the newer scams and frauds are spin-offs from the older more popular scams and frauds.
The next thing that you need to do is to check out any companies that you or your family are going to be doing business with, especially if nobody has ever heard of that company before. If the company contacts you by email with a number to call, when you call that number you should ask for more information about the company and if they can give you any referrals. Businesses who are legitimate will give you numerous referrals not to mention the fact that they will be happy to provide you with extra information about the company. But you still want to check the company out with the Better Business Bureau to make sure that they are legit.
Now the steps that you are going to need to take to protect yourself and family from online scams and frauds are going to vary greatly depending on what scam or fraud you are facing. The reason for this is that the frauds and scams for the most part ask for different things so some will need to be handled differently then others.
If you are dealing with an email that is asking you to click on a link to update your account info or to verify certain information the one thing that you don’t want to do is to click on that link. If the email is from a company that you have accounts with what you will want to do is open up a new browser and type in the web address directly, never use a link in an email to go to the website.
If the email or website is asking you to enter in private, personal information, such as your full name, social security number, address, date of birth or mother’s maiden name, you do not want to enter in any of that information. The chances that they are trying to get your personal information so that they can steal your identity are high.
Rather than clicking on the link or entering in personal information you are going to want to report the fraudulent email to the correct department. This can actually be the FBI, the fraud department within a business, the Federal Trade Commission or somebody else.
If you are dealing with a scam that tells you to send money to this address to claim your prize or to make money quickly then you need to be wary of it; most likely it is too good to be true. Jobs should never have to be paid for and you should never have to pay any money to claim a prize that you have won. So basically make sure that you never send money to a website or email that you are unsure of.
One of the best websites that you can go to for information about online scams and frauds is Snopes. They have a wide resource of scams and frauds that have hit the internet and they will tell you if the scam or fraud is really a scam or a fraud or if it is actually something legit.