On a more serious note, common Internet Frauds & Scams that take money from Seniors are still in play and we need to protect our selves and our seniors from these which may be:
• Email Offers
• Software Viruses
• Bogus Ads
•Online Dating Sites
• Bank Scams – “Phishing”
EMAIL OFFERS – many types. Some are fake emails from websites like Paypal or Ebay asking you to provide your personal information or follow a web link (which can be a way of stealing the information on your computer’s hard drive). Others offer prizes outside of auction sites once you give out your personal bank information. Email scammers (like all scammers) are always changing their strategies, so it’s impossible to list every type of scam you might find, but you should beware whenever an email asks you for money or personal information.
SOFTWARE VIRUSES – Malicious software - also referred to as malware, spyware, key loggers, trojan horses – poses online security threats. Scammers try to install this software on your computer so that they can gain access to files stored on your computer and other personal information.
BOGUS ADS – Online classified ads may be fake and can cheat the buyer out of money. Avoid purchasing things like gift certificates and gift cards from online classifieds. If they are offered for less than the value, the card may be stolen or a fake.
ONLINE DATING SITES – Some dating sites require you to pay for each email or message and connect you with a fictitious person. In other cases, scammers will try to build a friendship with you to eventually scam you out of a large sum of money.
BANK SCAMS – “PHISHING” - Emails from banks look very professional and real but all aim to trick you into handing over your personal and banking details to scammers. Scammers can easily copy the logo from a real bank or even duplicate an entire website. If the email is asking you to visit a website to “update”, “validate” or “confirm” your account information, be skeptical because genuine banks or government agencies will never expect you to send your information in this way.
PHISHING can be done as follows:
You get an email or phone call from somebody posing as a representative of your bank. The email might look very official and contain the correct logo. However, banks and credit unions will never contact you via email to ask for your information. If you receive a phone call, do not provide your information on the spot but hang up and phone your bank back at the
phone number on your bank statements—then you can find out for sure whether it was really your bank phoning.
Q. What makes the email seem real?
A. The slogan, colours, logo, models and layout all look like components of a real CIBC ad. Some real CIBC services (such as “Investor’s Edge” and “CIBC Wood Gundy”) are mentioned in the email. The email also talks about security features on the CIBC website, which gives a false sense of safety.
Q. What should raise concerns in this email?
A. The number one concern is that you are being asked to follow a web link and to provide personal information (which can be used for identity theft). Whenever you visit a website you do not know, you are at risk of getting a computer virus or having information stolen from your computer’s hard drive.
Other details to notice are:
•The poor grammar and spelling (“For upgrade • the security questions follow the link bellow”)
• The fact that the email address is not at cibc.com but at cib.com
• The fact that the website URL of the link is at the domain mail.assconsult.eu, which is not the correct domain name for CIBC
• The website you are being asked to sign into is not secure, because it begins with “http” rather than “https” (the “s” indicates “secure”)
However, scammers are always developing new strategies, and you can’t always tell if an email is a scam. Just remember to be very cautious about providing personal information online or following links to unknown websites.