Ken's Top 10 Online Scams to Avoid | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Technology is good, but when used the wrong way it is bad. The Internet Crime Complaint Center, IC3, reports in 2013 Americans lost $781 million to online scams, and Florida ranks second in these complaints.
Based on what we now know here are my top ten online scams:
(10) The Romance Scam
The person pretends to be someone they're not, usually through an online dating site. Their goal is get money or personal information from their target in a practice called cat phishing
These individuals will get junk cars and sell them from parking lots -- cars that may be stolen, or have the odometer rolled back or they are damaged. You will also find ads driving you to their sales location on websites like Craigslist.
(8) Gun Sale Scam
The person who is out to scam you will post an online ad using photos and bogus descriptions of rifles or long guns. The victim is asked to e-mail or fax a copy of a photo ID to make the sale appear legitimate. The victim then buys the gun, but never receives it.
(7) Real-Estate Rental Scam
The scammer takes rental information from a real estate agent's listings and posts it on another site with his own e-mail address. Victims are then instructed to send money to cover the first and last month's rent through a wire transfer service. Always verify before you do anything.
In this scam, the person will post fake online reviews on sites such as Yelp and Google, usually to boost his own business profile. If you're not sure about a particular business, always get a second opinion from places like the Better Business Bureau.
(5) The Grandparent Scam
An unsolicited caller claims to be your grandchild in desperate need of financial assistance. He claims he was involved in an accident and he's in a foreign country. The pitch? He needs you to send money to pay medical bills, get out of jail or pay the other party. Don't do it. Make sure your grandchild is really in trouble before you respond.
(4) The Tech Support Scam
This is pretty popular. The caller claims he's from Dell or Microsoft and there's a problem with your computer. You're then asked to download software that either gives them remote access or the download infects your computer with malware. At this point, you will have to pay them to fix the problem.
(3) The Enterprise Fee Scam
This is the old Nigerian scam. You are sent an email asking you to pay an upfront fee for taxes or insurance in exchange for a great deal of money. If you won a prize, you do not have to pay a fee in order to collect that prize.
(2) The Affinity Scam
This will happen where you would least expect it, in your church or in your social club. The person or persons gain your trust only to steal your money. A common approach is using a phony investment scheme.
(1) The Insta Scam
If you are a big social media user, this will get you. You are encouraged to download an app that lets you share information and pictures. The scam is you are eventually connected to a prize giveaway or some other vehicle that demands your credit card information.
Those are my top ten online scams. The information highway is good, but you have to avoid these potholes.