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admin2 On March - 9 - 2011

online backup

The recent economic downturn has meant very hard times for a lot of people. With so many people out of work and/or out of money, the stage has been set for a proliferation of fraudulent Internet schemes. Their common goal: to separate victims from their money and/or their personal information.

The best way to avoid being victimized by these scams is to not pay up front. A lot of these scams require that the victim make a small payment in advance in order to receive the promised inheritance/lottery winnings/job offer/mortgage refinancing etc.

If an advance payment is needed, it is best to regard the scheme as a scam. If your promised good fortune is too good to believe, don’t believe it.

Sometimes the scammers will advance their victims a payment by cheque and then request a refund. They might indicate that they need reimbursing for an overpayment, or that fees have to be paid.

The scammer’s cheque is of course bogus, leaving the victim on the hook with the bank for the entire amount they have withdrawn. The victim is always responsible for any cheque they deposit, whether it’s fake or genuine. 

Most importantly, cashing a bogus cheque is a crime and the hapless victim may wind up charged with money laundering or worse.

Recipients of large cheques should do their utmost to ascertain that the bank account is legitimate and that the funds are available. Even then that doesn’t mean the cheque is legitimate — anyone can print a cheque. 

It is far safer by far to make it your policy not to accept cheques from any Internet transactions, including e-Bay sales.

It is also far safer to not make payments by cheque. Scammers want your bank account information simply because they want to empty your bank account.

If you have to make a payment online, use a credit card instead. Credit card payments are protected insofar as the liability of you the consumer is limited if you report unauthorized use of your card. You won’t be on the hook for the illegitimate transaction.

Besides keeping your banking information private, I cannot encourage you enough to keep all of your personal information private. Every year scammers get trickier and more determined in the methods they use to convince people to reveal personal information.

It used to be the scams were fairly easy to spot because they’d be full of typos and bad grammar. Nowadays the scammers are very sophisticated in their phishing techniques, and make the emails with the malicious links look very convincing and legitimate.

It is best to be sceptical of every email that has very, very good news like you won the lottery, or very, very bad news like you will lose something if you don’t act right now. 

Also be suspicious of every email that links to a log-in page. If you receive a message from what looks to be your bank for instance, instead of clicking on the link you should directly key in what you know to be your bank’s URL. Or, better yet, telephone your bank to inquire about the message. Look up the number instead of using any phone number provided in the suspect email message. Keep in mind banks do not do business via email because it is so insecure.

My best advice to you is to be aware that although the Internet is a fantastic tool that brings the whole world to your fingertips, it is also a fantastic tool for cybercriminals that allows them to bring a whole world of trouble to you.

Use caution and good sense. Guard your privacy as best you can. Trust, but verify. 

Besides protecting your digital identity, don’t forget to protect your computer files. Using CollectionMine’s online data backup and storage is a great plan. It will keep your files safe and secure, away from prying eyes. Stored in a world-class data centre, your files cannot fall victim to viruses, hackers, thieves or any natural disasters.


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