10 Most Popular Online Scams in the Philippines
The internet provides us with anonymity. Though this is a good thing in terms of voicing out your opinion, it is also the main reason why a number of scams exist. People use the internet to hide their identities. If you have been using the internet for quite some time, you may be aware of some shady practices that can get you into trouble. In fact, some scams online are so intricately planned that they may even look legitimate at times.
Here are some of those scams that you might want to avoid.
Sulit Laptop Scam
Sulit has long been a household name for those trying to sell. If you are selling pre-loved items, you can place it on Sulit to get a potential buyer. For those selling their laptop, they may get an unusual email from Nigeria or South Africa.
It Happens When: The scam goes where the seller will receive an email that he needs to ship the laptop to Nigeria. They then let tell you that the payment will be coming once you sent the laptop to a certain address that they will provide.
How to Avoid It: If you are selling an item, everything should be shouldered by the buyer. Do not send your item without receiving payment first. If possible, conduct your transactions face-to-face.
PayPal Conversion Scam
PayPal’s partner in the Philippines is Union Bank. For those with no EON card, it is impossible to get your money with minimal charge. What’s the alternative to getting your money from PayPal? You may not be able to get it with the most reasonable price.
It Happens When: There are some people who will claim that they will give you cash in exchange of your PayPal funds. With those ads posted on Sulit, they claim to buy your PayPal funds with a given exchange rate. They usually ask you to buy from them online, and in exchange you get the conversion of your PayPal funds. Once you’ve purchased an item for them online, they will deactivate their Sulit Account, along with your line of communication.
How to Avoid It: Just go get an EON card. It is the simplest and most convenient way of getting your cash from PayPal.
Dating Scams Online
Thanks to the internet, it is possible to find someone special through dating sites. Though there are people who actually met their significant other through this channel, there are also those who just met a scammer.
It Happens When: Those who are lonely go to dating sites, hoping to meet new people they can fall in love with. There are some scammers who are taking advantage of this, asking money from these users. Some ask money from the victims in order to buy a webcam or for them to pay for some sick relative. This goes on until by the end of it all, these scammers would ask their victim to send money via Western Union, and other money transfer means.
How to Avoid It: Do not send money to whomever you are dating online, especially if you’ve never met.
MLM/Networking scams happen most of the time outside the house. However, they most often establish rapport through online means or through texts. They invite people to a business meeting, oftentimes asking them to dress in smart casual attire. Sounds legit? Some perform their “business meetings” in fast food restaurants from Jollibee to KFC for hours.
It Happens When: They usually won’t say what their product is about in the email but rather, they state that they are looking for a business partner who they can share their “blessings” with. Once you are there, you will be offered products with exorbitant prices that you then have to sell. It is also common that they use “legit” testimonials or even name drop celebrities to attest to their product’s effectiveness. Also, it is common that they show off success stories of people who stayed with them, who now drive a nice car.
How to Avoid It: Be reasonable. Who do you think would buy overpriced items? Also, can you stomach going to your loved ones selling them with goods that you know are overpriced? Also, remember that there is no shortcut to success. These networking businesses typically offer fast financial security with minimal sweat, under the guise of “working smart”.
The internet allowed us to stay connected with each other. Because of this, there are businesses that are now operating solely online. Lowering the overhead cost, this paved way for outsourcing and real opportunities. However, there are some scams disguised as work-at-home opportunities.
It Happens When: Who wants to earn money while sitting comfortably at home? Well, everyone would love that. The problem with this, is that they don’t say that you will be the one buying the supplies, paying for the newspaper ads, and doing all the trouble for a minimal pay. There are a number of legitimate work-at-home opportunities though. Web designers, developers, copywriters and even some call center agents now enjoy the perks of the internet working for legit stay-at-home jobs. Just keep in mind that if you are going to have to pay, then maybe there is a problem.
How to Avoid It: Do a bit of research. You may want to go to sites such as Freelancer, and oDesk to get some work at home gigs.
One of the best ways on how you can get precious items is via auction. Through auction, collectible items are typically sold. This is the best way to get an item that is rare. In fact, designer bags and other similar items are sold on this platform.
It Happens When: When you get an item that is not exactly what is described, that is already a scam. There are cases in the US where an $18,000 Louis Vuitton bag turned out to be a knock off item.
How to Avoid It: You need to make sure that you look at the comments and feedback of a seller, especially on eBay, Sulit or any other e-commerce site.
People are sometimes eager to click on links that they see on their emails. What they don’t know is that this could lead towards identity theft. People sometimes forget that they should also not enter their bank or credit card information on sites that look dubious.
It Happens When: Ever received an email where you are told that something went wrong with your bank account? If you will look at the email, everything looks legit from the logos to the way the sentences were constructed; everything seemed to come from legitimate sources. However, when you get to the link, you will be asked to enter your information data. This is how they get your money.
How to Avoid It: Just ignore the emails. Banks will call you if ever it involves your security. Also, you can always verify with your bank first when you receive these emails. Make sure you are on a secured website.
Fund Transfer Scam
People can be greedy. When people are faced with large figures, they sometimes throw their logic out of the window. This is where the fund transfer scam happens.
It Happens When: Ever received an email, more commonly, from Nigeria that tells you about a story that he needs an accomplice in order to launder huge amounts of money? According to the email, it is worth millions. Of course, the greedy person in you may actually consider it. The catch, you need to come up with an initial fee that will be used to finalize the transaction, such as bribe people who needs to be bribed. Paying upfront, you will never get the money that you thought you were going to get.
How to Avoid It: Do not send money to anyone you do not know.
There are a lot of contests where you could win online. When you are offered free items, it’s hard to no. This is the whole principle why this scam is also successful. People love free stuff.
It Happens When: Ever get an email telling you you’ve won an item? It could be an iPod, Xbox, or a PS4. You will be told that you won via electronic raffle and your email has been picked. What do you need to do to claim your prize? Well, you just have to go to a certain website where you have to fill in your debit card or bank information in your address. Now, do you get an item in your mailbox? Not really. You just get unexplained charges from different parts of the world. There is a chance that you have to pay for all of this, unless you dispute the charges.
How to Avoid It: You will never win if you didn’t join anything. Also, do not ever give your bank details to anyone, especially to dubious websites.
Wi-Fi Hot Spot Scam
People use the internet most of the time. They go online in order to check their emails or to even buy a number of things. What if you suddenly have your information stolen because of these connections?
It Happens When: People love to connect to a free Wi-Fi connection. What most people do not know is that these connections leave you vulnerable to hackers. They could be mining your credit card information when you log on to those Wi-Fi connections.
How to Avoid It: What you want to make sure is to only use legitimate connections from a coffee shop or from the establishment.
There are a lot of online scams today. In fact, they keep on adapting in order to get more victims. What you want to do is to always be vigilant. Is it easy money? Does it involve you paying upfront? Lastly, is it too good to be true? These are some questions that you may want to ask first before ever considering a gig or an offer. Think before clicking.
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