The PHASE Guide to Staying Safe Online
The internet can be a dangerous place. Internet scams are becoming more common and more people are being tricked into loosing money.
Don’t let it happen to you! There are now many different types of internet scam designed to con people into handing over money or password information.
Here are 5 of the most common scams to be aware of.
Emails from your bank or subscriptions.
This is one of the biggest scams on the web, an email from what would appear to be your bank (that could look very real) asking for your personal details such as sort code and account number. It could also be an email from a subscription service such as Netflix or a company such as Apple. The bottom line is, company’s such as these would never send you an email asking for your details, if anyone has, it is likely that it is unofficial and it could be someone trying to steal your hard earned money. These emails may also contain a telephone contact number, never ring this number, always search for the number yourself and contact the agency direct with any concerns you have.
Pay in advance.
Paying in advance for a service or product. This is something that most of us will need to do at some point. Most of the time, its completely safe if from websites we can trust. However, many people are being caught out with scams such as ‘Pay a fee to receive your cash prize’. Scammers will often make a flashy advert or email claiming that you have won a cash prize; all you need to do is to type in your bank details and send a small admin fee to receive your money. If you ever stumble across something like that, then yes, it is too good to be true.
This is similar to the first point I made. Scammers are sending emails pretending to be from companies such as Apple, Amazon, Ebay, Paypal, to be honest the list is never ending. Scammers will often be able to access your online purchase history. They will then send an email to you to tell you that you have been overcharged for your product. They will ask for your bank details and well… you can guess what happens next! These scams can look particularly real. Be safe, if you receive an email like this, contact the company directly.
Money Requests from Friends.
This one abuses how generous we all are! This scam can come through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter or through your email. It is a message that would appear to be from one of your friends. The message will ask you to lend/send them money into their bank account. If you get a message like this then give them a call to make sure the message really is from them!
We all want low rent prices, scammers know this! One trick the scammers use is to copy real adverts of properties to rent, then post the advert out with an unbelievably low rent price. They will then ask for a deposit up front to secure the property for you. Like I have already said, things like this are always too good to be true! Always contact the housing agency directly to eliminate any risk!
All of these scams can be avoided by using common sense and contacting companies directly if you have any doubts. Never give your bank details or personal information out unless you have cleared it with the company, agency or individual.