Scams to look out for

CONSUMER rights organisation Consumer Fair warns consumers to keep their wits about them this year and to never rush into anything – whether it’s an exciting job offer, the promise of a new loan or the good news of unexpected prize money. Here are five of the scams to avoid.
Job scam
Adverts that offer you “work from home” or office jobs that require no experience, are usually a scam. Job seekers will be asked to send an SMS or an e-mail for more information about the positions, and then ask you for a CV and some payment. Some on-line job advertisers ask for bank information, saying they will deposit wages, but this is just a way to get your personal information to use for identity theft.
Internet banking scam
In this scam fraudsters make their e-mail address look as if it is coming from a bank. But if you hover your computer mouse over the sender’s e-mail address, the real address will appear. Banks do not communicate with their clients regarding internet banking accounts via e-mail and have warned customers about this. These messages may even pretend to be a “security update” or a “warning” from the bank. But if you click on the link and fill in your banking details, your account can be accessed to steal your money.
Credit scams
Adverts that invite you to apply for a loan to pay off other debt are usually scams. So are those to have your negative “blacklisting” with credit bureaus cleared for a fee. If you are listed by a credit bureau for failing to repay a supplier, that listing remains on file for 2-10 years.You can get a free credit report from the credit bureaus once a year. Loan sharks who promise to lend you money will only lead you into deeper financial trouble. Never give your identity book or ATM card as surety to someone who offers to lend you money.
Sweepstakes and lottery
These scams usually use the names of well-known brands such as Microsoft, Nokia or Facebook to announce that you have won millions. The lottery scams usually claim to be an EU, Spanish or Swiss Lottery notification. The simple rule to follow is: if you have not entered, you have not won. The sender wants to access your personal information which can be used for identity theft.
Social media scam
There are many Twitter and Facebook scams such as messages along the lines of “Hey, so some real nasty things are being said about you here…” followed by a link aimed to spread viruses and spyware. Delete these messages and do not click the link.

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