Sunday 25 September 2011

Five Ways to Avoid Online Scams

Online scams are epidemic and we consumers need to protect ourselves from rogue Web sites that make promises that are not kept. Below are some of the ways you can protect yourself from becoming a victim by practicing safe surfing habits.

Use Web site advisers:

I use two Web site advisers to steer clear from rogue Web sites. I use the built-in Web site adviser that avast! provides with its anti-virus protection. I also use Web Of Trust to help weed out bad Web sites. This software relies on input from consumers to identify sites that have an unsavory reputation and will prompt you with warnings for bad Web sites.

Protect your personal information:

Reputable Web sites will not ask you for personal information. You should also avoid providing your credit card information until you are absolutely sure that the Web site is legitimate. Check the Web site’s privacy policy and determine if the company has a phone number to call in case you need additional information concerning the site and what it is offering.

Avoid those unsolicited advertisements:

When you receive an advertisement from someone you are not familiar with or an advertisement you did not request to receive, take extra precautions before clicking on any links. I personally avoid checking the box on any site that wants to send me additional information from one of its partners. I also do a search of the Web site and determine the site’s reputation from independent reviewers and see what other consumers have to say about the site.

You are already a winner:

Many Months ago I received an unsolicited phone call and I was told I had won a new Iphone. After confirming the type of Iphone I won. I went along with the scam until they asked for my credit card number to purchase vitamins. Avoid these type of scams and remember that none of us receive anything for nothing without involving some type of con.

Avoid sweepstakes fees:

If a fee is required to pay for taxes or for shipping a prize, do not give these people your credit card or banking account information. Honest companies do not require you to pay anything to get a prize or other gift. In addition, you are not required to pay taxes upfront in order to collect your winnings before receiving the prize you have won.

Though these seems like common sense approaches to avoid being scammed, it is still surprising how many people fall for these scams every year. Do not become a victim and protect yourself from being conned out of your hard earned money.

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