Work From Home Online Scams

Work From Home Online Scamswork-from-home-online-scams


Working from home has become very popular and its popularity is increasing rapidly, especially for those who are unemployed, retired or confined to home for any reason.

One attraction is money and, as we all know, any extra income is always welcome.

But it can also be like an extension of a hobby or a passion that develops into an online business. No surprise then, that businesses based on a hobby or a passion are most likely to succeed and, believe it or not, working in those businesses is both easy and enjoyable.

So, it’s not hard to imagine millions (yes millions) of people across the world, people just like you and me working away with their online businesses – some very much part time, others more than part-time and others almost or totally full-time.

Scammers

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Online Hacker

Now, when you think about it, it is possible to understand why the dark side of the internet…the scammers got involved. Very quickly they proceeded to set up work from home online scams as a means to defraud internet users and particularly those interested in starting an online business.

Like any other scam, these particular scams must be recognised, detested and avoided.

If your business fails for a genuine reason, regardless of what the reason might be, you will be devastated to say the least. However, becoming a scam victim is even worse, its soul-destroying and you never ever want to go there.

Truth is, there are thousands of very dodgy characters and scams out there on the internet. They’re into everything including internet investment scams, internet based online training scams, work from home scams, dating scams and many, many more………………I’m not going to waste your time and mine listing them.

I believe it will be a lot better if I help you to recognise the scams and thereby avoid getting caught and becoming just another victim.

How To Recognise A Scamwork-from-home-online-scams


I don’t claim to cover every possible scam situation, rather I will be giving you some tips or pointers that will make you even more alert than you would normally be, regardless of the scam situation concerned.

So, if you are ready, here we go:

No Risk, Sure Thing!

Looks risky to me!!!

When you get a proposal from someone that uses words like “Guaranteed” or “No Risk” or “Sure Thing” or “Can’t go Wrong” be very cautious. If they follow up with “you will earn an ongoing substantial income” well, just cut the call or run away.

Affinity Fraud – A Like Minded Person!

An unsolicited approach from a person who claims to have the same hobby, religion, country or whatever, may well be false and be used to get you to “drop your guard” for affinity fraud. Affinity fraud is a bit like investment fraud where the fraudster preys upon members of groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, language minorities, the elderly, or professional groups. The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are – or can do a really good job of pretending to be – members of the particular group they want to scam.

New Technology Development!

Ask yourself, is it real?

While this does happen, it’s probably unlikely you will be approached by an individual “out of the blue” and if you are approached, then it may be for a “new product” that is unproven, untested and possibly does not exist. Again get out of there.

Online Videos – Don’t Believe Everything You See!

Well, this article from The Sun will give you a good idea why! When I first saw this I thought, surely, people have more sense! Surely people can’t be that stupid!

Anyway, here goes:

Apparently, some new iPhone 7 owners watched an online You Tube video which demonstrated and tricked them into thinking a headphone jack could be added to their new handset by drilling a 3.5mm hole in the position where the headphone jack would normally be! The new iPhone 7 did not have a headphone jack, as it was designed for use with Bluetooth headphones.

This fake You Tube video, claiming to show users how they could get the headphone jack, went viral and many new iPhone owners damaged their new phones by following the instructions from the video!

These, and I quote The Sun,

“Clueless users then complained their phones had stopped working after falling victim to the prank. Furious James Ceja commented on the video: “I tried this and ended up with display destruction and it not working… I really committed the biggest mistake of my life by watching this video.”

David Iriarte added: “A friend of mine told me it worked for him, but my iPhone won’t turn on after I drilled the hole for the jack. “I checked and it was the 3.5mm drill, so I made no mistake there! What happened? Any of you have the same problem?”

Toekneechair questioned: “OK I am sure it’s in the comments somewhere but my friend told me to ask what size drill bit am I supposed to use? “Also I don’t have that clamp thingy, can I or my friend hold it while we drill? I don’t want to ruin my phone. “Thanks for all the help guys…”

Click here to view the video http://bit.ly/2cVBBMx

Well, what do you think, would you fall for it? I would certainly hope not.

You Tube is truly amazing, with solutions and videos for almost any task you care to mention, so people visit You Tube looking for solutions all the time. That sense of trust may well be one of the reasons why these people were “tricked”, although, personally I think they were just stupid.

Anyway, you might say this is an extreme case – and I would agree – but it is still a useful WARNING that we must always be on the alert and not let our guard down.

Investments

A huge area with numerous genuine investment opportunities.

Again, unfortunately, there are also all kinds of “Professional Investment Scams” and Affinity Fraud as detailed above. Although it is a massive area of business activity there are a few pointers to follow for this and other scam situations:

Ask plenty of probing, difficult questions.

Watch the “body language”.

Watch for any “silences”.

Check what firm carries out the Audits – a reputable firm of auditors will not be a guarantee on any investment, but it would be more reassuring than some backstreet accountant.

Get on board now or you will lose out!

Caution strongly advised!

Pressure is applied to invest money immediately or the opportunity will be lost! This is meant to stop you doing research or consulting with family or experts. If it’s a genuine long term proposal, then there should be ample time for background checks.

Sending Cash Overseas!

Genuine International Investments can be great but NEVER ever send cash overseas to some unknown person or company. It’s hard to believe that this is still happening.

Favorable Promotions!

Opportunities being favorably promoted on the internet and elsewhere can be absolutely amazing and totally legitimate.

But, again, there are the exceptions that are total scams – some very obvious and others that just don’t stand up to any serious scrutiny.

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

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A helping hand is here…

Yes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true – Old advice that is still very good advice – use your common sense and your gut feeling.
It’s such a shame, as there are so many great online business’s out there and, believe me, you too can start your own online business.

So, after all that – Starting an online business working from home……how do you avoid the work from home online scams?

Well, if you want to avoid all that grief and all that frustration, the absolute best thing to do is to check out this company named Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate, which I have reviewed separately here  , has been in business for more than 10 years, has an impeccable reputation and provides everything you will ever need for your business. So, to get started and try it for free, go there now by clicking on the image below:

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Make your future secure.

