Scammers have existed since the dawn of time. With the advancement of technology they are now able to operate in secrecy across great distances and target larger groups of people than ever before. How do you know if you are being scammed? How do you know if the page you are on is not the real page? How do you know that the email you just received is from the real support team of an account that you have? It is not easy and if you aren’t vigilant you might find your PC infected with malware or your email hi-jacked or much worse: access your bank accounts.
Emails from ‘support’:
You may sometimes receive an email from a company’s support team stating that there has been attempts at hacking your account. In the email is a link to their site and an urge for you to log on and update your details.
This type of email will 100% be a scam. The sender has created a site that looks almost identical to the real site. When you log on it will get your log on credentials so the scammers can then go to the real site and log on as you.
If you get an email like this, the best way forward is to go to the website without following the link. For instance if the email states that it is being sent from Skype in regards to your account with them, don’t follow the link, instead browse to their page at www.skype.com and log on with your credentials. Check your account details and if they all look ok then your next best step is to change your password just to be on the safe side.
Next best step would be to send over the email to the police (go to www.police.co.uk) to report the scam.
Another way to scam you is to arrange for a pop-up to appear on your screen. The pop-up will, in most cases, tell you that you have been infected by a virus. The solution to getting rid of the virus is to press on the scan now button on the pop-up. This is not the solution! As soon as you click on the button you will have malware downloaded on to your PC, usually the type of malware that tracks you and all you do on the PC.
In order to get rid of this pop-up you should launch the task manager and terminate the pop-up. If you can’t locate the process for the pop-up then you can terminate the internet browser instead.
You have placed a classified ad on a website that you trust (for example Jersey Insight, ebay, etc) You get an email or a phone call from someone who wants to buy the item for a price that is much higher than what you have asked for, all you have got to do is put the excess money in to someone’s account or send via, for instance Western Union. Best recommendation is to stay away!
The buyer is not in your country, they will contact you from abroad asking you to send the item to them without them even seeing it. This is also a scam.
Scammers are often from countries where English isn’t their native language so here are some other warning signals to look out for:
- The email they send to you uses bad grammar and has a lot of typos, the sender might also use sentences like: “I know I can trust you…” or “I have absolute faith in you…”
- Their name suddenly changes in the email: They could say John Stevens at the top of the email and sign it as Robert Jones.
If you are unsure and not confident on any of the above you can always contact the C5 Service Desk on 01534 633733 or firstname.lastname@example.org