Website Owners – Don’t get Caught for 958 Euros
The internet is full of chancers and scams. We have all received emails from the disposed King of Nigeria or wherever, or some other scammer looking to get access to our bank details so that they can share their millions with us.
Online car sales sites such as cbg.ie and carzone.ie have also been hit by a common scam. The perp advertisers cars for much less that the average rate in order to generate interest, they then ask you to come to the UK or another country to pick up the car. Here’s the catch, they want you to send them the money in advance with Western Union, and guess what happens when you go to your pick-up point? No car, no one to meet you, mobile number not in use and cash gone.
Coming in at number three in the “obvious but people still fall for it” category of scams is the domain/website scam. This has two forms, each arriving through your letterbox on official looking headed paper warning you to take action before it’s too late. The first is for domain renewal and warns you that unless you renew your domain registration immediately with this company your domain may be lost. Of course you assume that this is the company that you initially registered your domain with and that the cost will be the same… it isn’t and it wont. This company takes a chance that you will fill the form, send them your credit card details and renew with them at an exorbitant rate.
The second version in circulation at the moment is sent by “Internet Register Ireland” which is actually a German company. They want you to fill in the form to ensure that you remain on their internet directory. The usual scare tactics apply: “check if your details are complete and correct”, “This is the only way to ensure that the register contains only the very latest information”. At the bottom of page two in the samll print you are notified that your advertisement is chargeable at 958 euros . Yes you heard me right, 958 euros to advertise in some crummy internet directory, of which there are thousands of better free options.
The letter is contradictory on page one stating “The entry and any corrections to your basic details are free of charge” and on the very next line: “Your current data are stated on the attached form. Please use it to place a chargeable order with us”.
The sad fact is that many people are caught out by simply not reading the letter in full and are being threatened with debt collectors by the company. More information on this scam here.
Avoiding Scams Online
To avoid scams online, act as if you are offline. If you met someone in person who gave you a piece of paper to sign, surely you would read it thoroughly and find out what you were singing before doing so.
Here are some simple tips for avoiding internet scams:
- If it seems to good to be true, it is.
- You are not customer 1,000,000
- Dont give your credit card or bank account details to anyone you don’t know. No one should ever ask you for this information. In any situation where you need to use your bank account or credit card you should be the one to initiate the transaction. For example, search online for a book, find a reputable website with the book you want and secure credit card payment and then enter your details.
- Never disclose your debit or credit card pin numbers. Your bank will never ask you for these.
- Be wary of deals that involve using unorthodox means of payment.
- Bin random emails with amazing offers that you didn’t enquire about.
- If you are in any way suspicious of an offer or request do a simple online search for the company or key terms. If you can’t find any information about them beware. You may also find information about scams that the company is involved in. Try a Google search for “Internet Register Ireland“.
Finally remember that people will always try to scam you and make a quick buck. Keep your wits about you and always beware.