Money: Protect yourself from fraudsters

The internet is infested with fraudsters. They are everywhere and as both a nuisance and a danger.
Don’t allow yourself to be be scammed! It is like A, B, C to those fellows especially when you are too believing.
Had I been gullible, I would have fallen victim to their snares many times already.

They are ready to defraud you of your hard earned currency.
That is one of the downsides of the internet.

These unscrupulous fraudsters, use clever schemes to swindle people of their money.

Millions of people are defrauded every year of huge amounts of money through the ruse of these con men.

It is hard to give exact statistical information on how much money people lose daily to scammers, but I daresay the sum is colossal.

The opulent lifestyles some of them live is confounding and confirms their trade as a real source of income albeit dirty income.

Modern communication technology has facilitated and aggravated scamming on the web.

Once I almost believed one of them; and it would have meant a big loss for me.

The unknown caller rang me up and claimed I had helped him when he was a struggling young man. His words were pleasing in my ears and I paid attention.

Having made a fortune and established himself in life, largely thanks to the couching I gave him when he was young, he said, he wanted to show me gratitude.

He claimed he was residing in the United States where he had a top paying job; and that he had shipped some quality communication equipment to me to enable me set up a radio and television station in order to continue helping and mentoring young people.

He precised that all the equipment which included two strong computers, a video camera and high capacity Android phone were worth about 5 million francs; that I should do everything to claim the things from the seaport so that the ‘thieves’ there should not temper with them.

He gave the name of a lady whom he said was based in Douala and mastered how the Sea Port operated; that the lady would call me and would do everything for me so I didn’t need to have any worries.

All that I needed to do, he said, was to send her 250.000 CFA for customs clearance.

He said he was really happy to make the gesture to me and that it was just the beginning.

I was almost dancing by the time our conversation ended. He gave me the woman’s number and name and when I called she promptly answered. We chatted pleasantly and she narrated the same story and threw more flowers on me for having mentored many young people who were excelling around the world.

When we finished I wasted no time to start contacting friends to get a loan from. Because I shared the story with them, I came to know the truth. It was the biggest scam attempt on me I ever experienced.

Such attempts to get money from people through trickery are galore.

At times someone will claim to have mistakenly dispatched money to you instead of to a certain hospital for the sister’s medical bills. Then he will ask you to speedily send the money to a given address to save the life of his sister which is in danger. He will tell you how urgent it is that if you can find money you should send because if his sister does not take the medication prescribed for her immediately, she would die and it will not be a good thing that you got the money and delayed with it.

But the truth is no money has been sent to your account. The person only wants to defraud you of your money.

Once some one sent a message to me and claimed to be a top level politician. He had actually scammed the politicians account and was impersonating under his profile picture. He claimed he had gone to the village for the burial of his mother where there was no access to airtime; if I sent him airtime for ten thousand francs, on return, he would give it back to me.

I almost believed the hoax. When I put two and two together, it dawned on me what it was – a scam. The politician in question was not one to approach me for such a service.

It is vital to underscore that the tactics of the scammers are varied. At times they approach you in person and even threaten you. Many people fall victim to them daily.

Mary was moving innocently on the street when some boys accosted her. They said they wanted to send money by money order to someone, but had problems with the lady at the counter in the vicinity; and that Mary should do it for them. Often, their explanations are incoherent and very unintelligible; but they threaten and ask you to follow their instructions.

That was what they did to Mary. They actually threatened to kill her if she did not do as they wanted her to do. She obliged just to turn around and find that the packet they had given her claiming it was money was papers that they had trimmed well to look like money when you looked from the outside.

The case ended with the police, meanwhile, the scammers disappeared knowing of course, that they had succeeded. The girl’s family had to pay the money which of course, ended up in the pockets of the scammers.

One has to be extremely vigilant; and know how to stay out of the way of scammers.

METHODS OF SCAMMING

Identity theft

What many scammers do is they do identity stealing.
This involves using another person’s identity to steal or gain other benefits.

Have you ever received a friend request from someone who looks suspicious. It could be a case of identity theft. Scammers set up fake online profiles on a social media site. They will send you a friend request. When you accept it, they will gain access to your private information which they can use against you or to use your identity to dupe and steal from people.

EMAIL BASED SCAMS

Many of the scams on the internet are done through Email. That is why you have to be very prudent with the emails you receive.

Advance payment

Scammers like to persuade you to pay for expected services. They convince you about a certain product or service they are ready to render to you. If you pay, they will disappear into thin air and you will never receive the product or get the service.

Donation to Charity

Some scammers will tell you that there is a charity that needs financial support to rescue someone’s life. People all over the world will donate money and they will take and buy luxurious cars and live high life.

You have won a lottery

You may receive a message informing you that you have won a lottery. They will ask for your bank account to send the money into your account. If you send it, you may just find that everything in your account has been cleared.

Donation to you

Some scammers pretend that a certain rich man before dying willed all his fortune to you because of the good work he saw you doing and wishes that you use the money to do charity work around the world. They will ask for your Bank account number so that they can credit it. If you do that, they will instead clear everything from your account.

Threats

Some use threats to get you. They will threaten to kill you, kidnap you, beat you up, burn you, burn your house or your car unless you give them the money they are asking for.

Fake jobs or employment opportunities

They will tell you that there are lucrative jobs available and you have to fill a form to get one. Then you will be asked to fill an application form. They will charge an application fee. Be sure you will never get that job because it is a scam.

Fake websites

You will be given a link to a website that does not exist or the website will make promises that they can never fulfill. They are fake.

Work-at-home job

They will tell you that you can earn good morning while working at home. If you apply, they will offer you the opportunity but ask you to send money for equipment to enable you start. If you pay, you never see any equipment.

There are so may ways scammers steal money from people. You have to be careful. They are very brilliant people. They master the art of communication and persuasion. They know how to throw dust into your eyes and make you fall.

How can you avoid being scammed?

  1. Be vigilant. You must be very vigilant on the web.
  2. Do not believe your caller Id easily.
  3. Do not rush to pay for anything
  4. Do not pay up front for promises that are made.
  5. Before you pay money, talk to somebody and get their advice.
  6. Hang on on robo calls.
  7. Do not quickly fall for free trial period offers.
  8. Do not open suspicious emails and other texts.
  9. Delete anything sent to you which you find suspicious.
  10. Do not download anything not sure of the source.
  11. Do not use the contact details given in the message sent to you.
  12. Send money only to people you know and trust.
  13. Only give credit card, online account details, and copies of personal documents to people you know and trust.
  14. Do not choose a password that is easy to guess.
  15. Regularly update your password.
  16. Don’t have the same password for many accounts.
  17. Don’t share your password with anybody.
  18. Protect your networks and devices with antivirus software and good firewall.
  19. Stay off public computers or WiFi hotspots to access or provide personal information.
  20. Be prudent when you share personal information on social network sites because scammers can steal your identity.
  21. Choose only secure payment service for all your online payment.

As we have said, scammers are all over the internet. They are very brilliant people. They have all types of tricks to get you. Be very careful.

Money is hard to come by. You have to make sure that after putting in so much effort to make your money, nobody deprives you of it.

We have to work together to put a stop to scamming. Being so brilliant, if scammers like, they can always earn good money through legal and morally sound means.

If we take measures to protect ourselves from scammers, we will be helping them to live good lives.

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