Today, the term “scam” is not a “new tone” for web users anymore. Ironically, when you search a query like “scam” in Google, vast amount of complaints are furiously spread throughout forums, blogs and even social networking sites. It seems countless individuals are still uneducated. What is happening to the world wide web? Aren’t we learning from the same mistakes over and over again?
So we decided to create a new list of scams for 2009. We are hoping that somehow this post can reach the majority and save someone else’s “wallet” when he or she come across with a “web-wolf”
Guys, if you think like this way:
I am sure scam will not happen to me, because I am smart, I know everything and I am not fooled easily.
Then be careful, ‘coz you are the typical target of a scammer. Forget other scam that seems impossible to believe like “You win a lottery ticket!” or the classical “You have a million dollar savings waiting for you”.
These are all new and it’s happening as we speak!
1. Nigerian Scam Remix
Ever received a letter from a stranger. It’s usually the one that is in your “spam/bulk” mail area. Telling you something like this?
1st remix: “I am a person who lives in Zimbabwe, who has a father who is a wealthy officer and recently died and I am having problems how can i take care of the money” blah blah, “I am planning to send you the money worth US$21,320,000 hoping you will give your credit card number so we can do the transaction.”
2nd remix: “Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I got your contact from the International web site directory. I prayed over it and selected your name among other names” blah blah “My late Mr Boni Amah whom was killed by the rebels that attacked our country cote d’Ivoire west Africa and took over our town (BOUAKE). I ran to Abidjan the economical capital of cote d’ivoire from were I am contacting you” blah blah, My father has a sum of “US$9,000,000(Nine million united states dollars) kept in a private security company here in cote d’ivoire in my name as the next of kin”
“I want you to become a guardian, and hoping we can do the transaction by you giving your credit card account number. Thanks and GodBless”
Common denominator: My friend you have been hitted by an old yet cunning “Nigerian scam”. These type of messages always ask for your credit card number and personal information so they can use it like their own identity to victimize other people.
How to deal with it:
- Don’t reply, Delete the message immediately. Try to use email provider coming from gmail.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com. These email have built-in options to blocked e-mail by id and automatically put this type of messages in your spam box. You can also “filter” these messages if you are still receiving these spams frequently.
2. Dating Networking Scam
I know that many people nowadays are venturing into dating sites aside from match.com, hoping the next site they will found is free of charge! Little do they know, the fact that it’s FREE means it’s an eye-candy for scammers too. These crooks will join these dating sites in a form of a “sexy-looking” gal that will try to communicate with you and steal your personal data and use it as a form of identity theft for their next victim.
Sample: Dear [victim’s name here], I am Alissa and I came across from Georgia. I am still new to this dating site and I am just trying to see what this site has stored for me. I am looking forward to know you more personally, if you will give me a chance.
Common Denominator: They all want to get to know you more personally, and wants your email, your personal account and their “barometer” of trust is you give them your sensitive data like your credit card, home-address, phone number etc.
How to deal with it:
- If you really like to go deep with complete FREE dating sites, expect these type of messages. You really need to become smart by knowing the person first (through asking with her webcam “on”) Try to see if her smiles and keystrokes are correlated seamlessly and not in a “abnormal pattern”.Otherwise, you could be dealing with a cam-bot. So be wary!
- Golden Rule: Never give your personal data if you are not actually sure who you are dealing with!
- And why do you need to give your personal data at a dating site? You should be doing that for real! where you can see the person (and not in a picture from a profile you know only for 5 minutes) This type of defensive-thinking alone will surely save your sanity and help you not fall as another prey for these dating “predators”.
3. Adult social networking site
As of today, millions of people are joining Adult oriented sites. I can’t stressed to you, that you shouldn’t be there on the first place. However, In case you are already “in the club”, you should be more than careful not to give your sensitive information, especially if that “smutty” site is not popular yet (meaning only few had recently joined).
Sample: Hi we are from ENK-ENK-ENK site.com and we are inviting you to join our site to see with our beautiful models who are wanting to meet you personally! As for now, you are only a regular member and you can’t send an email to our models or view them their cam. You need to become a Silver member or a Gold member to enjoy these services. Pay now, through your credit card! (don’t worry we are offering an exclusive 1 dollar a view to make sure it won’t cost you much. This is a once in a lifetime offer other sites don’t give. Join now!)
Common Denominator: They are all eager to see you type your credit card information in that “credit-card form” they provide you. It really doesn’t matter if it’s only 1 dollar a view or the cheapest ADULT SITE IN THE HISTORY of X X X. Once you input your credit card number then you are in for a big trouble my friend.
How to deal with it?
- When it comes to payment, if their payment form doesn’t have a VERISIGN seal then trash that website. Their credit card form will record your credit card information and use it for purposes like (stealing, bid it to hungry online-black market sites, sell it to another person etc.) So much for the addictiveness to adult networking sites ei?
Tip: Try a Google search and type something like this in the search form “IS ENK-ENK-ENK.com a scam?” you will love the results that you will see from fellow users who has already been victim and sharing their melodramatic experience with that adult site!
4. Paypal/Amazon/E-Bay/Citibank Scams
While you are browsing your email address you see about this incredible offer coming from Trusted Sites giving you an offer, and all you need to do is join!