If you want more helpful information, have a look at my other pages and posts especially “how to work online at home” and “real ways to earn money online”.

So, that’s it for now….

Thanks for dropping by, don’t forget to leave a comment below.

Cheers,

Michael

What Is The Best Online Security Protection

What Is The Best Online Security Protection for both small and large businesses?

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Online Security

Whether you are doing your online business nationally, internationally or worldwide, you need the maximum level of online security protection.

Standard antivirus packages do a particular job, which is described more fully below, but you do need a “second layer” for maximum protection. That “second layer” is the speciality of Heimdal Security and specifically their product Heimdal PRO.

Security is very important if you have an existing Online Business or if you are thinking of starting one – in which case you should see the Powerful Affiliate pages “What is an Affiliate Marketing Business” and “Why Become an Affiliate Marketer“, these will help with your decision and are well worth reading now or after you finish here.

Online criminals hate Heimdal Security as they protect you from attacks that the antivirus packages can’t block.

You may well ask, is this “second layer” and the related cost absolutely necessary?

Well, I will address the question, what is the best online security protection and other frequently asked questions as I go through this review.

I think it will be more beneficial and clearer, if I break the information down under these headings:

  1. User benefits
  2. Features
  3. Protects against
  4. Best Security Addition for any Antivirus package
  5. Who is Heimdal Security
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Free Security Resources
powerful-affiliate
How to start an online business…

# 1 – User benefits

Protects your computer from 2nd generation malware.

Ransomware, exploit kits, financial Trojans and data-stealing malware are just a few examples of 2nd generation malware that Heimdal PRO blocks.

Sanitises your Internet traffic to block malicious traffic.

Heimdal PRO works proactively, scanning all your incoming and outgoing Internet traffic to identify malicious connections. Heimdal blocks these connections and keeps malware from being downloaded and installed on your computer.

Keeps your financial data and confidential information safe.

Heimdal PRO closely monitors your outgoing Internet traffic too. When it sees that malware is trying to ex-filtrate data from your computer to a malicious server or website, it blocks the connection.

Saves time and enhances your security with automated software Updates.

Not many people know this, but updating software blocks up to 85% of web attack angles. The software manager in Heimdal PRO installs updates automatically and without interrupting your work (or fun). It can also install new software for you, fast and safely.

Protects your digital life from attacks you don’t even notice.

To reach more potential victims, cyber criminals hack legitimate websites and online ads and even impersonate brands you trust and love. Due to its deep and vast intelligence about servers and websites used by cyber criminals, Heimdal PRO protects you from cyber threats that the eye can’t see and your antivirus package can’t detect.

Experience a safer web, but just as fast as before.

Heimdal PRO was created so it could be both discrete and effective, so it doesn’t slow down your system or your Internet connection.

Check out our cool video showing what Heimdal PRO does and why users need it:

# 2 – Features

  • Traffic-based Malware Detection
  • Advanced Traffic Scanning & Filtering
  • Online Banking Security
  • Automatic Software Updates
  • Silent Vulnerability Blocking
  • Software Manager
  • Security News Alerts
  • Free Support

# 3 – Protects against

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Online Security Protection
  • Adware & Spyware
  • Botnets
  • Browser & DNS hijacking
  • Data Leakage & Data Theft
  • Drive-by Attacks
  • Email Malware Distribution
  • Exploit Kits
  • Fileless Malware
  • Form-grabbing Malware
  • Keyloggers
  • Macro Viruses & more
  • Malicious Traffic Redirects
  • Malvertising
  • Phishing, Whaling, Pharming
  • Polymorphic Malware
  • Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs)
  • Ransomware
  • Remote Access Trojans
  • Rogueware
  • URL & SQL injection
  • Zero Day Malware

# 4 – Best Security Addition for any Antivirus Package

Heimdal PRO is not an antivirus, but it’s a perfect complement to one.

Antivirus is reactive because it looks for files and actions, whereas Heimdal is proactive, analysing your Internet traffic.

what-is-the-best-online-security-protection
The best online security protection

# 5 – Who is Heimdal Security?

Heimdal Security protects users and companies from sophisticated cyber-criminal actions, by keeping confidential information and intellectual property safe.

The Heimdal Security software was initially developed in 2011 by Team Defcon CTF World Champions in hacking and is now used to protect organisations and users across the world against advanced attacks, no matter where their users may travel.

# 6 – Frequently Asked Questions

What is Heimdal PRO?  

Heimdal PRO is a cyber threat security suite that uses Internet traffic scanning to keep you safe against ransomware, financial Trojans, data-stealing malware and other threats that an antivirus package can’t detect.

How much does it cost?

You can see the retail prices for Heimdal PRO in their online shop – price will depend on your country, number of computers needing protection and license period.

What is the difference between Heimdal PRO and Heimdal FREE?

Heimdal FREE keeps your vulnerable applications up-to-date automatically and eliminates vulnerabilities used in cyber attacks. Compared to Heimdal PRO, the FREE version does not offer Internet traffic scanning and filtering or malware  detection.

What operating systems does Heimdal PRO run on?

  • Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit)
  • Windows 8 (32 and 64 bit)
  • Windows 8.1 (32 and 64 bit)
  • Windows 10 (32 and 64 bit)

Are there any online reviews for Heimdal PRO?

Customer reviews on Trustpilot

Heimdal PRO reviewed on Softpedia

Heimdal PRO reviewed on Digital Citizen

Can Heimdal be used in a corporate environment?

Yes, but Heimdal really recommends using Heimdal CORP. This  product was developed specifically for larger IT environments. Compared to Heimdal PRO, the CORP version also offers access to the web-based Unified Threat Dashboard, a great tool for any company’s IT administrator.

# 7 – Free Security Resources

The Heimdal Security blog.

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Online Hacker

The Heimdal Security award-winning cyber security blog keeps you up to date on breakthrough security alerts and paves the way to safer digital lives with actionable how-to guides and articles.

