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Tuesday, 30 August 2016 04:03

Scam Alert: Yahoo Promotion

By: 

Most people completely ignore their spam folders. But I scour mine to find the latest scam, which acts like cyber-flypaper for all sorts of swindles.

Recently I got a message congratulating me on winning something from “Yahoo YHOO +% Inc.” The subject line simply read “Yahoo Promotion.”

Of course, it was some kind of fraud designed me to open an attached file and download a virus, malware or some other malicious software. Or they simply wanted to steal personal information for the purposes of identity theft.

So I didn’t open it.


Most likely, the scam was a ruse to get me to provide personal information like a bank account or Social Security number. Needless to say, I didn’t take this any further and jettisoned the email from my spam folder.

According to Yahoo! Answers, this is how the swindle works:

“You can not win something you did not enter or play. Besides, Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, Microsoft MSFT +%, MSN and Aol do not have lotteries, reward programs, promotions, or contests.

It is a scam to get your personal information and/or money.

  • Do not respond to it.
  • Report it, forward it to the FTC here.
  • For Yahoo, report them here. Choose “fraud” as the reason for the violation you’re reporting on.
  • If the E-mail appears to be impersonating a bank or other company or organization, forward the message to the actual organization.”

Sadly though, I can imagine some naive person opening that file and sending personal identification and getting fleeced through an identity theft scam. Although no one knows for sure how many get deceived by this fraud, it’s probably more than what authorities are saying.

What kinds of red flags should you look for? Here are some more tips from the FTC:

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.

Check Them Out. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

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.

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.

Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union WU +% or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards like MoneyPak, Reloadit or Vanilla.

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.

John Wasik is the author of "The Debt-Free Degree," "Keynes's Way to Wealth"and 13 other books. He writes and speaks about money across the globe. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2016/08/28/scam-alert-yahoo-promotion/#5b1641743542

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