PC Tools Top Tips – How To Avoid Online Scams

imageCyber crooks and scam emails – a natural fit – aimed at the significant number of Internet users who remain unaware of the very real dangers that scam emails  hold for their safety, security, identity – and, their wallet.

Cyber criminals are experts at crafting “attention grabbers” designed to reel in the unwary and undereducated Internet surfer. Here’s a few attention grabbers that consistently pay off – targeted towards the blissfully unaware Internet user. Especially those users who seem to have a natural tendency to “just click”.

Online shopping offers e.g. bargains from unknown stores.

Get rich quick schemes/work from home offers.

Offers to download mobile protection software.

Offers to download antivirus software.

Offers to win a prize e.g. answer this survey ‘for your chance to win’…

Movie offers e.g. search for a popular movie such as Twilight and an offer comes up to download the movie for free.

Online donations.

Occasionally, I’ll post an article directed at the “just click” crowd and, I can say without any hesitation – users who fall into this category of Internet user are ripe for the taking – it’s like picking apples from a tree. It couldn’t be easier.

Here’s a couple of past articles which continue to draw huge numbers of the “just click” crowd.

Kate Middleton Nude – As If! 

Nude Pics Of Your Wife/Girlfriend Attached – Click Here

Frankly, I fail to understand how anyone with a lick of common sense, would be drawn in by those nonsense article titles. On the other hand, maybe common sense has nothing to do with it.

It could just as easily be that innate sense of overconfidence that seems to have infected society as a whole – most particularly the “tech savvy” generation. Mark Twain had it right, I think, when he said – “It aint what we don’t know that hurts us. It’s what we do know that ain’t so – that does.” The “tech savvy” generation in a nutshell – maybe.

My friends over a PC Tools, recognizing the continuing need to educate users, have put together a Top Tips article – How to Outsmart Online Scammers – designed to help the unwary (overconfident) Internet user, to identify online scams.

Richard Clooke, PC Tools online security expert reveals in this article – how to avoid being scammed online:

1. ASK – is this too good to be true?

$50 here, a holiday there, unlimited online offers from the world’s biggest brands – if you’re tempted by any of these free offers, then the answer is probably yes.

Many online scams trick us into revealing our personal information to secure something in return. It’s important to be aware of ‘fake offers’ to avoid being lured by savvy scammers. 

2. DON’T – dish your details unless the site is secure.

Never provide personal or financial information in exchange for online offers.  Details such as your mobile number, address, and credit card or banking details should never be entered on a non-secure site. When in doubt:

  • Double check the URL before typing a link into your browser.
  • Check there is a padlock icon in your browser before using your credit card online.
  • Check you’re on a secure site and that the address starts with ‘HTTPS’.

3. THINK – it can happen to me.

Many of us think we are savvy online, but the reality is cybercriminals are cashing in on relaxed attitudes to sharing personal details online. Results from the PC Tools study also showed that most people think scams are more likely to happen to others, rather than themselves.

We need to educate ourselves about online scams and be aware of the risk.

4. DO – invest in scam protection software.

What most of us don’t realize is some online scams don’t involve malware and while traditional Internet security is still essential, we now require additional protection to prevent cybercriminals gaining personal information via other methods.

About PC Tools

PC Tools is dedicated to building simple, effective and affordable PC protection and performance tools.  For over thirteen years, we have offered industry-leading and award-winning products to tackle the world’s evolving threats and security challenges.

The PC Tools Malware Research Centre monitors trends and emerging spyware issues and provides security solutions for the consumer and enterprise marketplace. The company has staff in Mountain View, Sydney, London and Kiev. PC Tools has a global network of distributors, resellers, and retailers.


Filed under Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, PC Tools

6 responses to “PC Tools Top Tips – How To Avoid Online Scams

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    A few months back, I posted about how my details were stolen/sold from an employment website. I continue to get these emails offering employent. They even quote the employment website from where I registered. It makes me mad that a so called reputable site can let my details out. Thankfully, online resumes only contain my name and employment history, no personal details, which is why I am probably getting these emails.
    I’ve also been getting quite a lot of offers to download Norton Antivirus, with warnings my PC is at risk. Thing is, WOT scores the link as a big round red, and the web address definitely looks sus.
    They try everything, these critters. Be wary people.

  2. delenn13

    What a day.. Vic was in Niagara Falls today..No, I didn’t go see him. He was here for something about the new FastPass on one of the bridges. But all the reporters kept asking him about..was VikiLeaks etc. He is going after Justin T. big time.

    Anyways..got things to do..then bed. Work tomorrow..UGH!

    RMR: Rick’s Rant – Robocalls – YouTube

    Here is a picture of the Criminal Mastermind Pierre Poutine that made the robo calls in Montreal. Twitter / @lukeyleaks: News Alert: Elections Cana …

    Just because you need a laugh..

    RMR: Anonymous – Warning to Vic Toews – YouTube