While there are many great products that you can buy on the web, online scams are everywhere these days. In this page we will talk about 3 of the most popular kinds of scams that you should be aware of…
1. The Free Trial Offer – Just Don’t Expect to Collect Anything
This common online scam is slathered everywhere across the internet — you probably saw six on your way here — could be a special supplement, diet program or an online dating site. The only thing you have to do to instantly begin enjoying XXXX product or service is to pay $7.99 up front, possibly for shipping and handling.
What really Happens: What you missed while you were mesmerized by the notion of collecting all this for such a small price of $7.99 is that you might be signing on to pay up to $99.99 in monthly fees until kingdom come or you cancel the service –implying you actually get anything, which you don’t.
The Fact Is: The unsavvy online consumer who falls afoul of such a scheme is likely to see no end of hassles by not paying very close attention to the small print that may be requesting provisions to empty his bank account and proceed to garnish any further deposits.
One of the crafty tactics that many of these fraudulent companies employ is to hide the string of numbers that catch the scanning eye from sight by spelling out cash amounts and requested fees. Those who fail to notice this fine print stand to lose plenty.
How to Steer Clear of this Trap:
Be sure to carefully read the small print that is presented to you in any online transactions you participate in and certainly don’t believe that every testimonial that gets published next to some model that claims “This product brought these results!” is selling you anything but hype.
You can run any photos of the supposed model through an online check at tineye.com. Models appearing in a string of sites promoting a different product each time are most likely advertising a bogus deal.
Most companies that have a legit business are open to negotiate any deals their clients make. If they do not, ask about their refund program. If it seems they have stolen into the night, consider alerting your credit card dealer.
2. The Wi-Fi Imposter — Watch out He’s Right Behind You
This is a crafty ploy that is often pulled in a public area, a coffee shop, airport or train station. You plonk yourself down, take out your device and begin attempting to log into a Wi-Fi channel that just opened –it could seem like free service or a pay service like Boingo. You connect, do your thing and it all seems totally legit.
What Really Happened: Some nearby clown armed with a pretty nefarious laptop setup just impersonated a Wi-Fi account. If this is presented as a “free site”, you may have connected and provided the crook with your important information, telephone numbers, bank info, and any other password held info that they could use to cheat the system.
If you actually made the grave error of paying to access the site, you may find that you were billed an exorbitant amount for a couple minutes of Wi-Fi connection –then your credit card numbers can be used for whichever intent he deems most desirable, whether getting himself something nice or perhaps selling your info for a price.
The Fact Is: These fake Wi-Fi spots are sprouting up everywhere across the country and they can be very difficult to distinguish from the real deal. This is a pretty lucrative plan, a low income startup with total positive cash flow –and there are plenty of starving entrepreneurs with nothing better to do than pull a fast one.
And according to the FBI database, some of the imposter Wi-Fi channels actually say things like AT&T service provider, these guys are shameless!
How to Avoid This: Be sure the configuration of your mobile device is not set up to automatically connect to a non-preferred network. On a PC this is accomplished in the (Network connections section and a Mac will check the “Ask to join Networks” option found in the Network pane under System Preferences.
Visa and Mastercard also make $20 gift cards that grant Wi-Fi access on airplanes, around two days of the time this will keep your private information safe at all times. You can also set your device up before traveling with the airport service providers, this will be done online and can safely avoid the hazards of traveling.
Finally, it’s a smart idea to keep all your banking and shopping to networks and connections you know and trust, doing this in public is just poor business acumen.
3. Your World is about to Be consumed in Flame! And we will Protect You!
Also known as the scareware scam, this ploy hopes to frighten you into making a decision that would be financially advantageous to some second rate programmers with nothing better to do with their lives.
You will receive an important notice alerting you to the presence of a number of horrible viruses that have left you and your loved ones open to attack from the cyber marauders of Mambrino, or something equally terrifying. Then they are quick to present you with a clever solution to your predicament, usually in the form of anti-virus software with an impressive name like “AntiVirus300XR: Professional Version” and an offer to perform a free trial scan.
Of course, the scan reports the horrible viruses are already building condominiums throughout your inner circuitry and are currently leaking your information to the ISIS insurgents. Furthermore for a small fee of $50.00 the “AntiVirus300XR: Professional Version” will eliminate the alien threat.
What Really Happened: You were probably never in any sort of threat until the moment you click on the link, giving your consent to download “AntiVirus300XR: Professional Version” and eliminate the threat. At which point the charlatans will indeed download a doozy of a virus onto your hard drive which emptied your database of valuable information, which they now have the option to sell to ISIS insurgents if they find a market.
The Fact Is: This is a very underhanded ploy from technically savvy saboteurs to prey on those of us who rely on our computers and devices, though we are not thoroughly versed in the particulars of their function.
This is expected to become one of the most lucrative scams of this generation, it will take being proactive to safely avoid this trap.
How to Avoid this Trap
It is a good idea to invest in a reputable anti-virus software from the get go. This way, if you happen to see any “Virus Alert” notifications you can rest assured that you can at least verify the presence of a virus on your computer with a scan from your Antivirus software.