Sunday, August 26, 2012

Don't be Scammed

Please stayed tuned for a public service announcement...

Having been scammed once this summer, with someone trying once again just the other day, I wanted to share some info I've learned to guard against your credit/debit card stolen.

This is what was in my inbox the other day.
You sent a payment of 130.00 USD to Adobe Systems.

This charge will appear on your credit card statement as payment to PAYPAL *ADOBESYSTEMSSTORE
SellerAdobe Systems.

Note to seller
You haven't included a note.
Unit price
 Adobe Photoshop CS 7
130.00  USD
130.00 USD

Shipping and handling
0.00 USD
0.00 USD
130.00 USD

Do you confirm this payment?
If this payment was not made by you please immediately take the following steps:

      * Login to your account by clicking on the link below :
      * Provide requested information to ensure you are the owner of the account

      * After you did the previous steps the order will be cancelled.
      * We will refund your money to you and the payment will deleted from transactions history.

                                                    CANCEL TRANSACTION!

Does this look authentic, or what? Scammers use authentic looking sites. The sites look just like the real deal. They are sites that you use. The two that got me this summer were a Google Wallet look alike and a Paypal look alike.

And, just as an aside, this has at least one typo, if not more. Legit isn't going to have typos. Not for this kind of notice.

Provide the requested information. Scammers ask for information that you didn't have to give when you first signed up your account. Information like driver's license numbers or social security numbers.

After you do this your money will be refunded. Scammers use urgency. "If you don't click on this link and update the info, your account is going to be shut down."Of course you want your money back that you didn't actually spend.

And notice the last bullet the payment will be deleted from transactions history. This sounds legit. There is no transaction, because it isn't legit. There will be no record on your account, because this really isn't a PayPal thing.

How can you tell the difference between the real and a scam?

If you look up in your search engine bar where the website address you are at is listed, you will always see http:// or https://. The "s" stands for secured. Most sites that you enter personal payment information with credit card numbers are https://, or secured, sites. This is to protect against fraud. Always, before you enter personal information, make sure it is a secured site.

So, you think PayPal-the site for secure money transactions. PayPal has a great reputation. They have to. Which is why scammers are capitalizing on their reputation. If you receive an email from "PayPal" about needing to update your info, you are going to jump on it.

With the Google Wallet thing, I had just adjusted my blogger account. I didn't want them shutting down my blog. The urge to deal with it cost me.

Remember protocol. The email address this came to is not the one our PayPal account is linked with. It took me clicking on the link and seeing the request for personal information that to realize this.

Funds are not released from PayPal and then refunded. You are first sent a link to release them.

If you are not sure about something, don't click on the link and just type in your info. Go to the official site, and log in to your account. If there is a payment pending, or information that needs updating, there will be a flag in your account.

And, a sure sign that you have been scammed-typing in your information, and hitting submit, and getting an error message. Every time. It's a scam, and you've been had. Call your bank to put a stop on your card. Call the card company.

Identity theft is a big problem in our very online society. Hopefully these tips will keep you from making the mistake I did.

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