Cyber Security for Beginners (course)

Turn your inbox into a classroom with this self-paced course designed for everyone and anyone.

 The Daily Security Tip

From the Heimdal inbox to yours: 365 security tips to last you for an entire year, dropped at a rate of 1 tip/day!

The Ultimate Windows 10 Security Guide

All the pointers you need to adjust and tweak your Windows 10 settings in order to boost your cyber security and privacy.

The Cyber Security Glossary

Decode all that tech talk in cyber security articles so that it makes sense to you. Includes links to in-depth resources!

Cyber Security for Small Business Owners (Course)

Master the basics of cyber security to protect your small business and your client’s data. All in 24 step-by-step lessons!

So, to conclude and answer the question “what is the best online security protection”……….definitely Heimdal Security.


So there you have it – I think any concerns you might have had, are now answered.

Also, I think you will now understand why Powerful Affiliate has no hesitation in recommending Heimdal Security and specifically their Heimdal PRO and Heimdal CORP security products.

Click HERE and go there now and check the prices for yourself!


 

what-is-the-best-online-security-protection
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…Click on Image

As always, I love to get feedback, so please leave a comment in the box below.

Thank you for visiting, do call again as Powerful Affiliate is updated regularly.

Cheers and do take care.

Michael

Advance Fees Scam

Nigerian “419 Scams”

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Cyber Criminals

An Advance fees scam occurs when the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value—such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift—and then receives little or nothing in return.

The advance fees scam, also commonly known as “Nigerian” scams, have been around in various forms for decades. In fact, they predate the Internet and email. The scams are also called “419 scams” after the appropriate part of the Nigerian criminal code.

Nigerian scammers still use surface mail and faxes as well as email and social media.

General Variety of Advance Fee Scams

The variety of advance fee scams is limited only by the imagination of the con artists who offer them. They may involve the sale of products or services, the offering of investments, lottery winnings, “found money,” or many other “opportunities.”

Clever con artists will offer to find financing arrangements for their clients who pay a “finder’s fee” in advance. They require their clients to sign contracts in which they agree to pay the fee when they are introduced to the financing source.

Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the “finder” according to the contract.

Such agreements may be legal unless it can be shown that the “finder” never had the intention or the ability to provide financing for the victims.

How the Scam Works

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Scam

The scam works like this. You receive an unsolicited message that masquerades as some manner of business proposition, request for assistance, notice of a potential inheritance or opportunity to help a charity.

As described in general above, there is a seemingly endless array of cover stories that the scammers use in order to draw potential victims into the con.

In spite of this diversity, virtually all of the scam messages share a common theme. The messages all claim that your help is needed to access a large sum of money, usually many millions of dollars.

The scammers use a variety of stories to explain why they need your help to access the funds.

Examples of Advance Fee Scam Stories

They may claim that the climate or legal issues preclude them from accessing funds in a foreign bank account and request your help to gain such access.

They may claim that your last name is the same as that of the deceased person who owned an account and suggest that you act as the Next of Kin of this person in order to gain access to the account’s funds.

They may claim that a rich businessman, who has a terminal illness, needs your help to distribute his wealth to charity.

They may claim that a soldier stationed overseas has discovered a cache of hidden cash left by a fleeing dictator and needs your help to get the money out of the country.

An alternative type of advance fee scam uses messages claiming that recipients have won a large sum of money in an international lottery. Victims are asked to send advance fees and personal information – supposedly, to allow the processing of prize funds for sending to the winner. In reality, there is no prize.

Typically, advance fee scammers will send many thousands of identical scam messages to email recipients all around the world. It only takes a few recipients to fall for the claims in the messages to make the operation pay off for the criminals.

The Bait

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Bait used!

The messages offer to let you keep a significant percentage of the funds in exchange for your assistance. This percentage is the bait that the scammers use to entice potential victims deeper into the scam.

Once a recipient has taken the bait and initiated a dialogue with the scammers, he or she will soon receive requests for “fees” that the scammer claims are necessary for processing costs, tax and legal fees, or bribes to local officials.

The scammers will warn the victim that these advance fees must be paid before the funds can be claimed and secured.

In reality, the supposed funds do not exist. The major purpose of these scam messages is to trick recipients into parting with their money in the form of the advance fees.

Fraudulent requests for fees will usually continue until the victim realises he or she is being conned and stops sending money. In some cases, the scammers gain enough information to access the victim’s bank account directly or steal the victim’s identity.

What to Do With an Advance Fee Scam Message

If you receive one of these scam emails, it is important that you do not respond to it in any way. The scammers are likely to act upon any response from those they see as potential victims.

Although it can be educational and even entertaining to “bait” advance fee scammers, such endeavours should only be attempted under controlled conditions.

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Trash

These scammers are unscrupulous and unpredictable criminals. There have been violent attacks, abductions and even murders associated with advance fee Nigerian scams and the criminals that run them should not be trifled with.

The best thing to do with these scam messages is to simply delete them.

What To Do If You Have Submitted Information

If you have supplied banking and credit card details, personal information, and/or copies of identity documents such as your driver’s licence and passport to the scammers, then you could become a victim of identity theft. You must report everything to your nearest Law Enforcement Agency.

What To Do If You Have Already Given Money

Unfortunately, there is probably very little you can do to recover any money you have already sent. The first step is to cease all communication with the scammers and do not, under any circumstances, send them any more money or information.

It is not uncommon for advance fee scam victims to fall into an escalation of commitment trap and continue to send money to the scammers even after they have been told they are being conned.

This is because victims can become desperate and are unwilling to let go of the vain hope that the scheme that they are involved in is legitimate after all and that they will eventually get their promised windfall.

If you have sent money to scammers, you should inform your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible.

Also, take steps to protect your identity by accessing information about identity theft published by the Federal Trade Commission (US), ScamWatch, (Australia) or ActionFraud (UK).

