Thursday, 16 May 2013

Scams, Hype and Cynicism!

Don't Relax Your Vigilance On-line

This is a reminder to the many people who use the internet to search for products and services on-line, to be careful and not get conned or scammed.

The internet is a great tool to access information, a great medium, enabling the world to become a more intimate, caring, secure and enlightened global village. Amongst all the benefits and the good it can do for us, there also exists, the very bad.

True, on-line is where many of us are guaranteed the best prices and some fantastic deals, but it also has a higher risk factor, with a lot of scammers and con men poised to bilk us of our hard earned cash.  There are a lot of scam artists out there and they are usually very good at snaring their victims. Their methods are getting more and more sophisticated, so watch out.

Many victims of scams, are intelligent people. They are so embarrassed at their own perceived stupidity, they keep quiet about it. Big mistake! Shout about it from the rooftops because the con-men are counting on your silence. Intelligent people don't like to be perceived as stupid. Just remember that it was your trust that was abused by someone counting on your silence.

More and more people are encouraged to use on-line services by the government and the service industries without adequate preparation for the realities of the internet. Now the unemployed, those actively seeking employment and inexperienced users are referred online without preparation and warnings.

No matter how glamorous and exciting a site, an offer of a bargain, think twice. Better still, leave the site and do an on-line search for comments from people who have accessed that service before. Even legitimate sites have been known to be cloned. It was sometimes difficult for visitors to distinguish the genuine from the fake.

We live in an age where materialism is held on a higher scale than ethics and morality. An age where some of the biggest and most profitable companies are rumoured to engage in price fixing. An era where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and those in-between are stretched and confused. Where the middle classes are offered scapegoats by the politicians who take handouts and campaign contributions without questioning the source of the cash. What more motivation does someone with larceny in their heart need?

Apart from cons, there is also misrepresentations where clients get less than they expect without recourse to a refund. Exciting and exotic looking posters advertising shows that will not deliver exactly what is promised. In short, the content on the poster, is more exciting than the actual event.

No matter how exciting a bargain, an offer or a scheme promising easy wealth, proceed with caution. Especially, if when you attempt to leave a site and a menu pops up asking you to reconsider leaving, my advice is to leave as quickly as you can before you are relieved of your cash.

Some time in the future, I will be writing, if not here, on other blogs, known scams and cons, terrible services etc. so readers can know what to look out for. Until then, say safe, surf safe and don't be quick to get your credit card out.



No comments:

Cold War Spy

KGB Agent  Aldrich Ames Is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at a Federal Correctional Institution in the ...