So, as we’re talking here about saving money, other people in different places are thinking of making money. That by itself wouldn’t be a problem, except that some of the Internet moneymakers are not too honest.
The spread of the social networks (like Twitter, or Facebook) contributed, among other things, to the new rise of Internet phishing scams.
Take, for example, the “First 20,000 Fans Get a $1,000 Best Buy Gift Card!!!” Facebook fan page. Doesn’t it sound too good to be true? Well, it does. and that brings us to the topic of phishing.
So what is phishing?
It sounds like “fishing”, catching a fish, and there’s a reason for that. Its a practice where people are lured to give information while being misled about whom or what for they do that. Like the fish, that is lured to bite the bait being misled for it to be legitimate food. You can read more about it here.
Except that online – you’re the fish.
There are many emails that you get, probably, every day, with incredible offers, stories about forgotten millions in Nigerian banks, offers for cheap medicine or enlargements of whatever that is that you might want to enlarge, etc. Most, all I would guess, of them find their way to the trash bin, whether automatically by spam filters, or manually when you see them in your inbox.
The spammers (and scammers) know that, so the new trend is to create “legitimate” offers, hiding behind well-known and trusted brand names, and spread them over the social networks. Once you accept an invite, or install the application, or become a fan – they know all about you.
Here’s a recent article describing one of the scams now running through Facebook.
The bottom line, as always, is simple: If it sounds too good to be true – it IS too good to be true. No-one will give you $1000 just like that. Even if they do eventually give the money (which I seriously doubt) – trust me, the gain will be theirs. On your account.
So, what to avoid?
APWG created a list of consumer advices on how to avoid phishing scams – you can find it here.
National Consumers League has one of its own – here.
But while those talk mostly about email and phishing web pages, beware about phishing attempts on the social network scene, as described in the link above, unless you want to join the growing army of new-born suckers…
So be careful out there. That can help you save $$ sometimes as well.
Your Little Advisor.