Security Corner

Feb 24 2011   8:02AM GMT

Top Ten Tips for Avoiding Online Scams

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

People since time immemorial have fallen for scams of various kinds. Chalk it up to wishful thinking, dreaming, greed, what have you, but eventually, everyone finds themselves gullible. If that weren’t the case, life would lose some of its luster. We love to play act; we love to be fooled; and, we love to fool others as long as it’s all in good fun. Unfortunately, there are malicious people–cyber criminals and scam artists–who love to take advantage of those traits for their own gain and our (usually financial) loss.

Here are the top ten tips, courtesy of OnGuardOnline.gov for avoiding online scams:

  • Don’t send money to someone you don’t know.
  • Don’t respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial information.
  • Don’t play a foreign lottery.
  • Keep in mind that wiring money is like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.
  • Don’t agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back.
  • Read your bills and monthly statements regularly—on paper and online.
  • In the wake of a natural disaster or another crisis, give to established charities rather than one that seems to have sprung up overnight.
  • Talk to your doctor before buying health products or signing up for medical treatments.
  • When considering an investment, remember that there’s no such thing as a sure thing.
  • Know where an offer comes from and who you’re dealing with.

I’ve been saying these same things all along, but I will continue to repeat them for as long as I need to.

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