Caution! Scam-control

There exist numerous ways to cheat honest and naive Internet users on money. Various new strategies appear every day. To guard yourself from these tricks, you need to know as much information about them as possible. Of course, various new strategies appear every day and it is hard to know all of them, but the most frequent we will describe.

Upfront payment scams

Upfront payment scams work the following way: usually you are offered to pay for different types of “rewards” in advance and receive them later. As “rewards” scammers can use a prize, a holiday trip, pre-approval loan or application for the credit card. Often, you are asked to pay some fees to receive what you are interested in or to provide your bank account details. And as a result, usually users do not receive anything in return.

Scam features:

  • You receive email, sms or phone calls offering you to receive enticing reward for a small upfront payment.
  • The scammer will assure you that you need to pay the fees or delivery cost.
  • Usually such “rewards” cost much more than you are offered to pay.
  • Payment process involves money orders or wire transfers. Having sent funds with wire transfer or money orders it is almost impossible to get money back.

Tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not trust to such offers. All official institutions, which inform you that you have won something, never demand any upfront payment from you to receive it.
  • Never give you personal data, credit card or bank account details to unknown or suspicious parties.
  • Sometimes it is better to browse forums or blogs. Maybe there were already many cases of such scams.
  • Nigerian 419 scams

    “Nigerian 419” scams refer to upfront payment scams. Now few words about their name. “Nigerian” refers to the country where these scams first appeared – Nigeria. “419” stands for the number of Nigerian Criminal code section, which outlaws such activities. Here how it works: scammers send emails or letters where they offer a part in the huge sum of money, which they want to transfer out of the country. Money can be blocked in the bank account during civil wars or putsches. They can also claim that they have large inheritance which is hard to receive because of government restrictions or high taxes in the scammer's country.

    Scammers promise you to get part of that large sum of money for a favour. You need to help them by providing your account details or by paying fees or taxes to transfer money out of the country through your bank.

    To all the above mentioned scam features we can add:

    • Usually you receive such offers suddenly. Emails or letters contain very long and pitiful stories about the money trapped in the bank and call for help.
    • Email or letters are written in very broken English.

    • Tips to protect yourself:

      • Do not believe to pitiful stories, and to quick ways of becoming rich. Always apply for independent financial advice.
      • Never share your personal data, details of your credit cards or of your bank account with people you do not know.
      • Cheque overpayment scams

        Cheque overpayment scams usually occur when you are selling something on the Internet.

        The scheme is very simple:

        • There appears a buyer, who wants to purchase what you offer.
        • He/she pays for it with a cheque.
        • When you receive it, you see that the sum of the cheque is larger than it is needed to pay for the item. The scammer can invent many reasons why it has happened. He/she might wanted to cover shipping fees or taxes. Or that it was just a mistake.
        • The scammer will kindly ask you to return excess money via online banking or money transfer.
        • The scammer will hope that you wouldn't find out by that time that this is a rubber cheque. If you have already sent the “purchased” item, you will lose both – money and your commodity.

        • Tips to protect yourself:

          • above all, use your common sense and do not agree to “alluring” offers, they might be scams.
          • Make sure that the cheque that you have received is valid, before you send your commodity or refund the excess money.

          • All the described scams can happen to you. Please be carefull. We will continue describing other ways of scamming people in further articles.

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