Fraud

Be Aware of Online Fraud – Protect Yourself.

By March 5, 2014 No Comments
Online fraud is big business for criminals. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), jointly run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center, reported receiving over 289,000 complaints in 2012, which resulted in more than $525 million dollars in losses. Many long-running telemarketing and mail fraud techniques are now being used on the Internet, with criminals preying on people’s trust to bilk Americans out of millions of dollars. In addition, some criminals target older Americans or small businesses with specific scams.

Common online fraud scams include:

  • People selling items, such as automobiles, that they do not own. These transactions can take place over sites like Craigslist or eBay, with the buyer transferring money electronically and receiving no product in return.
  • Phishing and spoofing, where criminals pretend to represent a legitimate company or agency and request personal information from their targets. These attempts can include a legitimate-looking email or website. In these cases, the criminals have “spoofed” a real company’s site.
  • Nigerian letter scam, where people are offered to share in a large sum of money if they can help place this money in overseas bank accounts. Victims give criminals their bank account information and send money to the criminals to help pay for bribes and taxes with the promise of repayment.
So how can you protect yourself? Follow these tips from the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA):
  • Think Before You Act. Be wary of “too good to be true” deals. Free money, cheap iPads, cheap cars – if a deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • When in Doubt, Throw it Out. Do not click on links or emails that seem suspicious or are from unknown, unsolicited sources.
  • Shop Only at Reputable Online Retailers. Look for the padlock symbol or for URLs that start with “https” or “shttp.” For auction sites such as eBay, check the seller’s reviews.
  • Use Safe Payment Options. Use a credit card if possible. Credit cards have higher protection measures than debit cards. If you do become a victim of fraud, credit cards offer a better chance that you will not be liable for fraudulent charges.
If you believe you have been a victim of online fraud, file a complaint with Fraud.org’s online complaint form at http://fraud.org/complaint or with IC3 at http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx. DHS_logo This information was published by GovDelivery on behalf of the US Department of Homeland Security in a March 2014 newsletter email.
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Richard

Author Richard

Richard has been interested in the computer industry since high school and has worked in the field for the last 30 years. Richard has been a lead consultant for SecureNation for three years and he excels at quickly understanding new technologies and how they interact with existing installations. Richard is a native of Baton Rouge.

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