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We’ve all had our eye caught by the catchy banner or spam that sucks us in and sometimes keeps us there. The issue at hand is being able to identify the product or service being offered as being legitimate.
Because there is no single agency that polices the Internet to assure that everything is safe and truthful, the responsibility lies on our shoulders. You need to learn to distinguish scams from the truth so you don’t lose money, your identity or worse.
Here are a few valuable tips that can help you identify and avoid those online scams.
- Do some homework and check up on the site or individual that is making the offer. Search engines can help you with this research. If it not legitimate, you will quickly find information about the scam. If it is a legitimate offer, you’ll find comments and information about that as well.
- Make sure your spyware and antivirus programs are working and are up-to-date. Many scammers use emails to disseminate their viruses and stealth programs designed to steal your information or harm your computer.
- Refer to the Federal Trade Commission and read up on the latest fraud information. You can also see if the company or individual you are researching is listed as being fraudulent. You can also see if there have been complaints filed again the company.
- Do a quick WHOIS search to determine the owner of the domain name that has caught your eye. If the registration information for the domain seems shady, it’s a good idea just to stay away.