According to an article by the Daily Advertiser, 7 residents of Acadiana have been arrested and charged with racketeering and cyber crimes. The scammers robbed over 500 people out of over a million dollars. These scams aim to direct users away from legitimate websites to the scammers’ fake website which mimics the legitimate website. The victim,believing they are still on the real website, makes a payment on the fake website, sending funds to the scammer and receiving no purchased items.
People like this exist all over the world. Scams such as these exist in various forms, and can be designed very cleverly. It’s important that you stay informed on how to protect yourself from scams such as these.
When online shopping, look in your URL bar for the green lock followed by HTTPS:// and make sure the URL is correct. This will assure that you are not on a mimicked scam site, and that your payment is going to the right place.
Hackers can obtain your payment and login information through spyware and other types of malware on your computer. You should always make sure your computer doesn’t have any malware or spypware prior to online shopping. MalwareBytes has proven to be a good Malware scanner. Keep in mind this does not replace your virus protection. If you do not have virus protection, or find yourself dissatisfied with your current protection, consider these free options:
- Windows Security Essentials