Like in the real world the virtual world is full of people who are less than honest. Here are some things to remember, to avoid the con artists, and scams on the net.
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Scams & Rip-Offs
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With all the great stuff that comes with the internet, so comes the scams too. Crime has been around almost since day one. Modern technology gives the bad guys another way to separate us from our money. The old rule, "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is", has never been so true. Classifieds, chat lines, and bulletin boards may look safe, however just as the newspaper classifieds, 800 & 900 phone numbers, and TV ads, they are full of scams.
You know the story: "Make Lots of money from your home!" or "Loose weight"
Tip-offs that you need to be skeptical:
One of the hottest scams is Credit Repair. Food for thought:
Your credit history is maintained by private companies, that collect information and report them to banks, stores and other creditors. These companies can legally report accurate negative information for 7 years and bankruptcy for 10 years. Accurate items CANNOT be erased. It doesn't matter if you were ill, unemployed, or just broke.
Gold and Platinum Cards
Call a 900# and get a Gold card. It may sound like a Visa or Mastercard, but is only good for their catalog, or you may end up paying $50 or more dollars for a card and never get it.
Need your checking account number for the verification process. A person can access your checking account with ease and you won't know until its too late.
Most charitable organizations are legitimate, HOWEVER......
Don't fall for appeals, that insist you send money right away or ask for your checking account number or credit card number.
Be wary of charities that harass you to contribute or use strong emotional appeals.
Always ask for printed material.
For more information call your local Better Business Bureau or Attorneys General's office.
Office of Consumer Affairs, Securities & Exchange Commission (202) 942-7040
The National Fraud Information Center (800) -876-7060
The Federal Trade commission publishes free brochures that explain many of the scams, and how to avoid them. Write: Best Sellers Public Reference, Federal Trade Commission Washington, DC 20580
or call (202)326-2222 voice (202) 326-2502 TDD