Who knows where identity theft and Internet scammers will strike next? It’s hard to say – so the best defense is a good offense.
Online scams are rampant. One of the most common way people get scammed is through phishing. These scams involve e-mails that claim to be from a legitimate source, asking the recipient to “verify” all or a portion of their personal information. There is often a link which the recipient is asked to click on, which often contains malware that will allow the thief to access the information stored on the victim’s computer.
No legitimate bank is going to send an e-mail of this nature to one of its customers. Your bank will already have this information on file. If you take your mouse and hover over the link and look at the status line, you’ll find that it doesn’t really go to the bank. That’s a huge red flag.
Another common scam involves fake news sites which sell Acai berries or other diet products. Ten of them were recently shut down by the Federal Trade Commission.
The best advice you can take regarding these phishing scams and fake news sites is to just not click when you’re not sure. If you don’t know for sure the origin of the link or site, don’t click on the link.
If you receive a link or suspicious e-mail, copy the URL and send it to the FTC. Delete the link – do not click on it. If you’ve opened an e-mail that you find to be suspicious or fraudulent, don’t panic. Just delete it.
Once you’ve receive such an e-mail or link, be sure to keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements, as well as your credit report, paying special attention to any questionable or fraudulent entries. if you find any, contact the appropriate agency and report it immediately.