Wednesday, 4 January 2012

AVOID SCAMS, Especially Fake Accreditation

A few weeks ago a member of my family was a victim of cold calling leading to a scam. My family member received a call from a man claiming to be a Microsoft employee warning her about viruses on their home computer. Luckily she didn't think twice of going through the steps this man was attempting to give her down the phone whilst logged into the computer.

I hear of these type of scams are happening all the time, and I realised I have been a victim of such thing. Until the other night.

On my phone a receive and email from HM Revenue claiming I have a tax rebate to claim of a significant sum. Instantly I think 'Great...I need some quick money'. Without thinking I click the link, directing me to HM Revenues website with the steps to receive this rebate. I was reading through and I happened to glance up at the URL for this site, and this what I see;

Instantly I stopped what I was doing, and realised what a stupid mistake I was about to make. However, I was then curious to how this scam was going to carry out.

The fake HM Revenue website was asking who I bank with for the transaction, I clicked on my bank in the drop down menu which directed me straight to a page that looks identical to my online banking. Which of course asks for my 12 digit card, again I look up to the top of the page and staring at me was the previous strange URL.

From there I halted my proceedings, closed everyone down and deleted the original email.

I just wanted to post this entry to let you know that these scams can be easily received and even people like myself who would think to have a good knowledge of the internet can be caught up in them.  Although I was just being curious whilst being fully aware what was occurring.

Scams come in all shapes and sizes. Accredited online colleges and resources that are legitimate are posted just as easily as those which were created by developers, not educators and are illegitimate. They are hard to identify and have been steadily increasing over the past few years - in the last ten years investors have lost $23 billion in scams. Especially aided by social networks and the ability to correspond on the internet. Relationships that once took years to build are now fostered over days and because of this, many have placed their trust in the wrong hands and found their pockets empty.

Whenever you receive an email which makes you think "how did they get my email address" read everything over before clicking any links. And perhaps decide whether the internet is the best way to follow up this email.

I have just attempted to view that URL and luckily the site has been taken down. But of course there will be more out there being created.

MH x

No comments: