Get Rich Schemes – How To Avoid Internet Scams & Phishing

by Klaus on July 17, 2009

in Articles

Uncle Scam Wants YOUR MoneyIn his “Atlantic City”-song, Bruce Springsteen sings:

Now I been lookin’ for a job but it’s hard to find
Down here it’s just winners and losers and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well I’m tired of comin’ out on the losin’ end
So honey last night I met this guy and I’m gonna do a little favor for him

When it comes to “get rich” schemes and Internet scams, don’t be a loser and get caught on the wrong side of the line, no matter how tempting the offer might be. We’ve all tried to receive e-mails saying that a rich uncle of ours, that we never heard of, died in a country far far away and we can get all his millions of dollars if only we transfer some money down there first to cover the expenses and so on. What happens – you never see your “cover the expenses”-money or the money from your rich uncle. While this kind of scam is so old, people still fall for it.

But that’s not biggest threat.

What really sucks, are the phishing sites. They can be really, really hard, to spot.

Phishing Sites

A phishing site, or e-mail, is when you are lead to believe that the site/e-mail is something you trust when in fact it’s something you should not trust and they are simply out to get your login details or credit card details. You might receive an e-mail looking to be from Amazon, Facebook or some kind of Bank that looks really authentic. It will claim that you need to update your details or something “bad” might happen. You click the link and you see the website you expected to see and you fill out your details and *BAM*, the harm is done. You just gave your details to the criminals.

While the site might look real with the real logo and all, the URL is always a fake (unless of course if it is the real site!) When you should actually be on amazon.com or maybe even https://amazon.com, you could be on amazun.com (just an example) or similar, which looks very much like the real domain. Or if the criminals are not that good or effective, you will just end up at some weird looking domain – but people still fall for it, because the site itself looks real.

It’s important to note that if they ask for credit card details, make sure the URL you are on begins with https://  (note the “s”). That means the line is secure, encrypted. Your browser should also have some kind of lock displayed, usually in the address bar, to indicate you are on a secure site. Luckily, today, most browsers come with a built-in phising filter that will warn you if you are about to visit a known phishing site. Unfortunately you might still be able to visit one without getting the warning, if the site is new or still relatively unknown.

If you’re in doubt, it’s always better not to go ahead. Close down the page and visit the site in question by entering the URL you know, in order to get to their support page and contact them to ask for validation.

Get Rich Scams

Oh, the good ol’ “get rich in a jiffy”-scams. It’s amazing how many people actually fall for them. Often it’s a matter of investing some money, maybe even not that much to begin with, and it makes people think “What if it works… I will be rich! And if it doesn’t, then I haven’t lost no more than I can survive”. That’s the kind of thinking that makes the scammers wallets thick.

If you’re on Twitter, you will without doubt have seen multiple Twitter user profiles already, having only one goal: To get people to visit their website / links in their tweets, at which they want to sell you something. While their product might be genuine and actually work for some, there’s a good bet you might end up with less money. They promise you secrets that nobody else knows (oh, really?), they promise you to teach you stuff – usually basic stuff that you could have found on the Internet for free elsewhere and they promise you amazing results without much work needed. Sounds wonderful. I mean, it sounds too good to be true…

Should you consider giving it a go, make sure you Google the product first, try to add “scam” to your search. See if you can find some websites that either vouch for the product in question, or warns against it.

As always – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It’s better to ask one of your tech savvy friends to do some digging before you invest, if you’re not too sure yourself on how to do it.

I will be covering more Internet Scams & Phishing tactics in future articles, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed so you don’t miss out.

Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug Dillard July 17, 2009 at 23:41

Great post. I always Google everything before I buy it to see what people have to say about it first, as there are SO MANY SCAM OUT THERE. Also when you Google it first, if it is something you decide to get, you might find a discount coupon for it 🙂
.-= Doug Dillard´s last blog ..Build It and Eventually the People with Money Will Come =-.

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The Gooroo @ Finance Advisory Stop July 18, 2009 at 12:40

Nice post! Just like Spiderman has “spidey senses”, I think I have a sense for scams. I’m definitely not the only one, but most scams are so easy to spot. How? Their usually too good to be true.
.-= The Gooroo @ Finance Advisory Stop´s last blog ..What Is Alexa Ranking And Should You Worry About It? =-.

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Curious Little Person July 19, 2009 at 20:27

Nice, You won’t belivee this but – once i got an e-mail from someone in africa and to actually check whether these guys are real scammers or not, i ended up giving my contact number! and the next day i did receive this call! Although i did this for the experience – i wonder how many people fall for those e-mails and actually end up sending them money! Cause the no. of emails go on increasing

Cheers
Sandeep
.-= Curious Little Person´s last blog ..Wordpress Blog Installation Experience =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio July 20, 2009 at 22:25

20 minutes after putting my Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone up on a danish auction site, a foreigner commented that I should contact him on MSN (salomadave@hotmail.com) quickly because he wanted to buy my phone. I set it up for DKK 1,250 ($235) plus shipping, he offered me DKK 1,500 ($283) plus shipping to his wife in Nigeria…. I said sure, just pay up first to this escrow company that I’ve used before and then I’ll ship the phone once money is received… never heard back from him 🙂 What a scammer!

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Udegbunam Chukwudi October 28, 2009 at 19:58

ROFLMAO! Nigerians! We are ever so talented. lol. Lucky you. The amount of people that get scammed within and outside Nigeria by Nigerians keep increasing each day that I wonder how foolish people can be.

I remember getting one of those emails from UK LOTTO company. I fell for it at once cos I had been to London the previous vacation. I only saw the red lights when the fool asked me to send him some money to cover the cost of sending my cash prize via Western Union. I was even given a certificate and all that, imagine!

Some folks would go to great lengths to scam people. I show absolutely no pity for some of the victims as they were purely victims of their greed like the fools that get emails requesting them to provide their account numbers so they (nigerians) can transfer millions of dollars from the Nigerian Treasury etc and they comply only to end up with an empty bank account down the line.

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Klaus @ TechPatio October 29, 2009 at 08:16

I could imagine how one could fall for the UK Lotto company scam since you’ve just been there 🙂 But I’m glad your red lights turned on when they asked you for money so you didn’t end up loosing anything.

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Ynnor August 16, 2010 at 13:48

Diese Betrügermails nerven langsam richtig

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