Tips for Avoiding Advanced Fee Scams

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Help Tips
  1. If the offer of an “opportunity” appears too good to be true, then it probably is. Follow common business practice. For example, legitimate business is rarely conducted in cash on a street corner.
  2. Know who you are dealing with. If you have not heard of a person or company that you intend to do business with, learn more about them. Depending on the amount of money that you plan on spending, you may want to visit the business location, consult with your bank, an attorney or the police.
  3. Make sure you fully understand any business agreement that you enter into. If the terms are complex, have them reviewed by a competent attorney.
  4. Be wary of businesses that operate out of post office boxes or mail drops and do not have a street address.
  5. Be suspicious when dealing with persons who do not have a direct telephone line and who are never in when you call, but always return your call later.
  6. Be wary of business deals that require you to sign nondisclosure or non-circumvention agreements that are designed to prevent you from independently verifying the bona fides of the people with whom you intend to do business. Con artists often use non-circumvention agreements to threaten their victims with civil suit if they report their losses to law enforcement.
  7. Although many still originate from Nigeria – hence the generic term “Nigerian scam” – it is certainly not only Nigerian based criminals that send them. In spite of the longevity of this type of scam and the large amount of publicity that it has received, many people around the world are still being conned out of substantial sums of money.

That is a serious problem, so be careful.


Wealthy Affiliate

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Wealthy Affiliate

Are you already a member of the Wealthy Affiliate community?

If not, you can find out more by checking the other pages and posts on Powerful Affiliate starting with how to start an online business that makes money – here you will find links to the current most popular and most important articles.

Or, right now, You can join as a starter member for free…….including two free websites – so nothing to lose, right.


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The Laptop Millionaire…click on image

So there you have it for today.

Thank you for visiting.

I love getting feedback, so please leave a comment or suggestion in the box below – or, if you prefer, contact me.

Cheers for now.

Michael.

Romance Scam Stories

Romance & Cyber Criminals

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Romance Scam!

You will probably have heard of cyber criminals – criminals that specialise in online crime – and perhaps even today’s topic, the Romance Scam Stories. Most likely, you will also be aware that these cyber criminals got involved with online businesses and individuals as soon as the internet first appeared and rapidly spread throughout the world.

We all know that online services and websites make it easy for us to pay bills, shop, make online reservations and even work. You can do any of these actions from anywhere in the world.

Old boundaries and human oppositions were removed in order for us to have access to almost any information – our lives became so much easier.

Unfortunately, the same thing is true for the criminals and cyber criminals in particular.

powerful-affiliate
How to start an online business…

This freedom to access a wide range of online services and locations also makes us vulnerable, because that “open door” provided access in both directions!

These days, criminal minds can reach further than ever before, into our private lives, our homes and work offices – and there is little we can do to stop it.

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Phishing Attack

Cyber criminals can use malicious software to attack weak points that are present in almost all the programs and apps (even in the popular Windows operating systems), or they will use ingenious phishing scams deployed from unexpected regions of the world, where justice can’t easily reach out to catch the criminals.

The most common ways for you to become vulnerable to a malware attack or phishing scam take place when you are:

  • shopping online
  • checking your emails
  • accessing your social media sites

We must not forget their final target is always our money and there is nothing they won’t do to accomplish their mission.

You may think that you can’t be fooled by these online scams, since some of them are almost unbelievable, such as the one promising to send you money or the one where the scammers pretend to be FBI agents.

But, in reality, some stories are so convincing for the potential victims that it is difficult to know how to deal with them.

Since some scams are so well organised and convincing, and the people behind them so difficult to catch, we need to always keep our guard up. Stay informed about the latest scamming strategies by visiting this website, Powerful Affiliate, regularly.

The Romance Scam Stories

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Infected Computer

How many of us have already been fooled by this one? Since this one addresses our subjective self and not our rational side, we tend to drop our guard and leave aside any logical analysis.

This scam takes place on social dating networks, like Facebook, or by sending a simple email to the potential target.

The male scammers are often located in West Africa, while the female scammers are mostly from the eastern parts of Europe. The truth is however, unless they are in contact with you on Skype, they could be male or female giving you pictures to suit their scam story.

Cyber criminals have used this scamming method for years by abusing the online dating services. They work and improve their approach by just testing the potential victims’ reactions to a variety of questions like these:

  • Hello!

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    Romance Scam Survivor – the whole sordid story…click on Image

  • I am looking for a sincere relationship
  • Are you married?
  • Children?
  • Age?
  • Age doesn’t matter
  • May I have your email address and Skype number?
  • What do you work at?
  • And so on……

This scheme or this game may take place for hours, days, months or more in order to gain your trust.

Eventually, in some cases within hours, you will be asked to help the scammer. They will have built up a particular story and they then ask for money…..could be for food, rent, passport, air fare or hospital bills…

They will ask for photographs of you and they will give you photographs. The photographs they give will be related to the story they are telling – for example, if they want money for hospital bills – photos showing facial injuries or similar  will be sent.

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Always an attractive Lady

However, if you are a man using messaging, most likely they will start with some photos of the very attractive woman you are in contact with – needless to say you could be in contact with a male or a female and the photo(s) could have come from anywhere! The photos will later change to suit the story or conversation they are having with you.

In some cases the scam can go for several months and  even up to the moment when a meeting is arranged. When this happens, two things may take place:

  • an “unpredictable” event occurs and the scammer needs money as soon as possible for his/her passport or other details.
  • if the victim comes from a rich family, he/she may be kidnapped and a large sum of money could be requested from the family.

An Actual Case

In a recent romance scam case that was publicised, a woman lost £1.6 million after she met two con-men on a dating site. In this case, the criminal relentlessly tried to strike up a conversation with the woman on Skype until, eventually she answered, and the scam progressed from there.

Between March and December 2014, the victim paid £1.6 million into numerous bank accounts, with the money then transferred into various personal accounts……..for the full story click HERE

Police say, romance scams are not the most prevalent fraud but the financial and emotional impact on victims is huge.

