Genuine or Scam? Learn the Tell-tale Signs & Teach Your Kids

We all know about Scams, right? According to Wikipedia, ‘Scam is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual through email’. So we are absolutely clear that these are unsolicited e-mails that are sent by cyber crooks to get our personal details like name, birthday, bank account number, passwords, credit card numbers etc. In other words, a scammer’s sole intention is to defraud or con the receiver.

The content of these mails are typically “too good to give a miss” type. They offer tempting discounts; unbelievably low prices; quick get-rich schemes, or dating services for almost free! Some of the offers are so good that it’s hard to resist them. Often, despite our awareness of scams, we are lured into the trap thinking, “OK. Let’s see what it entails. After all, I am aware of such scams and will not fall into the trap. What if this really happens to be a good offer?”

Not only gullible kids but even experienced senior citizens fall prey to such scams regularly. It’s not greed that’s always responsible; the desire to make a good bargain or gain some easy money the right way also lead to such actions.

This site shows the various types of e-mail scams in existence. The scary thing is that cyber crooks are dreaming up new scams everyday about which the public is unaware.

Take, for e.g., this mail sent to me.

How do I know it’s a fraud?

Þ     Its sent to many undisclosed recipients

Þ     There are many grammatical as well as spelling errors

Þ     She assumes I am a man!

Þ     Her private e-mail and the e-mail she wrote to me from are different

Þ     My service provider has already marked the message as suspicious

This is how McAfee warns me of a fraud mail:

Now here is an e-mail I received a few days ago. It obviously falls under the category of a Nigerian bank scam.

Share this with your kids and have some fun quiz time!

What are the telltale signs of a scam?

  • Grammatical errors
  • Sent to many undisclosed recipients
  • Not addressed to me by name
  • Writing currency in United States American Dollars
  • How does this person have the authority to transfer such an amount from the bank?
  • How does this person know me and why has he selected me for this transfer?

As parents you should make your children aware of such scams from an early age and keep updating their knowledge with all the latest news/stories that you come across from time to time. Knowledge is power! Empower your kids to identify and avoid trouble…and scams are trouble with a capital T.

Also, have advanced security software installed that will do the dirty work for you- identify and mark spam and scam messages. You can also download McAfee Site Advisor for free!

Happy surfing!


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