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Internet and Email Scams

Internet/E-mail Scams

Phishing - According to Webster's is "the practice of luring unsuspecting Internet users to a fake Web site by using authentic-looking email with the real organization's logo, in an attempt to steal passwords, financial or personal information, or introduce a virus attack"Lottery & Sweepstakes Scams - The potential victim is sent an e-mail notification that they have won money. However, to obtain the supposed winnings the winner is told that he/she must pay taxes up front or some other fictitious fee. Sometimes the scammer doesn't require money up front, but asks for the winner's account number, supposedly to deposit the winnings, but really to steal.Nigerian Scams - This e-mail is supposedly from a citizen of another country (often Nigeria). He writes that he needs your help to gain access to his funds that he cannot touch because of the country's regulations. He offers to greatly reward you for your help. All he needs is your account number, supposedly to transfer the funds, but really so that he can drain your savings. There are many versions of this scam.Online Auction Scams - In this scenario, the victim is the seller. The buyer sends a cashier's check to the seller for an amount larger than the purchase price. They buyer asks that the difference is sent back to him/her and usually tells the seller that he/she can keep a little extra for the trouble. Even though it is a cashier's check, that doesn't mean that it's safe. This check is later found to be counterfeit and the seller is out the money that they sent back to the buyer. Best Practices
  • Be suspicious of any e-mail that comes from someone you don't know personally.
  • Never click on a link in a suspicious e-mail.
  • Never give social security numbers, account numbers, passwords, or driver's license numbers over the internet or in an e-mail
  • Safeguard use of credit cards on the internet for purchases. Only buy from businesses you know. When submitting credit card information make sure that the Web site is secure.
  • Make sure your browser is up to date and apply security patches as they become available. Learn more about updating your computer at our protect your computer page.
  • Sign up for the Do Not Call list
  • Check your credit report at least once a year
  • As always, pay close attention to your bank statements and financial affairs. 

If you feel that you may be a victim of an Internet or E-mail Scam click here to contact us via email.

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