More Fraud Risks You Should Be Aware Of

Thursday, March 8, 2012, AM | Leave Comment

Besides the now very infamous Nigerian scam, there are fraud risks you should be aware of and try to avoid them. Sometimes innocent looking blogs can turn out to be a culprit that you must try to stay away from. These can be personal blogs or belong to bogus organizations. As the following descriptions for different scams show, it can appear in your financial life anytime and anywhere.

  1. Business Blogging

    I receive emails quite frequently asking for link exchange with my blog Doable Finance. Before adding the external link to my blogroll, I do research through my favorite search engine, and when satisfied I put the link on my blog.

    Blogs can be used to share ideas and communicate quickly. However, it just so happens that some blogs exist to infringe on others’ copyright, invade privacy, act in defamation and harass sexually. These acts are all possible with blogs.

    Some blogs also can put your site at tremendous risk for security breaches, with the potential loss of financial information or other confidential material.

  2. Cell Phone Text Messages

    You ought to be aware of text messages you may receive on your cell phone asking you to access the web address given in the text message. You are then asked that unless you comply you will be charged or subscribed to a service.

    Once you use your computer to go to the web address given, your computer may be compromised with a Trojan Horse program and your data security may be at risk.

  3. Lottery Scam

    A typical lottery scam begins with an unexpected and unsolicited e-mail notification that you have won a large sum of money in a lottery. One big problem with this is you may never have bought the specific lottery ticket in the first place.

    The email often originates from free e-mail accounts such as Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN, etc. Scammers will also often use the names of legitimate lottery organizations, thereby trying to make themselves look legitimate.

    You are usually asked to keep the notice secret and will instruct you to contact a claims agent to validate. After contacting the “agent” you are asked to pay supposed processing fees or transfer charges so the winnings can be distributed. Of course, you never hear from them again.

  4. Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

    By default, Peer-to-peer (P2P) communication is a decentralized, encrypted, anonymous networks that can find their way through residential firewalls. Moreover, criminals actively search P2P networks for personal information they can use to commit identity theft.

    Don’t share folders containing your personal information. Examples include users storing music and other data in the same folder that is shared, or users unknowingly downloading malware that exposes their file directories to the network.

  5. Pharming

    Pharming is a variation of phishing in which malicious code is installed on a personal computer or server, misdirecting users to fraudulent websites without their knowledge or consent. Once on the fraudulent site, the user will be asked to submit confidential information and the attackers will capture this information for illegal use.

  6. Removable Media Devices

    Removable media devices (thumb drives, flash drives, MP3 players, etc.) have become one of the largest security threats to businesses and individuals.

    You as an employee can easily download corporate information – sales figures, customer lists, marketing plans, etc. – onto a small storage device, slip it into your pocket and walk out the door.

    A defined acceptable-use policy and controls to prevent the download and transfer of sensitive data should be in place.

  7. Vishing

    Vishing (or “voice phishing”) are attacks in which bank customers are contacted by e-mail or sometimes automated phone call and told that their checking accounts have been compromised.

    Instead of being referred to a website (as in phishing scams), customers are urged to call a local or toll-free number.

    The number connects to an automated response system that answers the call and asks you to input account information and/or your Social Security number to clear up the “problem.”

  8. Counterfeiting

    Counterfeiting is one another example of fraud that can have extremely serious consequences. Technology is ever improving, making it easier for counterfeiters to produce realistic looking packaging and fool legitimate wholesalers and retailers.

    Counterfeiting is a potentially lucrative business for the fraudster, with possibilities of large commercial profits, and it is a problem affecting a wide range of industries including wines and spirits, pharmaceuticals, electrical goods, and fashion.

    However, there are often many victims affected by such a fraud and not just the business that has been duped or had their brand exploited. For some, the outcome of counterfeiting goes way beyond financial losses and can even be fatal.

In a Nutshell
Scams and frauds can show up in your financial life in different forms. You have to be always on your toes to recognize them and avoid them, some scams at all cost.

Source: TD Bank.

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