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How To Avoid Online Financial Scams- 1

If you talk to anyone whom you know very well, it is likely that they will tell you they don't believe they could be targeted by the online scammers or they will ever get (caught or) scammed (by scammers).

It is human nature to think that this will only happen to others and not us, it is a myth to believe that negative incidents and bad luck only happen to others.

There are a lot of online scams nowadays as technology gets more sophisticated and advanced. Any invention is a double edged sword. It depends on the users and the creators whether it is put to good use or otherwise.

What Are Some Common Online Scams?

  1. Email Scams
  2. Credit Cards Scams
  3. FaceBook Scams
  4. Job Offer Scams
  5. Investment Scams
  6. Financial Training Scams
  7. Wechat IM scams

1. Email Scams

There have been a lot of scams using emails. I have received a fair number of these emails from people claiming they worked in certain banks and the bank customers had passed away. Hence their funds were sitting idle in the bank and they could help get the funds out and so on.

Example of the email scam

2. Credit Cards Scams

At the back of the credit card, there is a Card Verification Code, commonly known as CVC number. Banks tell us that the CVC number is unique and we are not supposed to let anyone know this number as this is one of the safety features of the credit cards besides the chip on the card.

However every time we do an online purchase, the merchant requires us to fill in the CVC number. Previously when there was no CVC number, we only had to fill in the credit card 16 digit numbers. Due to various credit cards fraud cases, the banks decided to create the CVC as a security measure and to verify that the user is the legal card holder.

So, if you pay for something online and you are required to key in the CVC number, how do you know the number will not be captured by any malware or whatever if the online system is hacked.

3. Facebook Scams

There are a lot of fake Facebook accounts. Facebook does not ensure that those who register for the accounts are legitimate. Users can use any names to register and open an account. As such, it is quite difficult to determine whether the person you befriend or connect with on Facebook, are really who they say they are even thought they use photos in their profiles.

It can be quite dangerous, especially with online transactions, cyber bullying and even false "friends".

On 16th February 2019, The Straits Times of Singapore reported that at least SGD $ 1 m lost to Facebook impersonation scams between January 2018 and February 2019, according to the Singapore Police Force. It was further reported that the Police had received at least 42 reports where victims were contacted on Facebook and duped into transferring money to the scammers.

To read more of this, you may want to access the Straits Times of Singapore for more details.

4. Job Offers Scam

Another big scam which i came across is the job offers scam. You may receive an email informing you that you have been offered a job or selected to work for a certain company overseas and so on. Then they send you a contract and tell you to contact an "authorized" travel agent to process your work visa and whatever paperwork you may need to work in the country where the job is.

They may also tell you to pay for the cost of the permit or visa and remit the money to certain bank account. If you bank in any money it will be gone and if you try to query them on the legibility of the procedure, they will not bother to reply to your email. Your money will just be lost.

Example of job offers scam

5. Investment Scams

This is the most common scam and there are aplenty online where many claim to get rich making at least a thousand dollars per day by signing up for the offer.

A lot of Option Trading platforms claim to make their investors rich within minutes. If people fall for this, they may soon discover they are not able to withdraw their capital and their so called winnings. After a while, the platform will no longer be available. It has been reported (discovered) that these were operated by a group residing in certain countries in the Middle East specializing in this scam.

6. Financial Training Scams

This is another scam which claims to be legitimate and provides financial training for people who want to learn how to invest or trade online. (They offer to conduct the necessary training so tht you are able to trade online). During the course of the training, they ask you to open an account with a trading platform so that they can guide you in your investments. The platform is similar to the platform mentioned in No. 5 above.

If you check the caller ID, it may look like they made the phone call is made from the country you are residing in. However, when you call back, you discover that the number is not a local number and cannot be reached. Before you know it, any money you put in is completely lost!

7. Wechat IM scams

Currently there are a lot of scams using the Wechat IM system. Usually in these scams, the culprits try to trick the victims into giving them their online credits or gift cards for making purchases, usually in exchange for sexual favors

Above are some online financial scams now commonly used to try to scam people who are ignorant. They usually work on the greed of people who want to get rich quickly and easily.

