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Online scams

The rise of the internet has opened up the world to millions of people. It is now possible to do things that were unheard of only ten or even five years ago.

Unfortunately the internet is not free from scams and scammers. Some scams are especially designed to take advantage of the way the internet works.

A lot of internet scams take place without the victim even noticing. It is only when their credit card statement or phone bill arrives that the person realises that they might have been scammed.

There are, however, several ways to protect yourself from internet scams. They are simple but essential precautions you can take because you often cannot be sure exactly who you are dealing with on the internet.

How you access the internet can also make a difference. If you take the right precautions, the chances of being scammed are greatly reduced.

Online auctions can be rigged by scammers or used to target you for a scam outside of the auction site. You could end up with a dud product or nothing at all for your money.

Scams that send you a fake renewal notice for your actual domain name, or a misleading invoice for a domain name that is very similar to your own.

Spam emails, SMS or MMS usually offer free goods or ‘prizes’, very cheap products or promises of wealth. Responding to spam messages can result problems for you computer and your bank account.

Offers of ‘free’ website access, downloads, holidays, shares or product trials – but you have to supply your credit card or other personal details.

Modem-jacking scams secretly change the phone number dial-up modems use to access the internet to an overseas or premium rate phone number. You could pay hundreds of dollars extra.

Spyware is a type of software that spies on what you do on your computer. Key-loggers record what keys you press on your keyboard. Scammers can use them to steal your online banking passwords or other personal information.

Similar scams:

You are promised huge rewards if you help someone transfer money out of their country by paying fees or giving them your bank account details.

If you agree to transfer money for someone you don’t know, you let scammers use your bank account to ‘launder’ their dirty money. This puts you and your money in the firing line.

Misleading offers for ‘free’ or cheap ring tones that end up being a subscription or premium rate service.

You are asked to send money upfront for a product or ‘reward’. You will end up with something much less than you expected, or nothing at all.

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