Avoid Common Scams on the Internet
The Internet offers a global marketplace for consumers and businesses. But crooks also recognize the potentials of cyberspace. The same scams that have been conducted by mail and phone can now be found on the World Wide Web and in email. A new breed of cyber-criminal is emerging with an arsenal of cyberscams being unleashed on the unsuspecting. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable online merchants and criminals who use the Internet as a guise to rob people.
You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the warning signs of Internet Fraud. If you are a victim or attempted victim of Internet Fraud, it’s important to report the scam quickly so that law enforcement agencies can shut the fraudulent operation down, and contact a good attorney who can fully inform you of your rights and options as a fraud victim.
INTERNET FRAUD TIPS
The National Consumer’s League’s Internet Fraud Watch provides the following suggestions to help consumer’s protect themselves against Internet fraud:
- Know who you’re dealing with. – Check with your state’s consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau if the seller is unfamiliar. Many Web sites offer feedback forums that can give you valuable information about the experiences of other customers with specific sellers. To find out if they have an active email address, send them an e-mail. Get the physical address and phone number in case there is a problem later.
- Find out how complaints are dealt with, especially if the seller is not in the country where you live. You can find information on programs that the company or organization is involved in, which require it to adhere to reliability standards and handle disputes by visiting the website.
- You should still be looking for other signs of fraud. Still, you need to be alert for signs of fraud..
- If someone says you can earn money with little or no work, why would you believe them? How about a loan or credit card even if you have poor credit? The same with making money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam.
- Understand the offer. – A legitimate seller will give you all the details about the products or services, the total price, the delivery time, the refund and cancellation policies, and the terms of any warranty.
- Do not succumb to pressure. Legitimate charities and companies will give you the time to decide. If they insist that you take action immediately or refuse to accept “No”, it’s likely a scam..
- Be careful when entering contests run by unknown companies. Fraudulent marketers may use contest entry forms to identify potential victims.
- Avoid unsolicited email. They can often be fraudulent. You can reply to the email asking to be removed. Unknown senders might verify your email address, and you may receive unwanted messages from strangers. It may be best to simply delete the email.
- Avoid imposters. Someone could send you an email pretending that they are connected to a charity or business, or create a website that looks like one of the well-known charities or companies. You can verify that you are dealing with the genuine business or charity by looking for another method to reach them.
- Protect your personal information. Don’t give out your bank account number or credit card number unless you are paying for something. If you are applying to credit, your social security number shouldn’t be required. If someone claims to be from a company and asks for information the business already has, you should be suspicious.
- Avoid “dangerous” downloads. – You could get a virus to wipe out your computer files, or connect your modem with a foreign number. This can lead to expensive phone calls. Only trust and only download programs from trusted Web sites. Be sure to read all terms and conditions.
- Pay the most secure way. Credit cards are the best way to make online payments. Federal law limits your liability up to $50 for unauthorized charges made to your account. Most credit card issuers will immediately remove the charges if you report the problem. You can also use new and savvy technologies such as substitute credit card numbers or password programs to provide extra protection against your credit card security being compromised.
If you’ve been the victim of fraud or a scam, you can get quick and easy access to Top Fraud & Scams Lawyers in your area offering sound legal help and assistance. Simply complete the form at the top-left of this page.