What is an online scam artist?
An online scam artist is someone that uses the Internet to take money from Internet users. They can contact you through e-mail or access your information online when you make purchases from unsecure or non-trustworthy websites. They may also call you on the phone to get further information.
How do online scam artist work?
Online scam artists get your information by hacking into your account (which happens less frequently because banks take serious precautions to prevent that from happening). They can also get your information when you enter your ATM or credit card information to a website. Sometimes, credit card information is stolen or even sold to people who plan to use it.
In the event that your credit card or ATM card information is stolen, a lot of times the people who stole it will make a small purchase to see how closely you monitor your account. They may continue to make smaller purchases, but later on may make larger ones and then discontinue using your information.
The highest targets of e-mail scam artists is baby-boomers and much older seniors, but they will send e-mails to anyone. Sometimes they will pretend to be a long-lost relative needing a bank account transfer. Other times they say they just need someone’s bank account information to transfer a large sum of money into it. There are many other tales they may tell, but they all focus on needing someone’s bank account information.
Sometimes scam artists will call someone up a few times and get little bits of information, like a child’s name, an address or other personal information to have something in common with them when they contact them later on.
These scam artists have gotten away with stealing people’s money so much that there are lawyers and agencies of police that specifically try to stop them.
How can I prevent from being scammed?
Keep very close track of your bank statements and don’t make purchases that aren’t necessary. If you have trouble keeping track, ask a trustworthy relative to help, or call your bank every few days or weeks and ask them to check for any purchases outside the city you live in.
But most importantly: NEVER GIVE OUT ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION TO PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW. No matter what information they know about you, never do it. If someone claims to be a relative and needs money, call another family member to see if their story is correct. If they say that it is an emergency, don’t buy into it. Be smart and NEVER ASSUME THAT EVERYONE ONLINE (or anywhere) IS 100% GOOD.
Online Scam Artists and Post by Kate Valdovinos.
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