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Scams to Watch For

 

The Internet provides with a wealth of information. We can look up our favorite recipes, see what's on TV tonight or just browse for the latest music DVD. As convent as the Internet is it is also proving to be a breeding ground for scammers. As a result we have compiled a list of the top Internet scams of 2004 and how to avoid being a victim.

 

International online auction scam

This scam is still mainly targeted at vechiles (cars, trucks and motorcycles). However the scam has been reworked to include boats and even horses.

The offer the seller receives is for the buyer to send them a check via federal express or such and when the check is deposited the buyer will have his international shipper pick up the vehicle and ship it overseas. The buyer claims to cover all shipping costs since his shipper has connections.

Many of these cheques clear initially then the bank calls to inform you the cheque is counterfeit and your vehicle has already been picked up.

Never sell or buy a vehicle internationally online.

 

Online Lottery Scam

You receive an email saying you are the winner of a jackpot which was drawn overseas.

The email explains how your name was entered into the draw and how you came to win.

The email continues to explain the money you have won is waiting for however there is a deadline to act. All that is required is your bank account number.

If you are ever fortunate enough to win money you will never be asked to provide personal information via email or over the phone. In other words you'll know when you win. If you have any doubt then you didn't, it's that simple!

 

Virus, Worms , Trojans, and Spy where

 

These have been around for quite awhile and few of us haven't heard these terms before.

However last year there was a 300-400% increase in the variety of these attackers from 2003. These attackers can gather sensitive information that is stored on your computer or wipe out your entire system.

Get Anti virus protection such as Norton or and update them online regularly. Check your computer for spy where regularly with programs such as Ad-aware.

Finally install a firewall on your computer. You can get these from many different companies such as tiny personal firewall.

Identity Theft

Although not confined to online users 7-10 million people last year were affected by identity theft... In this Scam criminals steal Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, credit card numbers, ATM cards, telephone calling cards, and other pieces of individuals' identities such as date of birth.

Again, get antivirus protection. To prevent a worm or virus send files from your computer to waiting criminals.

Install a firewall. This prevents criminals from accessing your computer directly and gaining access to your files.

Use passwords on all your sensitive files. Finally, when selling your computer do not simply delete your files. Use a wipe utility to ensure your hard drive is cleaned.

 

Security Threat to Internet Ready Devices

Internet ready devices such as cell phones and palm pilots are relatively new. These devices have been the target of virus and security scams in 2004. These devices are sure to be a target of for future scammers.

 

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