Avoiding Online Financial Scams

Online financial scams have been around since the internet became open to everybody because there are people always looking for ways to take advantage of somebody else.

Here are the top 5 online financial scams to avoid.

1. The Nigerian Emergency e-mail scam (419): This is the oldest and most popular financial scam online; victims receive e-mails from people who claim to be relatives of deposed politicians, or business men who are having problems accessing their funds, or have a business proposal for you.

After gaining your trust, they will tell you how they are trying to transfer some funds from some account, and will need your help, they will need to transfer the money through your account to avoid suspicion, and will pay you a commission for your trouble. They will need you to send some money to facilitate the transfer, and you will never hear from them one you send the money.

2. The Department of Homeland Security Scam: This is a newer phishing scam, it occurs when you unknowingly click a link in your email that is infected with malware, this virus will freeze your computer, and take control of your computer camera. There will be a message supposedly from the DHS claiming you have been caught looking at child porn and will give you a chance to unlock your computer if you pay a “fine” usually a couple of hundred dollars.

3. Online Marketplace Scams: People should also be wary when they buy and sell things online, when people list things they want to sell online, scammers contact them and are enthusiastic about the product, sometimes they like it so much they offer more than you are asking. Most of the time they are out of town and can’t come check it out, so they will send an agent and pay with a check or money order. The problem with the scam is they will make the check amount over what the price is, and ask you to send the balance to them through a wire transfer. If you agree to that, you will never see your money again.

4. Lottery Scams: You will receive an e-mail claiming you just won the lottery, it is impossible to win a lottery you didn’t enter.

5. Disaster relief scams: After disasters, scammers set up fake accounts for people to donate to, claiming it is for the victims of the disaster. They keep the money and victims never see a dime.

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