Online Banking Scams

April 23, 2009

There are many unscrupulous people who are trying to take advantage of consumers. Scams are all around us, just think about Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme that resulted in billions being lost by very sophisticated people. We’ve all probably received emails similar to the ones I will be discussing in this article. Following are two online scams that could trick you into providing personal information that will compromise either your online accounts or identity.

The Bank/Credit Card Email Scam: If you get an email asking you to sign-on to your bank account or credit card through the email because your privacy is under danger or just to receive a free gift or something: BEWARE! Do not sign-on through the link provided in the email. If the email seems suspicious, go to the bank or credit card site by directly typing the address into your browser, as opposed to following the links in the email.

How Does This Scam Work?
The senders of the email know that only a very few will sign-on through the link in the email, but that is all they need. When you sign-on using the bogus internet address in the link, they got your user and password. Now it’s time for them to party!

The Missing Millionaire Scam:
If you receive an email saying that they represent a dead or missing former ruler, high-ranking official or businessman from an African, Gulf or even Russian: BEWARE! They offer you a chance to earn between one to five percent of ten to fifty million dollars. Don’t get tricked into this, for though they speak of giving you money, they will receive cash and from your account.

How Does This Scam Work?
They will ask you for your bank details in order to transfer the cash and then they will use that to transfer a small amount. Now, once you trust them, they will ask you for more personal and secure information because they “need” that to transfer the entire sum in and out of your account. What they won’t tell you is that they will transfer all the money out of your account into theirs, or steal your identity.

Bottom Line – Beware:
Whatever you do online, always remember that the internet is a place where fraudsters like to take advantage of you. Treat it like you would treat any other business venture and bring up your guard. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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