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Nerd Tips 6 Ways To Identify And Escape E-mail Scams

Many have claimed immunity to the wiles of con artists, but even the tech savvy fall for their many tricks like rice before a sharp scythe.

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Con artists have carved a niche for themselves on the internet - raping people's naivety! play

Con artists have carved a niche for themselves on the internet - raping people's naivety!

Con artists have carved a niche for themselves on the internet - raping people's naivety- and effectively ruining the lives of some innocent victims, financially and otherwise.

You might think yourself immune but even the tech savvy fall before their many tricks like rice before a sharp scythe. So you have to be careful with you online dealing.

As scammers become more sophisticated, it is very difficult for the average internet user to detect fraudulent messages at a glance because the messages often link to real company logos/websites of popular brands that leave you confident of the authenticity of the source – until they’ve conned you, you realise nothing.

However, there are things you can be on the lookout for:

1. Requests for personal information in an e-mail message: Be very suspicious of a message that asks for personal information even if it might look legitimate. They will steal your information and torment you.

2. Urgent wording: To increase the number of responses, criminals attempt to create a sense of urgency so that people immediately respond without thinking. Usually, fake e-mail messages are NOT personalized, while READ messages from your bank or e-commerce company generally are.

3. Announcing lottery wins: When an email you notifies you of lottery wins when you know you never entered for one, it’s better to ignore it. It’s all a lie. God may smile on you, but usually not this way. A bird in hand...

4. Be wary of fake links and altered URLs (important!): Scammers are smart people constantly evolving in their craftiness and ability to create misleading – so you can’t tell if it’s legitimate or not. The link you are urged to click might contain all or part of a real company's name and can be "masked," – meaning the link takes you to a faked Web site.

For example, www.microsoft.com could appear instead as: www.micosoft.com (missing R) or www.mircosoft.com (displaced R &C) – ignore such.

5. Never copy and paste URLs from strange messages into your browser.

6. Be mindful of URLs that include the @ sign. This is because browsers ignore anything in the URL that comes before the @ sign:

So pulse.ng@nl.tv/secure_verification.aspx is actually nl.tv/secure_verification.aspx and totally unrelated to Pulse.ng. This could be an unsafe site.

I once got this in my mail from a real phishing scheme:

Dear valued bank member, it has come to our attention that your account information needs to be updated due to inactive member, frauds, and spoof reports. Failure to update your records will result in account deletion. Please follow the link below to confirm you data.

It’s all a lie! Send them those details and kiss your money good bye!

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