Victims have been known to borrow money from friends and family to pay the criminals. Victims then feel embarrassed and ashamed when they realise they have been duped, so they often don’t even report what has happened to them or even confide in a friend.

Instead, they should understand that they are not foolish and they are not alone – the reality is that the fraudsters are extremely manipulative and go to great lengths to convince their victims they are in love and desperately in need of their financial assistance.

Remember, that any stranger who approaches you on a chat site, via email or any other way could potentially be a fraudster.

Warning signs

You meet someone online and after just a few contacts they profess strong feelings for you, and ask to chat with you privately. If you met on an dating site they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email.

Their profile on the internet dating website or their Facebook page is not consistent with what they tell you. For example, their profile picture looks different to their description of themselves, or they say they are university educated but their English is poor.

After gaining your trust – often waiting weeks, months or even years – they tell you an elaborate story and ask for money, gifts or your bank account/credit card details.

Their messages are often poorly written, vague and may even address you by the wrong name.

If you don’t send money straight away, their messages and calls become more desperate, persistent or direct. If you do send money, they  continue to ask you to send more.

They don’t keep their  promises and always have an excuse for why they can’t travel to meet you and why they always need more money.

How To Avoid Online Dating Scams

#1 -Approach may be a scam

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May be a scammer?

Always consider the possibility that an approach may be a scam, particularly if the warning signs listed above appear. Try to remove the emotion from your decision making, no matter how caring or persistent the ‘prospective partner’ is.

#2 – Do an image search

Do an image search of your admirer to help determine if they really are who they say they are. You can use image search services such as Google  or TinEye.             They often originate in Ghana, west Africa and there is a Ghana romance scams photo gallery on Google where images can also be checked.

#3 – Be alert to mistakes

Be alert to things like spelling and grammar mistakes, inconsistencies in their stories and others signs that it’s a scam like their camera never working if you want to Skype each other.

#4 – Be cautious with personal details

Be cautious when sharing personal pictures or videos with prospective partners, especially if you’ve never met them before. Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material. Scammers can also use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.

#5 – Do not travel overseas to meet

If you agree to meet a prospective partner in person, tell family and friends where you are going. You should not travel overseas to meet someone you have never met before.

#6 – Avoid any up-front payment requests

Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency. It is rare to recover money sent this way.

#7 – Money laundering

Do not agree to transfer money for someone else: money laundering is a criminal offence.

#8 – See through the sob stories

Con artists will tell you tales to pluck at your heartstrings, with a view to gaining your trust and sympathy. Sometimes they will ask for money to help them through a difficult situation. These are lies to get you to send them money.

romance-scam-stories
For the men…an attractive lady!

#9 – Don’t be fooled by a photo

Anyone can send a picture which supports a story they are spinning. Scammers will quite often use the same story and send the same photo to multiple victims. You may be able to find evidence of the same scam posted on anti-fraud websites by other victims.

#10 – Keep your money in your bank account

Be wary of requests for money. Never send money or give credit card details, online account details, or copies of important personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust, no matter how strongly you feel about them. No one who loves you will ask you to hand over your life savings and get into debt for them.

#11 – Question their questions

Suspects will pay you a lot of compliments and ask you a lot of questions about your life, yet tell you very little themselves beyond a few select tales. Never disclose your personal details, such as bank details – this leaves you vulnerable to fraud.

#12 – Don’t keep quiet

Sometimes scammers will ask you to keep your relationship secret but this is just a ruse to stop you talking to someone who will realise you are being scammed. If you are concerned that you are being scammed, stop communicating with the fraudsters and report it to police immediately.

Conclusion

If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. Let them know the scammer’s profile name and any other details that may help them to stop others being scammed.

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

We encourage you to report scams to the Police as quickly as possible, with details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.

Online scams have been developed using increasingly sophisticated means of deceiving users, especially in the rich Western countries.

According to FBI, online scams have increased over the last 10 years and the total losses doubled in the recent years, affecting both private individuals and large scale businesses.

For this reason, cyber criminal activities are now subject to federal investigations and are treated as a very serious problem that affects us all.


Have you met some of the above scams while browsing or in your email inbox?

What were the most convincing ones?

I would love to hear about your experience and, you know what, it could help someone else avoid the same trouble.

I hope this will help while you are doing your business and personal tasks online.


Wealthy Affiliate

powerful-affiliate
Wealthy Affiliate

Have you heard about Wealthy Affiliate or are you already a member of the Wealthy Affiliate community?

If not, you can find out more by checking out the other pages and posts on Powerful Affiliate starting with “The Wealthy Affiliate University Review” and “Why Become an Affiliate Marketer” – these will help you decide if it’s for you. Then move on to How To Start An Online Business That Makes Money where you will also find links to the current most popular articles.

Or, right now, You can join as a starter member for free…….including two free websites – so nothing to lose, right.


 

So there you have it for now!

Thank’s for visiting.

Cheers for now and stay safe.

Michael.

 

Identity Theft Protection Tips

What Is Identity Theft?

identity-theft-protection-tips
Identity Theft by credit card!

Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform a fraud or other criminal act.

How Can Criminals Get “My Identity”?

Criminals can get the information they need to assume your identity from a variety of sources, including by stealing your wallet, rifling through your trash or by getting your credit or bank information. They may even approach you in person or by telephone or on the Internet and just ask you for the information. That is why I want to give you some identity theft protection tips that will definitely help keep these criminals away.

Can I Stop This Theft?

In reality, the sources of information about you are so numerous and so available that, in truth, you cannot prevent the theft of your identity if a criminal is determined enough to get it. Now, before you panic, let me assure you, that does not mean YOUR identity will be stolen.

Let me also assure YOU, that you can greatly minimise the possibility of identity theft happening to you if you follow these identity theft protection tips which I will go through with you.

Before going any further, I do want to personally assure you that my opinion is non bias and that I am in no way connected to or affiliated with any security or identity theft prevention services.

powerful-affiliate
How to start an online business…

Identity Theft Protection Tips:

  • Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank
    identity-theft-protection-tips
    Identity Thief!

    statements in a usable form. If it’s paper, tear into small pieces or shred, for credit cards and the like, cut into pieces with a scissors or shred.

  • Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.
  • Reconcile your bank account monthly and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.
  • Keep a list of telephone numbers to call, if you ever need to report the loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
  • Report unauthorised financial transactions to your bank, credit card company, and the police as soon as you detect them – do not delay.
  • Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries and follow through until they are explained or removed.
  • If your identity has been stolen, don’t forget to ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.
  • If you know or ever hear of anyone receiving mail from credit card companies or banks, in the names of other people, report it to local law enforcement authorities immediately.

At first glance, these might seem like a lot to take on board or even remember but, you know what, we all need to take responsibility for our own security and I think these are all very easy steps to take in order to help protect ourselves – what do YOU think?

In addition to protecting your identity, they will also give you peace of mind by lessening any worries or fears you might have about identity theft.

identity-theft-protection-tips
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…click on Image

So, be careful and stay safe………


Now, if you wish, you can check out the other pages and posts on Powerful Affiliate starting with how to start an online business that makes money – here you will find links to the current most popular and most important articles.

Or, right now, You can join as a starter member for free…….including two free websites – so nothing to lose, right.


As always, I would love to get your comments or suggestions in the box below or, if you prefer, Contact Me.

Thanks for visiting, please call again as I am constantly adding new information which will be of interest to you.

Cheers and do take care.

Michael

 

 

 

How To Avoid A Phishing Scam

What Is Phishing & How Can I Avoid It

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Phishing scam!

Many of you will not remember a world without the “Internet”. Is that mad or what?

Long, Long Ago!!

Think about it, surviving without the iPhone or even Mobile Phones as they were called or laptop, hard to imagine I know, but it’s not that long ago!

Then it’s not hard to imagine, that once the Internet came into being, Cyber Criminals, as they are now called, were not far behind.

These cyber criminals, using their malicious software, started to infect online businesses and individual accounts which were part of the developing networks being created and spreading all over the world. So, it is important that we familiarise ourselves with this problem and find out how to avoid a phishing scam.

Nowadays

Nowadays, Internet services and websites make our daily lives that much easier by facilitating the payment of bills, shopping, making online reservations, working from home online, earning money online, communicating with each other and, of course, how we carry out our duties in our workplace.

You can now do any of these actions from any place in the world. Borders, boundaries and human limitations have been largely eliminated in order for us to have access to almost any information……….our lives have become so much easier!!

powerful-affiliate
How to start an online business…

Cyber Criminals

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Cyber Criminals!

Unfortunately, we can say the same thing about Cyber Crime. All communications require a “connection” and these connections have been compromised again and again. The internet will always be vulnerable to these so called “cyber criminals”.

These days, more than ever before, cyber criminals can reach into our private lives, our personal communication devices, our homes and our work offices. There is an ongoing battle between high powered Technology Giants and cyber criminals –criminals who are becoming more and more sophisticated and technically aware of developments within the telecommunications industry.

Malware Scams & Phishing Scams

Criminals use various methods and tools:

Malware Scams – Traditional malicious software that attacks the vulnerabilities that are present in almost all the current programs and apps (even in the popular Windows operating systems).

Phishing Scams – These start with you getting a message by email or through a social network. Complicated, ingenious Phishing Scams are often deployed from unexpected regions of the world, where the Law and justice can’t easily reach the perpetrators.

The most common situations where you become vulnerable to Malicious Software (Malware Attack) or a Phishing Scam take place when you:

  • Shop Online
  • Open your emails
  • Access Social Media Networks

Therefore, in order to protect ourselves, we need to know what are the most popular schemes and techniques used by cyber criminals to obtain our private information and financial data.

Never forget, their final target is always your money and there is nothing they won’t do to get at it.

Phishing Email Scams

Phishing scams start with a communication made by email or on social networks.

Typically, you will receive messages from Cyber criminals who try to trick you into giving them your login credentials – for your bank account,

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Did YOU get a phishing scams on your PC?

social network, work account, cloud storage or any other personal data area they think might be valuable to them.

To disguise their intentions, the phishing emails will seem to come from an official source – it could be a bank or other financial institute, but could also be a delivery company or social network representative.

By doing it this way, they are hoping you will click on the links contained by their messages and thereby access a website that looks legit, looks like the real one – but is actually controlled by the cyber criminals. You will then be sent to a fake login access page that resembles the real website and, if you’re not paying attention, you may well end up giving away your login credentials and other personal information.

In addition and in order to increase their success rate, scammers will deliberately create a sense of urgency in the message. They’ll tell you a frightening story of how your bank account is under threat and how you really need to access it as soon as possible via a web page where you must insert your credentials in order to confirm your identity or your account.

Again of course, the provided link will only lead you to the fake web location and not to your real login page. After you fill in your online banking credentials, cyber criminals will use them to breach your real bank account or to sell them on to other interested criminals.

This is one of the main scamming techniques used to spread financial malware and data stealing malware. Realistically, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t be well prepared for any such attempts. However, even if you install a good antivirus program, there is no better way to stay safe from this threat than to avoid the initial infection phase.

So, How Do I Avoid Getting Caught In The Phishing Net?

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Nice FISH….does not cause a problem like Phishing does!

A – Sender Details  

First thing to check: the sender’s email address.

Look at the email header – does the sender’s email address match the name and the domain?

Spoofing the display name of an email, in order for it to appear as if it is from a “brand name”, is one of the most basics phishing tactics.

Example: An email from Amazon that comes from “noreply@amazon.com” is legitimate. But an email that looks like it is from someone at Amazon but was sent from a different domain, like the email in the picture below, is most certainly not from Amazon.

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Sample Phishing Email

Check and compare the headers from a genuine valid message that you have from the same source with those on the suspect message.

  • If they don’t match:
  • Don’t click on anything
  • Don’t download any attachment.

Here is a tool for experts – You can also analyse the email header and track IP using this tool.

