How to Stay Safe from Virtual Swindlers

How to Stay Safe from Virtual Swindlers

For those that may not know, there is another term associated with Internet scam artists that has spread online: virtual swindlers. These are scammers who con people on the Web and attempt to get their money, someway (by telling lies) and somehow (through e-mail, perhaps, by suggesting victims invest in something phony).

The rise of the Internet has opened up the world to such malicious persons to commit online fraudulent acts using e-mails or phishing websites, chat rooms or message boards. As a consequence, many computer users have expressed their concern on the dangers of navigating the Web and doing transactions online. They fear becoming a victim of this type of skillful scammer, capable of extracting their personal information, stealing their identity or even persuading them to send money.

A blog entry on Instant Checkmate, a site were people’s identities can be checked through criminal report services, revealed “the frightening four” areas pinpointed by people who fear virtual swindlers. Areas of concern involve social security, banking, social networking, and career or work. The site lists also what actions concerned people can take to protect themselves when they are online.

As everyone knows, one’s SSN is a primary means of identification to obtain many documents; therefore, as the blog revealed, there is the need to protect it at all costs. If a swindler gets hold of an SSN, they could be given “the key to unlocking the doors which lead down the dark path to identity theft.”

When it comes to banking, a person’s PIN, account and routing number, for example, can be prone to “smishing”; this is short for SMS Phishing. This refers to phishing e-mail scams sent on mobile devices, which according to the blog, entice people to provide sensitive information such as credit card details to outsiders. Smishing is on the rise and has become “a new con to obtain banking info by mobile phone alerts,” and an effective way to trick victims into revealing banking information.

Social media content was also mentioned as a way to collect someone else’s personal information. Even though it may not lead directly to financial gain, there are scammers who will pose as real people to gain further access to a victims’ account. The blog stresses the importance of “NEVER respond to app invites!” Also, users can avoid temptations by also not increasing too much the number ofFacebook (NewsAlert) friends by declining request of those are not personally known, it added.

Career or work matters that involve either completing an application online or sending in a resume, such as for LinkedIn (NewsAlert), the blogger advised that individuals’ profiles or accounts are also at risk—susceptible to identity theft. As a general rule of thumb, the blog noted how important it is to not submit anything online “without first verifying that the company is legitimate.”

From the list, one can understand why so many people are concerned when navigating the Web and why so many look for information on how to protect themselves.

In regards to computer and Internet safety, IT security experts say that, in order to stay safe from virtual swindlers, one must first practice safe surfing habits and use good judgment when communicating with others online as well as when building online relationships with strangers. Simple precautions, they stress, can make people feel that their identity, info and money will be safe as it passes over the Internet.

Not only should computer and Internet users be particularly careful, especially when clicking hyperlinks, and know that it is in their best interest not to trust strangers online, they ought to realize the importance to have security and adware removal measures in place as well—to help ensure they remain safe, secure and protected when on the Web.

In fact, the experts advise those who want to navigate safely online may want to use and keep their firewall turned on (as it helps protect one’s computer from hackers) and avoid opening e-mail attachments from someone they don’t know (as the risk of dealing with suspicious or unsolicited offers sent by virtual swindlers is high).

Many mitigation experts concur and say that by building an engaging, high-impact security awareness program, it is possible to help people safeguard their own personal and sensitive information before they become a victim of a cybercrime act. Furthermore, adding that a few simple methods, and taking a few simple precautions is all that it may take to be better protected while on the information highway.