If there was a new wild, wild, west reminiscent of the Americas in its infancy: it’s the internet. With promises of gold and easy-money so rampant, people are flocking to it like bees to a honeycomb. Unfortunately, most of it is balooney.
Sad thing people who want to make a fast buck, which is to say most of us, fall easy prey to get-rich-quick schemes. Although come to think of it, majority of these financial set-ups are nothing more than icing without the cake, sizzle without any meat at all. In fact a more apt name for these online chicanery is not get-rich-quick but rather get-poor-quick schemes.
Friends, Romans and fellow Pinoys of the hour, it’s both with pride and pleasure that I present to you a shame list, the Top 10 Internet Scams that have preyed Pinoy netizens:
#10. “Turn Your Computer Into a Money-Making Machine!” Scam
The promise speaks of easy-money with untold fortunes, making your eyes widen with desire with all the long-tailed numbers displayed.
At the moment you get your foot at the door and signs up, you are given a unique ID. Additionally, you are to leave your PayPal details for future “big deposits” that will soon be due you.
The program which you may opt to run 24/7 opens multiple ad windows and gives you a per-click revenue. You may be tempted to hide your real IP address to earn the quick bucks. Problem is your computer’s performance could get in the way. There goes your money.
#9. “Make Money Fast” Chain Emails
This one is a classic pyramiding scheme but done online. With the promise of getting to your millions, all you have to do is to register at a meager amount say $5 and get 5 others to do the same.
With no product whatsoever involved, this is plain and simple fraud. Be warned. Whether you do the chain via snail mail or ride on the hyper-fast internet, you’re bound to get legally answerable, if you join and actively recruit.
#8. Travel Scams
The promise of getting a paradise vacation at low, low prices can be so inviting, it can actually get you conned. Be careful you may be offered rock-bottom prices that are sure to catch your undivided attention. If only you take time to read the fine print. On the other end, you may be getting the travel for almost free but wait till you get to the hotel.
This scam will prod you to book the offer ASAP or it gets lost. It only goes to show how much they want you to hand them the money.
#7. Disaster Relief Scams
Lured to the noble cause of helping, you could be open-heartedly handing your money over. Just like that.
Scammers will do what it takes to pose as a legit company putting up websites that are as fly-by-night as the incorporators themselves. If the request came via email, careful. Don’t click on any link as it’s another form of phishing.
#6. Employment Scams
For those people desperate to get a job and utilize the wonderful world of the internet, these employment scams can rob your money dry.
One form is after you post your resume on a legit job board, a job offer comes along telling you that you are being hired to handle payments for a company who is accepting money from US clients. Promised a 5 to 15 percent commission from each transaction, you are to provide your bank details such as bank account number, account name to get paid. There’s the rub. Soon enough, you will be indebted to your bank.
#5. Overpayment Scam
Now, here’s a scam with an attitude.
In response to your posted item for sale (e.g., car), a scammer sends you notice via email that he’s interested in buying. However, to your surprise he offers you more, a lot more than your asking price. He may cite international shipment charges. All he ask is that you send him the item in question and the cash difference.
You receive a money order and everything looks fine and dandy. Until the day you realize that the money order is a scam. Unfortunately, you have sent your car already plus added money. Now you have to face the bank for the hefty amount of the bad money order.
#4. Phishing Emails / Phony Web Pages
You receive convincing emails offering you legit services. Nothing sounds illegal. Wait until you click on the link and a virus could be activated leaving your PC vulnerable. This could lead to identity theft as bits and pieces of vital data is nibbled from your account.
Another version is when you are led to a phony web page which of course, is made to look legit. You enter your ID and password with your bank details including, credit card data for instance. Now you’re cash is ready to be stolen.
#3. Lottery Scams
Winning the lottery is needless to say, an opportunity of a lifetime. And people will do anything to grab one. You are told that you have won an immense amount of money and all you have to do is claim it. What is thousands of dollars for millions? You feel you must do what it takes to get it.
#2. Pre-approved Loans/Credit Card Scam
A pre-approved credit card or loan is out for the taking. Very tempting. All you have to do is pay the annual fee up-front. Very neat. Always remember that credit card companies do not annual at the sign-up rather they do add it to the balance of the card.
And for that pre-approved loan for millions of pesos. O C’mon now. Nobody will lend money to a complete stranger. Only a con.
#1. The Nigerian Scam, also known as 419
This is an elaborate scam. And has been made famous by Nigerians who seem to have mastered this scam like the palm of their hands.
There are many variation but all the same they tell you of a great amount of money so big you’re eyes almost fell out of their sockets when you read it. And it’s all yours. Just have to cover the small legal fee or whatever relatively small fee needed.
Of course, no money will arrive for you after you’ve sent the amount because the money never existed. The worst thing about this con is this is not new. Reportedly the scam in question dates back to pre World War II times, in the early 1900’s.
Should you want to get a closer look at the details, please look here.
Also, if there’s anything that I have failed to mention or anything you’d want to clarify, send us your thoughts via the comment section.
Join us in stopping these thick-face thieves from proliferating in the world wide web. Spread this article around.
Perhaps the street-wise guy next door said it best, “Money is a good servant but a bad master.”