If you are using Gmail – You can turn on the authentication icon for verified senders. This way, you will see a key icon next to authenticated messages from trusted senders, such as Google Wallet, eBay or PayPal. Unfortunately, only a few domains are currently supported by this program, but hopefully it will extend in the future.

Another verification method available for Gmail users – Check whether the email was authenticated by the sending domain. Open the message and click on the drop-down arrow below the sender’s name. Make sure the domain you see next to the ‘mailed-by’ or ‘signed-by’ lines matches the sender’s email address. Find out more about it here.

It will look like this:

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Sample

The second thing to check: the address the email was sent to.

Look at the To and CC fields. If the email was sent to old or wrong addresses, it may indicate it was sent to old lists or randomly generated emails.

B – Message Content

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Lies & more lies

Clue number one – They ask you to send them or verify personal information via email. Or, they are asking for information which the supposed sender should already have.

Clue number two – They are likely to play on your emotions or urgency. As a general rule, be suspicious of any mail that has urgent     requests (e.g. “respond in two days otherwise you will lose this deal”), exciting or upsetting news, offers, gift deals or coupons (especially around major holidays or events, such as Black Friday or Christmas).

Clue number three – They claim there was some sort of problem with your recent purchase or delivery and ask you to resend personal information or just click on a link to resolve it. Banks or legitimate e-Commerce representatives will never ask you to do that, as it’s not a secure method to transmit such information.

Here’s an example of PayPal phishing:

how-to-avoid-a-phishing-scam
Example of Phishing using PayPal Logo

Clue number four – They claim to be from a law enforcement agency. Law Enforcement Agencies never use email as a form of contact.

Clue number five – They ask you to call a number and give your personal details over the phone. If this is the case, search for the official correspondence from the company and use the phone number provided by them to verify if this is true.

C – Message Form

First rule -Beware of bogus or misleading links. Hover your mouse over the links in the email message in order to check them BEFORE clicking on them. The URLs may look valid at a first glance, but may use a variation in spelling or a different domain ( .net instead of .com, for example). Thanks to the new generic topic-level domains that were introduced in 2014, spammers and phishers gained new tools for their campaigns.

Some Scams use JavaScript – Other phishing scams use JavaScript  to place a picture of a legit URL over a browser’s address bar. The URL revealed when hovering with your mouse over a link can also be changed using Java.

Second rule – Look out for IP address links or URL shorteners. They can take a long URL, shorten it using services such as bit.ly, and redirect it to the intended destination. It’s hard to find out what’s on the other end of that link, so you might be falling into a trap – better be safe than sorry. Useful Tools – Check a redirect with this Redirect Checker from Internet Officer, to see where it’s leading to. Or screenshot the page remotely using Browser Shots.

Third rule – Beware of typos or spelling mistakes. This used to be the norm, but it’s no longer as common.

Fourth rule – Beware of amateurish looking designs. This means images that don’t match the background or look formatted to fit the style of the email. Stock photos, photos or logos uploaded at low resolution or bad quality.

Fifth rule – Beware of missing signatures. Lack of details about the sender or how to contact the company points in the phishing direction. A legitimate company will always provide such information.

D – Attachments

Look out for attachments. They can attach other types of files, such as PDF or DOC, that contain links. Or they can hide malware or they can cause your browser to crash while installing malware.

The latest Kaspersky Labs reports show that in Q3 of 2015 there’s been an increase in phishing using attachments and “A particular feature was a new trick used in phishing emails – in order to bypass spam filters they placed the text of the email and fraudulent link in an attached PDF document rather than in the message body”.

E – External Links / Websites

Let’s assume that you already clicked on a link from a suspicious email. Is the domain correct? Don’t forget that the link may look identical, but use a variation in spelling or domain.

Before submitting any information on that website, make sure that you are on a secure website connection. You can easily check that by looking at the link:

Does it start with “https” or “http”? The extra “s” will mean that the website has SSL. SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer and is a method to ensure that the data sent and received is encrypted. More legit and safe websites will have a valid SSL certificate installed.

Another way to check that, is to look on the left of the web address: is there an icon of a closed padlock? Or is the address highlighted in green? This will indicate that you are visiting an encrypted site and the transferred data is safe.

F – Helpful Tools

Use browsers that offer built-in phishing protection. In general, there are two ways to detect phishing websites – Heuristics and Blacklists.

Heuristic Method A heuristic method analyses patterns in URL, words in web pages and servers in order to classify the site and warn the user.

Blacklists Google and Microsoft operate blacklists. Google integrated them with Firefox and Chrome, so a warning message will appear before entering a phishing website. Microsoft is integrated with Internet Explorer and Edge.

You can also install browser add-on’s and extensions designed to block phishing attempts. Read more tips on this subject on Tech Support Alert.

Conclusion

Online scams have been developed using increasingly sophisticated means to deceive users, especially in the rich Western countries.

According to FBI, online scams have increased over the last 10 years and the total losses doubled in the recent years, affecting both private individuals and large scale businesses. For this reason, cyber criminal activities are now subject to federal investigations and are treated as a very serious problem that affects us all.

For an extended list of common fraud schemes discovered and analysed by FBI, you can check this article.

You may think that you can’t be fooled by these online scams, since some of them are quite hilarious, such as the one promising to send you money or the one where the scammers pretend to be FBI agents. However, some stories are so convincing for the potential victims that it is difficult to know how to deal with them. Since some scams are so well organised and convincing, and the people behind them are so difficult to catch, we need to always keep our guard up. So, keep checking this site and others to stay informed about the latest scamming strategies.

Have you come across any of the above scams while browsing or in your email inbox? What were the most convincing ones?

Example of an Ethical, Legitimate Website – Wealthy Affiliate.

Please visit this Wealthy Affiliate website by clicking HERE. If you have ever thought about earning an income online using a method that is legitimate, ethical and successful, then this website is for you.

You can begin as a starter member- click Real Ways To Make Money Online – and build your own website, with full support and at no cost…..yes you read it correctly…..FREE.

