Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine new technology with old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information.
Recently we have seen a surge of online scamming from particular individual who goes by the name of Steven King /Kingdoms or Jacob Okoh. And he probably has several other aliases that he is using. We have put this article together for your awareness and safety when trading online or engaging with stranger on the commercial world wide web.
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Testament from a lady who was recently scammed:
“His name is Steven Kingdoms. He arranged to meet my husband in Dbn to look at the laptop I had for sale. They met up, and he got into my husband’s bakkie (my kids were in the car too) looked at 5he laptop and said he will take it. Staying in the car he told my husband to drive to his shop to get cash. He phoned someone in the way there, but spoke a foreign language. Upon getting to the shop, another 2 guys appeared from nowhere, saying that the card to draw money isn’t working. My husband then said it’s fine, he’ll take the laptop and go home. They pushed him against a wall, took the laptop and ran off…”
Here are some tips to follow before you commit to a sale online or even offline…
1. Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
2. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favourite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “SARS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
3. Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.
4. Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.
5. Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Ask your bank about their safety protocols. Don’t send cash, as you have no way of recovering your payment, if the transaction is fraudulent.
6. Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.
7. Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.
8. Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.
9.Dont deposit a check or EFT back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank
Source: Hibiscus Coast Seconds, The Consumer.ftc.gov