If that title didn’t catch your eye, I don’t know what will. However, most of us now recognize that kind of language as “scam speak.” I say “most of us” because there are still plenty of people who fall pray to Internet scams all the time. Scammers target people who are not technically savvy, mostly casual Internet users and the elderly, who have the biggest chance of falling for their tricks. Tricks like the following:
You’ve Won an Awesome FREE Prize…For a Price…
The hook is usually something that the scammer knows a large number of people want or are in need of – “We’ll match you with the perfect job!”; “Eliminate your debt today!”; “Click here for your FREE iPad, laptop, car, etc.”; “You’re the winner in our billion dollar sweepstakes!” And the skilled scammers make their deal look the part with a page that looks just like another webpage you trust, like your bank or a respected job search site. Do your research and make sure the site you’re on is the real deal. Usually a quick Google search of the name of the site will give you plenty of information on the site’s validity. If you don’t find any information and you still feel iffy, go with you gut. If you feel like it’s a scam, step away.
Please Enter Your Social Security Number, Credit Card Number & Bank PIN
Scam sites will almost always require you to enter some amount of personal and financial information. After the flashy, too-good-to-be-true offer, the second red flag should be asking for credit card, checking, or other bank information. If an offer is indeed free, you should not be required to provide any access to your personal funds. Additionally, never provide your Social Security number to a site offering to “match you to the perfect position.” Only qualified potential employers have the right to ask for this.
Fire Your Boss! Make Money on Your Terms!
We’d all like the freedom to work from home or make our own hours. (Goodness knows we love it!) And while telecommuting is slowly becoming more prevalent, there just aren’t as many legitimate positions as there appear to be online. If you’re looking for remote work, we suggest checking the career sites of the actual company as opposed to applying to any of the numerous “Work From Home” positions on job search sites like Careerbuilder, Simply Hired, Indeed, etc.
The best piece of advice we’d give anyone about online scams is the age-old, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.” A wild claim should be the first indication that what you’re looking at is not what it seems. When in doubt, contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if the business is legit, and keep the BBB’s scam infographic handy for quick reference.