Along with the popularisation of broadband and the Internet, online crime is growing – and this is happening fast! Sometimes referred to as cybercrime or e-crime, Internet crime is one of the most common criminal activities that police forces are fighting hard to protect the average user from.
In the past few years, the UK Home Office – the government department responsible for internal affairs, has invested in a lot of resources to combat internet-related crimes by setting up specialist computer crime units ( as well as training computer crime investigators) for police forces all around the UK. But there is still much to achieve from the consumer’s point of view.
Internet Crime Is Rife
In 2017 the Home Office reported that the cost of online crime including internet fraud in ‘human and economic terms’ was on the rise, costing the nation an excessive £212millon in 2016 alone.
Fraudsters like to feed on people’s desperation and innocence. Quite often it’s honest people who are trying to make quick cash online to supplement their regular income that fall victim of this. Avoid giving personal details such as date of birth and credit or debit card details to any website without being sure they can be trusted. If in doubt, do a quick research on the company. There’s bound to be something written about it and very often scams are identified in that way.
Beware of Get-Rich-Quick Schemes
These are the most enticing scams of their kind, promising untold riches in no time. In many cases the fraudsters tempt users on their websites by offering a product or service for free but then require a few pennies to cover postage. Scammers use this technique to lure credulous Internet users into handing over their card details to them. Once registered, the user unwittingly activates an account and authorises the fraudulent merchant to charge a monthly fee of about 100 times the initial charge.
It’s important to remember that whether it is buying products for re-sell or even setting up a website, nothing is ever handed on a plate without putting in any effort. So if something smells fishy, steer well clear of it. Unfortunately there are people out there taking advantage of the economic downturn to make money for themselves. Don’t be fooled by the convincing adverts, bogus customer feedback or even the fake blogs through which these companies promote themselves.
Incidentally, opportunities to work self-employed, from home, and earn a considerable income actually do exist. But it requires a considerable amount of time, effort and patience. Research properly. There are plenty of genuine business ideas to be obtained for free online and without the need to provide any sort of payment.
Don’t Out Give Credit Card Details
Especially to a website that solicits payment to join or request a service. Although credit card companies have the power to get money back from a seller, should anything go wrong with a particular purchase, once the card holder has given their card details, this is taken as a form of authorisation and there is nothing the credit card company can do to help.
Sadly dishonest companies do use the web as a haven of false promises. What’s more, they are known to sometimes hide behind genuine, respective websites to enhance their authenticity to unsuspecting Internet users. The user should always check that the site being mentioned as a partner does indeed sponsor or has affiliations with third parties that are allowed to ask for payment upfront. Remember, scammers make their money by using attractive websites and elaborate adverts that seem irresistible. If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. So don’t fall in their trap.