A Premium option is available and will be offered later on if you want to progress to multiple websites, more features and more training.

Finally, I would love to hear your comments – please use the comment box below or, if you prefer,Contact Me.

Thank’s for visiting.

Cheers for now and do take care out there.

Michael

 

Ways To Avoid Internet Scams

Numerous Internet Scams For Anyone Not Prepared

ways-to-avoid-internet-scams
Is it a SCAM?

You know things can go wrong, even in the good times a genuine business can get into trouble and go down, but nobody, absolutely nobody, likes to discover that they have become another victim of a SCAM.

There are so many great online business’s out there but, if you want to learn how to make money online working from home and also find ways to avoid internet scams, there is one business in particular that I recommend.

I have reviewed that business separately – please click HERE. That business, which is really more like a community, will give you all the help and training that you need.

Unfortunately, there are also thousands of very dodgy characters and scams out there.  A lot of them are internet investment scams or internet based online training scams, I’m not even going to try and list all of them or even some of them.

To help YOU more, I believe it will be a lot better to help you avoid these scams by giving you a number of possible situations that you should avoid – I mean avoid like the plague.

I don’t claim to cover every possible scam situation, rather I will be giving you some tips or pointers that will make you even more alert than you would normally be, regardless of the scam situation concerned.

So, if you are ready, here we go:

No Risk, Sure Thing!

ways-to-avoid-internet-scams
Looks risky to me!!!

When you get a proposal from someone that uses words like

“Guaranteed” or “No Risk” or “Sure Thing” or “Can’t go Wrong” be very, very cautious. If they follow up with “you will earn an ongoing substantial income” well, just cut the call or run away.

Affinity Fraud – A Like Minded Person!

An unsolicited approach from a person who claims to have the same hobby, religion, country or whatever, may well be false and be used to get you to “drop your guard” for affinity fraud. Affinity fraud is a bit like investment fraud where the fraudster preys upon members of groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, language minorities, the elderly, or professional groups. The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are – or can do a really good job of pretending to be – members of the particular group they want to scam.

New Technology Development!

ways-to-avoid-internet-scams
Is it real?

While this does happen, it’s probably unlikely you will be approached by an individual “out of the blue” and if you are approached, then it may be for a “new product” that is unproven, untested and possibly does not exist. Again get out of there.

Online Videos – Don’t Believe Everything You See!

Well, this article from The Sun will give you a good idea why! When I first saw this I thought, surely, people have more sense! Surely people can’t be that stupid! Anyway, here goes:

Apparently, some new iPhone 7 owners watched an online You Tube video which demonstrated and tricked them into thinking a headphone jack could be added to their new handset by drilling a 3.5mm hole in the position where the headphone jack would normally be! The new iPhone 7 does not have a headphone jack, as it is designed for use with bluetooth headphones.

This fake You Tube video, claiming to show users how they could get the headphone jack, went viral and many new iPhone owners damaged their new phones by following the instructions from the video! These, and I quote  The Sun,

” Clueless users then complained their phones had stopped working after falling victim to the prank. Furious James Ceja commented on the video: “I tried this and ended up with display destruction and it not working… I really committed the biggest mistake of my life by watching this video.”

David Iriarte added: “A friend of mine told me it worked for him, but my iPhone won’t turn on after I drilled the hole for the jack. “I checked and it was the 3.5mm drill, so I made no mistake there! What happened? Any of you have the same problem?”

Toekneechair questioned: “Ok I am sure it’s in the comments somewhere but my friend told me to ask what size drill bit am I supposed to use? “Also I don’t have that clamp thingy, can I or my friend hold it while we drill? I don’t want to ruin my phone. “Thanks for all the help guys…”

Click here to view the video http://bit.ly/2cVBBMx

Well, what do you think, would you fall for it? I would certainly hope not.

You Tube is truly amazing, with solutions and videos for almost any task you care to mention, so people visit You Tube looking for solutions all the time. That sense of trust may well be one of the reasons why these people were “tricked”, although, personally I think they were just stupid.

Anyway, you might say this is an extreme case – and I would agree – but it is still a useful WARNING that we must always be on the alert and not let our guard down.

Investments

A huge area with numerous genuine investment opportunities.

Again, unfortunately, there are also all kinds of “Professional Investment Scams” and Affinity Fraud as detailed above. Although it is a massive area of business activity there are a few pointers to follow for this and other scam situations:

  • Ask plenty of probing, difficult questions.
  • Watch the “body language”.
  • Watch for any “silences”.
  • Check what firm carries out the Audits – a reputable firm of auditors will not be a guarantee on any investment, but it would be more reassuring than some backstreet accountant.

Get On Board Now or You Will Lose Out!

ways-to-avoid-internet-scams
Caution strongly advised

Pressure is applied to invest money immediately or the opportunity will be lost! This is meant to stop you doing research or consulting with family or experts. If it’s a genuine long term proposal, then there should be ample time for background checks.

Sending Cash Overseas!

Genuine International Investments can be great but NEVER ever send cash overseas to some unknown person or company. It’s hard to believe that this is still happening.

Favourable Promotions!

Opportunities being favourably promoted on the internet and elsewhere can be absolutely amazing and totally legitimate.

But, again, there are the exceptions that are total scams – some very obvious and others that just don’t stand up to any serious scrutiny.

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…….

Yes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true – Old advice that is still very good advice – use your common sense and gut feeling.

Now Then – after all that – How Do You Avoid The Scams?

Do you want to avoid the scams and all that grief and frustration?

Well, absolute best thing to do, check out this company Wealthy Affiliate which I have reviewed separately.

For further helpful information, have a look at my other pages and posts especially how to work online at home  and real ways to earn money online

So, for now, there you have it…..

how-to-avoid-internet-scams
An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula…worth a read…click on Image

I do love to get feedback – good or bad, so please leave your comment in the box below or, if you prefer, Contact Me.

Thanks for dropping by, do take care out there.

Michael