Sample: We are from Citibank and currently you are being handpick as our lucky online member of the day, check this LINK and join our website to automatically join and become our PREMIUM member. And enjoy a 25-50% discount when you buy products using that account. Offer you wouldn’t want to miss!
Common Denominator: They all want you to join in their fake/Phishing website, thus wanting you to give your personal information and credit card account, for them to steal it.
How to deal with it:
- If you have never been a Citibank/Paypal/Ebay etc. member before, why are they e-mailing you right now?
- REAL Trusted websites WILL NEVER EVER ask you to join them and gives a some sort of a RAFFLE contest. The Last thing on earth that they will do is to handpick you out of millions of people telling you to join in their website and become a premium member instantly.
- A way of determining if it’s a scam, is by clicking their link and try to see if the URL is valid or genuine. Try searching that URL on google and see if it’s on the TOP QUERY page also. A Phishing site is noticeable too, if it contains (mispelled, dangling or very-long URLS)
5. PTC site Scam
What is a PTC site? It’s a website that gives you money once you click in a certain advertisment that they give to you. Though, there are some genuine PTC sites that pays you, the majority are “just hiding in a sheep’s clothing”.
Common Denominator: These PTC site wants you to PURCHASE their “PREMIUM” package (Buy this $500 worth of package and have 300 people clicking for your own network instantly!) After payment, you thought you are given a unique clicking network on your downline. When it’s time for the payout, you will be surprised that their so-called “admin” will say they have send you the money already? Then you wait in vain for months, after that you suddenly heard a news that their website is closing down because of DOS attack, trojan etc. and that’s it! ASTA-LA-VISTA BABY, your money is GONE!
How to deal with it:
- You must see how old the PTC site, if it’s just new. Wait for some time to see what other users have to say.
- How frequent is the payout? What is the Minimum payout? If the answer of the website is: every month and the least payout is around $10. You have a good one. Make sure you always withdraw the money and don’t make it reach a hundred dollars. Play safe.
- Don’t let be fooled by some fake screenshot by other people showing how much they have gain from that PTC site. Majority of these people are exaggerating.
C’mon why boast your money to other PTC users? that will make you look like too-rich and people would not want to click your ads anymore. Make sense, right?
- So far the only PTC site I see with a VERISIGN is www.neobux.com, actually the only PTC site that has celebrated it’s 2nd anniversary.
- Once you see a PTC site offering packages for buying instant “clicking” network, It’s a SCAM. It just means that the PTC site wants QUICK CASH! A good PTC site, will never play a “BINGO-GAME” out of their member’s affiliated network.
- Google it out! and search it!
See more details on The top reasons why you shouldn’t invest on PTC sites?
6. Software/ Tool Genie Scam
Ever visited a site and it’s selling a software or a tool that sounds like it can do everything like a GENIE? Usually these type of softwares are cloaked as an “SEO TOOL” (Search Engine Optimization) to help web-publishers boost their RANKS in Google or a traffic-generator that creates near-like-miracles with your website? Well sad to say guys, some of them are SCAMS!
Common Denominator: They don’t offer any trial or guarantee that what you are receiving is the actual thing that they are selling on their advertisement. When you bite their BAIT, your money is gone! and what will you receive? Another software tool, that can only done one of the things these crooks promised their product can do. Worst, sometimes the software has a license and you need to buy for the license to work. Another scam indeed!
How to deal with it:
- Get a Trial Version of what they are supposed to be selling
- If it sounds like it can do anything, it means it’s the opposite.
- Find the name of that software and search about that product, a wise buyer will always do a background check in google to see how many people had bought that product and see what are their reviews about it.
7. Twitter Scams
Twitter has been one of the most “booming” social networking sites today. On this year, Twitter had almost tripled its ranking based on alexa. Currently, at the top 15 spot (recently dethroned microsoft’s rank). With an ingenious way of sharing your “micro-blogs” in a form of “tweets”, millions of netrepreneurs are starting to harness the power of this “blue-chick”; However, along the success of a networking sites comes the scams. I guess you can never avoid it!
Common Denominator: Just in case you stumble on a website, with a title “How did I earn thousands of dollars using twitter?” or “It’s really easy to earn millions with twitter!” telling you to buy a wonderful seminar he/she made just for you. My dear reader, make sure that you do your “homework” first about that website. Before taking a false-step.
How to deal with it:
- If the suspect’s site is a blog, try to see how many readers it has obtained. If it’s fewer than your pets in the house. Then it sure is a scam. Seeing the quantity of readers is one of the best “barometer” if a certain website is a swindler or not.
- See comments from other users, not only inside the advertiser’s blog. But outside as well. Do a quick search about google using queries like “is twitter xxx a scam” or “who bought twitter xxx” etc. Usually, a victim always spurs out from the crowd when being scammed and if you are lucky enough, you will be reading their sad story even before you take your BIG-LEAP!
- If you think that website is a legitimate site. Try to contact the advertiser and ask some inquiries like (how is the payment done? How will your products be deliverd? Is there a warranty? etc) See if you will receive a reply. A “fakee” who wants to earn quick cash is so busy creating bot accounts and replying with a “human-tone” is quite hard to do for these guys.
In our opinion, there are still a lot of scams out there. Make sure you educate yourself properly. As my mentor always says:
“There’s always a crook born everyday”