Keep your eyes peeled for these dirty rotten tech scams…
As you skip merrily to work in a morning, stopping now and again to pluck a beautiful flower and sniff its delirious scent, all seems good with the world. However, there are lots of horrid, scummy criminals who just want to steal anything you have. And that includes your money, your identity and your innocence.
This is when someone is sold a ticket to an event that is fake or doesn’t exist, and you can’t get your money back. These are very common tech scams.
Criminals often set up websites that are very similar to authentic ticket-selling websites. Check reviews of the site you are thinking about using and do everything you can to make sure it’s legitimate. If you do that and record your efforts on your mobile, if it turns out badly and you lose money – you’ll be in a good position to claim back from your bank if you paid on your credit card. Alternatively, use only reputable, authentic ticket agencies rather than re-seller websites.
The Facebook ‘Dislike’ Scam
Fraudsters use Facebook’s ‘Like’ button to instigate a fraud. The data thief will send you an email or text and recommend you enable a Facebook ‘dislike’ button to use on the social media site. If you click on the ‘disable’ request, you’ll be unknowingly installing malware software on your site which crooks use to steal your personal data. You should DELETE ANY MESSAGES that steer you to a ‘dislike Facebook’ button.
The ‘Wrong Delivery’ scam
Here’s a clever tech scam you need to watch out for. If your credit card details fall in to the wrong hands, here’s a new scam the criminals are trying. They will order goods on line as if they are you – mobile phones for example – which will be delivered to your door as per usual.
However, soon after, you’ll get a delivery driver knocking, saying that a parcel has been sent to you in error, and you hand it back to them as you obviously haven’t ordered anything, so it’s a genuine mistake. You thank them and give them the package. This means that you have paid for a mobile and then given it to a thief. Plausibly, they will usually be in an authentic looking delivery van. The crucial thing to do if this happens, is to hang on to the product until the ‘mix-up’ is sorted and you can get a refund. The moment you hand it over, you’ve lost your money.
This is quite a new scam. Fraudsters set up websites with very similar URLS, such as a name that ends in .om instead of .com, or even a slightly misspelled domain name such as Ebey.com. Be very careful when typing in a URL as fake sites can deliver malware to your computer.
Contactless card skimming
For card skimming to happen, your card needs to be put through a skimming device which copies the data from its magnetic strip. To stop this from happening, don’t lose sight of your card when paying for something. And don’t leave your card loose in a pocket or bag when it could be accessed easily for a few moments. It’s always best to ask for a receipt whenever you pay for something, as it stops you being overcharged.
At present, you’ll be pleased to know that the risks of card-skimming are very, very low.
Fake tech support
If you get a call appearing to be from Microsoft or any other tech company, then it’s going to be fake. They NEVER make unsolicited calls.
Fake tech calls are still proving popular with criminals, as they obviously work. This is what usually happens: You’ll get a call from Microsoft or Apple or a major tech company saying they have detected a problem with your computer. They will talk you through a series of steps to fix the problem – but what they are really doing is getting you to unwittingly download software that will hijack your system or give the caller remote access. Then they’ll steal your data or install ransomware which will require you to make a payment to unlock your computer’s files. Remember, reputable tech companies NEVER make unsolicited calls. NEVER.
Despite all the potential bad news, we’ve just had a piece of good fortune: The King of Africa has sent us an email saying he’s going to deposit $16 million into our bank account. All we have to do is send him a few thousand pounds in admin fees and we’ll be quids-in! Got to go to the bank right now to wire some money over. Happy days!
These are just a few of the many tech scams that will try to trap you. The golden rule-of-thumb is to NEVER give your personal bank details to anyone or send money for anything you haven’t asked for yourself. Never click on links to unknown websites or get drawn in to conversations with people or companies who call you out of the blue. It usually spells trouble.