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Five Things To Do After You Have Been Scammed

account, atm, bankScammers are so eager to get our money. They hit us in every possible way. It could be someone coming to our home, through text message, email phishing, cell phone phishing, post, which is so distressing.

It is difficult to have justice when a scam happens to you. Scammers makes sure they cover their tracks. But it is important to know what to do when an online scam happens to you.

  • Call Your Credit Card Company and Your Bank. This is the first thing that you should do if you used your credit card number or have given information to a scammer. They will hold your account so that no further charges can be made against it. Never call any number that comes from an email. This might be a phishing scam.
  • File a Report. You should report what happened to you. Immediately file a police report, especially when the money was stolen from your account. Your credit card company or your bank may ask a copy of the police report.
    You should also report the scam to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and give all the necessary information about the scammer, the time and date. Get in touch with Trading Standards as it is a criminal offense under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulation 2008. They will take criminal action against the person.
  • Report a Fraud Victim Statement with the 3 major Credit Bureaus. File the report to TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. This will put a note that you have been a victim of a fraud. The note also indicates that any business trying to pull your credit report should call you on the phone numbers you provided when you actually reported the fraud alert. If someone calls you, you can tell them that you did not give any authorization for credit inquiry and that anybody who is trying to open your account is a scammer. You can also do “Security Freeze” of your credit reports. This additional action will help to put a hold on ID thieves from opening accounts using your identity. While you are at it, check other details on the advantages and disadvantages of asking for a security freeze on your credit reports.
  • Scan Your Computer and Update your Anti-malware Software.  Your scam-related email may contain embedded links to a malware which may damage your computer. This malware may be getting your account information and sending it to the scammer. Your anti-malware software must be updated.  Install programs that do not clash with each other like MalwareBytes and Microsoft Security Essentials. These are just freewares, but there are premium versions you can get.
  • Tell Your Family.  You should not be embarrassed by doing so. Tell them that you are taking the necessary steps to mitigate the situation. You are also protecting them by telling them how it happened to you. This will help them not to be the next victim. Inform them on: the different scams, and how to prevent these online scams.

After the scam, you have to tell someone and report. The longer you wait, the longer you recover. Help others by sharing your experience.

Online Scam Prevention

securityScammers out there would use all sort of schemes to defraud people of their money. They will try any new or old tricks just to get you to send your money or get some information. Stay a step ahead of cyber criminals.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Be alert when dealing with an uninvited contact who pretend to be someone you can trust. If the deal is too good, it usually is not. Do not entertain.
  • Do your online research– use your search engine and type the company’s name or product with words like scam, complaint, or review. Check if someone has reported them as scammers.
  • Even with a caller ID – Caller ID info, name and the number you see may also be fake. Hang-up.
  • Secure your personal information – keep your pin numbers and passwords safe. Do not share personal information on social media.
  • Choose difficult passwords – Your passwords should be difficult for other people to guess. A strong password should have an upper and lower case letter, symbols or numbers. Do not share your passwords.
  • Don’t pay – Scammers will definitely ask you to pay in advance for say credit and loan offers, a job, or a debt relief. Do not pay.
  • Think of how you pay – Wiring money through the available services of MoneyGram or Western Union is not advisable. You will never get your money back. This is also true for MoneyPak, Vanilla or Reloadit.
  • Never deposit your check and then wire the money back – If you deposit a fake check, you will be responsible for repaying the bank.
  • Think twice and talk to someone – Do not make hasty decisions. Scammers likes you to be excited and careless. Again, do a search  online.
  • Do not entertain robocalls – If you hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up. Calls like this is illegal. Get in touch with Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The call is illegal. Do not press anything as it might lead for more phone calls later.
  • Say no to free trials – do not sign up for products. Research the company and review their cancellation policy. If not, you might receive a monthly bill.
  • Do not just open anything – It could be a simple pop-up window, texts, or email. Check the identity of the contact first. Do an online search or check an online phone book. Do not try to engage with the provided contact in the message.
  • Review your social media’s security settings and privacy-this is for safety measures. If you notice any suspicious behavior, quickly click on spam. Secure your account and report.
  • Extra careful when you do online shopping – Use an online shopping service that you trust. Do not use virtual currencies like bitcoin. Use other transaction method so you are guaranteed to have your money back.
  • Sign up with FTC for a free scam alerts at ftc.gov/scams. They will send you advice and tips through your inbox. If you encounter scam, report at ftc.gov/complaint. They will investigate and you will have your justice.

Prevent scams from happening to you, and to the people around you. If you need to know about the different online scams, click here to know more about it.

Online Scams That You Should Know About

account, bank account, bankingMost of us pays our bills online. We shop, make reservations, and some even has online jobs. The nice part is that, with technology we can do everything anywhere and anytime. When we navigate and access websites, we open our door to scammers. A criminal can now go into our homes, workplace, and our private lives.

Scammers are good. They have studied this for years but they have many things in common. Learn to know the different scams. Here are some of them:

 

  • Phishing emails – Tricks a victim to go to a website disguised as an authentic eCommerce or banking site. When you log in, it looks like your real account, but the fake site will send the all the information to the scammer. Soon as these has been received, the scammer will wipe out everything you have. Your bank accounts, credit cards, even steal your identity.
  • Nigerian 419 Scams or Advanced Fee Fraud – This is a scam that originated in Nigeria. It has been around way back. You will be contacted by email, text message, letter, or through social networking message. You will be offered a huge amount of money just to help transfer a personal money out of their country.
  • Greeting Card Scams – You will find a greeting card in your email pretending that it came from a good friend or family. The scammer will capitalize on your curiosity. The minute you click the card, a booby-trapped web page that downloads trojans and malware software will go to your system. It could contain ransomware that will infect your system until you pay.
  • Lottery winner scam – Do not be too excited when suddenly you are a winner of something that sounded credible. Personal information will be asked so you can get your prize. You will be told that it is for bank deposit and tax purposes.
  • Killer Spam:Hitman Email – Your email will receive a threat. Simple, you pay or you die.
  • Pump and Dump Stock Scams – you will be sent many email that will pretend that they contain confidential information about a certain stock. The scam’s goal is to inflate the price and sell the stocks to a higher price.
  • Fraudulent Link Scams – Should you receive an email asking that you provide information to update your online accounts, think twice. Do not click any of the links. These links may lead to external websites that are harmful. Always verify the link first. Use the Copy Link Location command. Inspect the link if it is a redirecting to a phony website.
  • Scareware Scams – also known as “rogue scanner” software or “fraudware. This software will deceive the user to install the product. The scheme is to display scary things on your screen to give an impression of an attack and will claim that it is an anti-virus solution. Before installing, search on the name of the product being presented to you.

Always be critical and learn to check first. Do not click anything even if a window appears to instruct you to download something. This could be costly. Know how to protect yourself more from this cunning scammer.