How to avoid becoming a victim of fraud on the internet
Fraudsters are rampant on the internet, using it as a gateway to scam countless numbers of innocent customers who are lured into their ’special'offers because they can appear so convincing. One of the most important ways of avoiding fraudsters is to never give away any personal information to the seller. Never, under any circumstances, engage in direct transactions with an individual or company when you have even the slightest suspicions.
For example, there are a number of scam artists operating on the popular site Craigslist (a site which is used to advertise job openings and for people to buy sofas and other such things from each other), which is trying to encourage people to report fraudsters once they have proof that they are circulating a scam. You could be looking at rent vacancies in London and suddenly find an ad by an unknown sender, which advertises a studio flat right in the centre of London for just Â£100 a week. Some people would instantly recognise this as a scam, because no studio flat in central London is going to be this cheap. However, some people who are moving to London from abroad might be completely unaware of this and may start to make enquiries with the seller. The seller will then ask for a transaction, usually in excess of Â£1000, before a viewing can be arranged.
This is when it is time for you to stop and report to the authorities. However, some people have gone ahead with transactions like this, and then they arrange a viewing with the supposed seller, only to find that nobody turns up. From this point on you are powerless and it is highly probable that you will never see that Â£1000 again. The best thing anyone can do is to check carefully where you are buying from – if possible only use credible websites that you know you can trust. eBay has an excellent system where users can check the rating of sellers before they consider buying a product. This will help safeguard you from any potential scam artists circulating around the internet.
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