4 burglary prevention tips, ID theft facts, backup warning, and more: Internet ScamBusters; #131
Today's issue is a ScamBusters Snippets, and we have 4 of them:
- Burglary Prevention Month
- Chilling ID Theft Facts
- Triple Whammy: Nigerian, Chat Room and Overpayment Scams -- All in One
- Backup -- And Check Your Backups
First, we've been getting rave reviews on the last two ScamBusters issues called:
7 Dangerous Things People Do on the Internet That Don't Seem Dangerous at All
Let's get going...
Burglary Prevention Month
June is Burglary Prevention Month, so it's a great time to take steps to make your home safer. Here are 4 tips to get you started:
- Always lock all your doors and windows when you leave the house (even those on upper floors).
- Think about installing motion-sensor lights around your home.
- Keep any ladders locked up so they can't be used by burglars.
- When you go on vacation, make sure your home does not look like you're out of town. For example, keep your car in the driveway and your lawn mowed while you're traveling.
For more on home security, click here.
Chilling ID Theft Facts
The Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit organization, shares these chilling facts about identity theft:
- 13.3 people become victims of identity theft every minute.
- It takes an average of 600 hours to repair your credit history after ID theft.
- Victims face higher interest rates on all types of loans, increased credit card fees, higher insurance premiums, battles with collection agencies, and difficulties finding a job.
- It can take more than 10 years to clean up your credit after ID theft.
Triple Whammy: Nigerian, Chat Room and Overpayment Scams -- All in One
Here is an example of a scam that is comprised of elements of the Nigerian scam, chat room scams, and the overpayment scam. It's a great example of how scammers can use elements of different scams to form a powerful combination. Here's what happened:
"I am writing to let you know about another Nigerian scam you might or not have heard of. My husband and I started chatting online with a woman known as Mary Smith from Nigeria.
"She didn't ask for any money up front. We became 'friends' and she had mentioned that she would like to come and meet us. We told her we didn't have any money and she said she would find a way to come up with the money.
"She had told us she works with computers and had a client in the United States who would be sending us a money order (actually three arrived), and to cash it and Western Union the money to her.
"We did, we deposited them into our bank account, took some money for ourselves and wired the rest to her or should I say another name that she told us to send it to.
"We got the money which had cleared through the bank in two days and bounced two days later to the amount of $3000.00 (the money orders were $980.00 each).
"Now our account is closed and we owe all that money back and she's nowhere to be found. We tried through Yahoo which is the address that she used and even let the local authorities know but to no avail.
"The money orders were fraudulent. I just wanted you to know of that type of scam where we didn't invest any money up front and she got the money free and clear.
"Also, the local police had told us that there are lots of women who use computers to contact people in the US and do what 'Mary Smith' had done. There's no way to stop them since the Nigerian authorities won't cooperate with the US.
"Boy did we learn a lesson about how safe money orders are!!!"
Advice: Please learn from this subscriber's mistakes. Remember, a money order is not as good as cash.
Backup -- And Check Your Backups
Chuck McCullough of AffiliateMatch.com has agreed to let us share a very bad experience he had with you to remind you of the importance of backing up -- and checking to make sure that your backups are not corrupted.
Chuck is closing an affiliate program he's been running. Here's a note that explains why (reprinted with permission):
"The reason for this closure is because my Website server had a hard drive crash causing the entire loss of my affiliate tracking database, subscriber database, and several of my database driven websites.
"The REALLY unfortunate part is I found out that my recent backups of the databases were corrupt! The most recent one that I have is about a year old at this point, which is basically worthless."
Advice: Back up frequently, and check your backups periodically.
That's all for now. Please put these ideas into action -- especially the burglary prevention tips. Don't just read the issue.
See you next week...