I would like to thank you for printing my last letter in The News Times. I would like to continue educating my fellow Rwandans about Internet scammers.
Email and the Internet are wonderful resources that have revolutionized the way humans communicate and access information. Unfortunately, it has also proved to be a fertile medium for the unscrupulous and immoral.
Scammers regularly use Email to attempt to steal money or personal information from unsuspecting victims. Those inexperienced in the ways of the Internet are especially vulnerable to these scammers.
The good news is that it is not difficult to learn how to recognize scam attempts that arrive via email. Here are the most common types
You may receive an email from a bank, online service provider or financial institution asking you to click a link and visit a website in order to provide personal information. Such an email is more than likely the type of Internet scam known as “fishing”.
A fisher scam is one in which victims are tricked into providing personal information such as account numbers and passwords to what they believe to be a legitimate company or organization.
In order to carry out this trick, the scammers often create a “look-a-like” website that is designed to resemble the target company’s official website.
Information submitted on these bogus websites is harvested by the scammers and may then be used to steal funds from the user’s accounts and steal the victim’s identity.
Most legitimate companies would not request sensitive information from customers via email. DO NOT click on the links in these emails. If you have any doubts at all about the veracity of an email, contact the company directly.
This scam is one of the most common types of Internet fraud. However, these fraudsters are clever people who may use many variations of the above scam to achieve their nefarious ends. In general, be wary of unsolicited emails that:
- Promise you money, jobs or prizes
- Ask for donations
- Propose lucrative business deals
- Ask you to provide sensitive personal information
- Ask you to follow a link to a website and log on to an account.
By taking the time to educate yourself about that common type of scam, and by sharing this information with others, you can make a valuable contribution to the war against Internet fraud.
I hope you find these tips helpful.