How can I avoid online scams and fraud ?

There are several types of online scams and frauds that spread today. The earlier you learn these scams, the lesser your chances of falling for one. If you think something is too good to be true, the only way you can check is by going to and find out for yourself. This website is run by federal agencies and private businesses to educate people about fraud and help them prevent falling for scams. This website has categorized the six types of frauds, which include pharmacy, identity, auction, lottery, counterfeit payments and other financial frauds.

Pharmacy fraud has become rampant because of the dozens of online drugstores being developed each year. Unfortunately, not all of these pharmacies can be trusted. Many online drug stores do not follow the same standards as the traditional pharmacies, so you might waste your money by not receiving your meds, or even receive illegitimate or counterfeit drugs and cause other health problems.

Identity fraud or theft is a very popular crime in America today. More and more individuals or groups of people are thinking up schemes to get your private information, credit card details and other personal information to run off with your identity. If you wish to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, you should learn about spyware, spoofing, phishing, hacking and other tricks used by malicious people to obtain your information, so you could learn how to defend your private information.

Auction fraud is also becoming a popular crime because more and more people prefer to shop online. However, some individuals or stores try to sell items and once they receive your money, they’ll be long gone and you’ll never receive the item you paid for. This is a common problem with online shopping, but most auction sites have a system to rate their sellers, so that buyers are aware of the seller’s credibility before purchasing items.

Another popular scam is the lottery or sweepstakes fraud wherein some people would e-mail you with a notice that you’ve won millions of dollars. However, most of these people would require you to provide them your personal information or even ask you for money as tax payment for the money you’ve won. You’ll never receive such millions, so it’s better to stay away from such scams.

Counterfeit payments fraud works when people offer you real cashier checks or money orders, then request you to deposit it for them. Most of these deals require you to send in about 75% of the cash, then keep the rest for yourself. However, when the check bounces, you’ll wind up owing a large sum of money instead.

There are other financial frauds going about in the cyberspace, so be sure to watch out. Some of these scams include the romance schemes, Ponzi schemes, charities fraud, Nigerian 419 scams and fraudulent debt elimination, among others. However, be aware that not all of these scams happen online; you should also watch out for frauds being made through the mail, over the phone or in person. As long as you’re aware of the scams being done, you can steer clear from these frauds as soon as you feel something looks to good to be true.

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2 Responses to “How can I avoid online scams and fraud ?”

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