Commentary

MILAM COUNTY T.R.I.A.D.

Scammers are grateful for the holidays, too
Ted Hubert

What are you thankful for this year? What do you think the answer would be if you ask a scammer?

Cyber thieves would agree that the last two months of each year bring opportunities for scamming the innocent and trusting victims.

The first Sunday in November, the clocks are turned back one hour; the first Tuesday of November is set aside for national elections: Veterans Day is Nov. 11. On the fourth Thursday Thanksgiving is celebrated and the very next day is “Black Friday.” Three days later is called “Cyber Monday.”

December finds the month crammed with social demands of our time. Setting dates to celebrate Holy Days without conflict is almost impossible.

Dec. 7 is the anniversary of the start of World War II and on to times of happiness and good cheer and the new year.

Remember this is the time when your guard is down and you are most vulnerable to vicious attacks on you and your finances. This last Friday in November is called “ black” because merchants enjoy this business day’s operations in black ink rather than red ink. The day every business shows a profit, hopefully so, has come. Shoppers get ready, get set, go. Special deals are announced and buyers camp out to be first in line. The doors open and eager customers race to get the items because there are few available. Politeness and considering the welfare of your neighbor is forgotten and it is all for the powerful that grabs first and holds on the tightest. If you are there, watch for your safety.

Watch for scams to trick you into thinking you can stretch your spending power.

Be on the watch specifically for “free” gift cards, fake ads and coupons, fake e-cards and videos, search engine scams, and the new version scams that have not been used yet.

It is predicted that the 2012 scams will reappear in 2013 using some other business name that offers $1,000 to those entering a code on a bestbuycontest.com or the bestbuywin.net.

Coupon-clippers fall prey to the fake ad and coupon scammers ready to make a few easy bucks from people wanting to get price reductions for their dollar stretch.

Make sure the coupons, from major stores, are authentic. You should be as unwilling to pass on counterfeit vouchers as you would trying to pass off counterfeit currency.

Downloading coupons may be your intent, but you may download malware instead. These phishing schemers trade their ability to inf lict harm to your computer for personal data you provide. You are placed in a loselose situation. You want to avoid going there. Know the difference between a real offer from a business rather than a front to steal your identity from a thief.

Conner Adams Sheets explains in more detail the dangers you face this way: “Once these emails are opened and their contents downloaded onto users’ computers, their nefarious side emerges, infecting systems and perhaps even stealing information that can lead to identity theft. One of the best an easiest ways to avoid becoming a victim of this scam is to be sure to open e-mails only from people and organizations you know and trust.”

Be careful as you search the Internet. Scammers (con artists) are smart and hard working people without compassion when it comes to ruining a defenseless victim. These sorry people use techniques and tricks to get placed in the top websites on your search engine. Fraudsters are considered authentic, if they have positioned themselves in the top Google websites. Clicking on to these websites invites trouble into your computer.

Big scam websites to watch out for are getsigned, BidQuick, and BlackFridayWatch. You should be particularly wary of sites offering great deals on hot new items like iPhones and iPads face this way: “Once these emails are opened and their contents downloaded onto users’ computers, their nefarious side emerges, infecting systems and perhaps even stealing information that can lead to identity theft. One of the best an easiest ways to avoid becoming a victim of this scam is to be sure to open e-mails only from people and organizations you know and trust.”

Be careful as you search the Internet. Scammers (con artists) are smart and hard working people without compassion when it comes to ruining a defenseless victim. These sorry people use techniques and tricks to get placed in the top websites on your search engine. Fraudsters are considered authentic, if they have positioned themselves in the top Google websites. Clicking on to these websites invites trouble into your computer.

Big scam websites to watch out for are getsigned, BidQuick, and BlackFridayWatch. You should be particularly wary of sites offering great deals on hot new items like iPhones and iPads


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2013-11-28 digital edition



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