(You Know You Only Live Once and), if we are not alert and prudent, we can easily fall for these scams. Many have lost their hard-earned life savings and have had their retirement plans shattered.

If you have doubts on how to detect online financial scams, you may want to check out Federal Trade Commission Scam Alerts I find this FTC site has very useful information to help in our effort to detect online financial scams and save us from any unnecessary financial losses.

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12 thoughts on “How To Avoid Online Financial Scams- 1

  1. Aweda Olakunle

    A well written and insightful post. I used to believe i cant fall into the crooked hamds of scammers but after seeing your article i could easily have fallen for any of them. I have had experience with a facebook  scam before but it was along time ago. If you dont want to get scammed you have to be careful and very smart because the scammers themselves are also very smart.  There is no mention of dating scams which is very rampant in your post

    Reply
    1. Chee Shi Teo

      Thank you for your input,  i may be touching on dating scams and other scams in my future posts once I have done my researches and talk to people who have experienced it.

      Once again, thanks for your suggestion and input

      Reply
  2. Shui Hyen

    Hi Chee, 

    This is a vey helpful article and you have elaborated in details the type of financial scams and how to avoid it. Personally, l have came across all these type of scams especially Email Scams used by the Nigeria Group called The Nigerian Scam or '4-1-9'. The other type of email scam is the "'Phishing Emails and Fake Web Pages" which lures you into divulging your login credentials — your username and password — through convincing emails and links to web pages.

    The best way to avoid falling prey to a financial scam is to know what they look like, and you have done a good job.

    Thank you very much for this article.

    Shui Hyen:)

    Reply
    1. Chee Shi Teo

      HI Shui Hyen

      Thank you for your feedback and sharing your experience on this subject, I will be writing more on the online financial scams, just to share and try to educate people to avoid falling prey as you put it

      Reply
  3. Thabo Khoza

    Great and very useful article for me.
    You have made me aware more of credit card scams which I had been contemplating for a while.
    I am still very uncomfortable with the cvc number because I am also thinking I could be scammed.

    Reply
    1. Chee Shi Teo

      Hello Thabo

      Yes, the credit card scams are very rampant and the use of the CVC number upon doing online purchase actually give the scammer an opportunity to phish for your details if your laptop or PC is infected with malware, I normally advise my friends if they do want to do online purchase, just open the merchant window and close off all other website like web whatsapp, Facebook, email website and so on, and do a full scan of the laptop or PC before doing the online purchase and make sure you update your anti virus software before doing the scan

      Reply
  4. Todd P Matthews

    Those email scams, though. Every single day I get these things. Thankfully, many are filtered into my spam mail. As for job offer and credit card scams, I think I get at least two or three phone calls a day regarding such scams. It's a haul, but anymore I just don't pick up my phone if there's a call from an unknown number.

    I do know a few older adults personally who've been scammed by credit scammers, so people, if you have any parents or grandparents approaching seventy or eighty, these people are preyed on by credit card and investment scammers. Make sure they realize if an unknown number is calling, or one that isn't familiar, that they don't answer. If they do think it's someone they know but aren't entirely sure, let the call go to voicemail.

    Reply
    1. Chee Shi Teo

      Hello Todd

      Thanks for your comments and sharing of your experience and input on how to avoid and be alert on the various scams, especially with the job offers scam, with the expected down turn of the economy and more people are laying off and losing their jobs, that is the time the scammers are plying on the job hunters

      Reply
  5. Ali

    What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for about how to avoid scams and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for how to avoid financial scams.

    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to read your new posts.)

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Chee Shi Teo

      Hello Ali

      Thanks for your comments and glad to hear you like my article about scams online and this motivates me to research on this so that i can write the part of the online scams and share with people who are looking to avoid the scams.

      Reply
  6. Catherine

    Hello Chee

    I enjoyed reading this information. I did not realize there are so many tricky business' online. Thank you for sharing this and opening eyes to the reality of the situation.
    Great article!

    Reply
    1. Chee Shi Teo

      Hello Catherine

      I myself was surprised when i was doing research on the scams online, that was why my title for the article had a 1 there as i intended to write more about this topic.

      Reply

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