Don't Become A Victim Of Internet Scams

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The IRS wants to help you.

The bank is worried someone has accessed your account.

The lonely African Princess saw your profile and wants to meet you.

All you have to do to collect the $10,000, protect your savings and ride off into the sunset with the princess -- is send the nice people at the other end of that e-mail your Social Security number.

DON'T DO IT.

Put down that mouse and step away from the keyboard.

A new study says Internet fraud reached a new record this past year, with people losing some $240 million to various scams.

The top scams, according to the FBI, involve pets, check-cashing and online dating services.

Several Rim Country residents have reported falling victim to various e-mail scams that sound so real and so truthful they are hard to resist.

The key: Just say "no" to anyone who e-mails to ask for your bank account information, credit card number or other personal identifying information --whether they claim they are from a bank, the IRS, businesses, grieving widows, stranded Russian aristocrats or Internet security companies. Odds are -- it's phony baloney.

In fact, don't even open the e-mail, since a hidden attachment that will rifle through your files and send out your information could lurk somewhere in that message.

In two days, to just one e-mail address at the Roundup, we received no less than 10 scams inviting us to get rich quick or that want our account information.

If you get any e-mails that begin like the following examples, ignore them; delete them from your e-mail.

  • Internal Revenue Service Tax Notification. Get Tax Refund on your VISA or MasterCard. You got $182.50 tax refund. Please follow the steps to get your refund.....
  • Beloved Friend, Greetings in the name of God, Pls let this not sound strange to you form only surviving lawyer who would have done this died early this year, I prayed and got your E-mail I'd from your country's guestbook which I have been going through since the death of my late husband in search of a God fearing person to whom I will entrust my inheritance fund to his or her hand that will not betray my intention.....
  • Dear HSBC bank customer, We would like to inform you that we are currently carrying out scheduled maintenance. In order to guarantee the high level of security to our business customers, we require you to complete.....
  • Dear VALUED CUSTOMER,We recently noticed some changes in your Bank of America account information. However, we will like you to sign into your account to confirm the change. By so doing this, normal transaction will continue within your accounts.
  • Dear PayPal Customer,

PayPal is committed to maintaining a safe environment for our community of customers.

To protect the security of your account, PayPal employs some of the most advanced security systems in the world and our anti-fraud teams regularly screen the PayPal system for unusual activity.....

These are just a small sampling of the e-mail scams that get sent out to unsuspecting Internet users every day.

When in doubt call the Payson Police Department and if it sounds like you are getting something for nothing, don't do it. It is hard for police officials to trace some of these because they are routed through different servers or come from blind addresses.

Most of these look like official e-mails, but they are not. The IRS and banks and other legitimate companies will never ask you for your Social Security or bank account numbers in this way. Only provide your credit card information to businesses you have confidence in. Never give credit card numbers to strangers or companies you don't know about.

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