How to Stay away from Internet Scams

By reading the title you might be wondering what does this article has to do with a Tech blog? Part of the reason i am posting this article is, Technology does play a key role in scamming people.

How to Stay away from Internet Scams

Online Security Protection Internet Safety Business People Concept

These scammers use various forms of Technology to scam people like fake emails from different IPs where many IPs link to different parts of the world.

What does Scam mean?

Well, we’ll define it as obtaining money by means of deception including fake personalities, fake photos, fake template letters, non-existent addresses, phone numbers, forged documents, fake emails, sms’es etc.

There are many types of scam on internet. One of the famous scams which people have fallen prey to is a scam  called as “Nigerian 419 Scam”.

A ‘Nigerian’ scam is a form of upfront payment or money transfer scam. They are called Nigerian scams because the first wave of them came from Nigeria, but they can come from anywhere in the world. The ‘4-1-9’ part of the name comes from the section of Nigeria’s Criminal Code which outlaws the practice.

The scammers usually contact you by email or sms and offer you a share in a large sum of money that they want to transfer out of their country. They may tell you about money trapped in central banks during civil wars or coups, often in countries currently in the news. Or they may tell you about massive inheritances that are difficult to access because of government restrictions or taxes in the scammer’s country.

Scammers ask you to pay money or give them your bank account details to help them transfer the money. You are then asked to pay fees, charges or taxes to help release or transfer the money out of the country through your bank.

These ‘fees’ may even start out as quite small amounts. If paid, the scammer make up new fees that require payment before you can receive your ‘reward’. They will keep making up these excuses until they think they have got all the money they can out of you. You will never be sent the money that was promised.

Recently, i have seen many Nigerians around my city. The first thought you will get is, they are just tourists to visit India. It is from the last couple of weeks, i am getting SMSes and emails like “Congratulations! you have won $150 million (Amount is just an example). To claim your prize, send us address, phone number, sex, bank account number.” 

I was than sure that these are the Nigerians who are sending such messages. I immediately reported the phone numbers to local police station.

How to Stay away from such scams?

  • Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: the only people who make money are the scammers.
  • Do not let anyone pressure you into making decisions about money or investments: always get independent financial advice.
  • Do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam): delete them.
  • NEVER reply to a spam email (even to unsubscribe). They have a fraud link even behind “Unsubscribe” 
  • Never send your personal, credit card or online account details through an email.
  • Money laundering is a criminal offence: do not agree to transfer money for someone else.

Also, if you want to check any mails saying “You have been selected as the winner” OR “You have been selected for this job” and say Click here, right click on the link and select Inspect element. You will see the link behind those words.

If the link is unknown or not related to the topic, You have just received a fraud email. Trash it.

I deleted such mails and messages i received or i would have shown you the images.

Over to you

Have you ever received such fraudulent emails or messages? If yes, what have you done with it? Let us know in the comments

If you ever receive such mails or messages in future, be sure to take utter care not to fall for them just for a few bucks of money which you will never get! 

(Note: This article does not harm any country, caste, race or religion. Not all nigerians are scammers. It is just for the awareness and information to people reading my blog.)

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  • Nice post Kadva.

    Even I have been getting emails and SMSes like these but the only best thing to do is to ignore them or trash/delete them.

    Doesn’t matter if one clicks the links in the message, but if that is done then there should be a good anti-virus that can see if any social engineering type of scam involved.

    A quick way to identify these people is to see the kind of English they use. Since they aren’t native English speakers, there are bound to be some grammatical mistakes as you have mentioned.

    Thanks for the share. A good piece of information you have shared there!

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