As time goes, each and every sector evolves and the online scams are no exception to this rule. In the beginning they were sketchy and way too obvious, but now most types of scams have stepped up their game.
Have you ever received an email or a text saying that you won an expensive product, fancy vacation or a huge lottery? If yes, then it means that you have landed on something called as a prize scam. The people running this operation contact people via illegal modes of marketing and demand a small payment in order to get something more attractive.
In case, if you are wondering, know that they never ever hold their end of the bargain. Using history as a gude, we know that people who are above 40 years old and generally not so tech savvy are the people who have been looted by this type of fraud.
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To know about the various methods used by the Prize scams, keep reading the review till the end and share this post with your friends and family to ensure their safety as well.
What is a Prize Scam?
In simple words, if you get any deal or offer which you don’t remember signing up for and if they are too good to be true, then it can be categorised as a Prize scam.
For the last couple of years, this type of schemes have taken the internet by storm and they mainly target people who don’t have enough technical knowledge about the way the internet works. The prize scam usually looks very legit and their offers sound exciting, but borderline realistic.
However, the catch is that they usually demand some form of payment before they deliver you the underlying promise. On top of asking for money, these types of networks have been known to spread malware and if you are not careful enough, then it might even lead to identity theft.
The advancement of the internet and the loopholes present in the law has been a God sent for marketers and it doesn’t look like it is going to disappear anytime soon. In order to know about the characteristics of these bogus schemes and the details of their approaches, continue reading.
How to recognise Prize Scams?
Anyone who has been reasonably active on the internet for a few years can easily spot these scams by just using their common sense and logic. Nonetheless, for some individuals due to the complexity of some offers, they might face a serious dilemma.
To make your decision making process easier, below is a checklist using which you can determine the authenticity of the messages you have received.
Pay and Win: This is one of the most common scripts out there. The crooks usually create bargain prices for a product or a service and ask you to pay an advance in order to book the product on the spot.
If you are an unsuspecting person, then you might lose not only your funds but more than that. In short, if you are presented with an offer which seems to give you something for nothing, then you need to take a step back and reconsider your decisions.
Transaction fees: Under this excuse, the fraudsters usually will ask you to wire funds through western union or other methods which generally make it difficult to trace out their actual identities.
Initially, they might ask you to pay a negligible amount in the neighbourhood of $10 to $20 to cover miscellaneous costs, but once you input the details of the credit or debit card, there will be no stopping them.
Nowadays, the crooks ask for fees mainly via cryptocurrencies such as Monero or Bitcoin. So, be careful if they start asking for the fees and report them to the authorities as soon as possible.
Source: Keep an eye on the sender details and if you don’t remember signing up for them specifically, then block them to avoid further interactions. Once you unsubscribe from their email list, they need to stop contacting you immediately or else you can take legal action against them for violation of your rights.
Fancy Sales offers: Criminals using this method will offer some luxurious product such as the Iphone or a Macbook at 10% MRP. As soon as you see this offer, do not think that you have got the most bang for your bucks, because it’s the opposite.
The only people to benefit from these types of offerings will be the creators of the platform and all their revenue will be gained from slaughtering(financially) the customers.
How to report and avoid Prize4 you scams?
Each and every country has dedicated departments which will take care of fraudulent activities. So, there is no one word answer to this question. If you are in the United States, then you should report the entities or platforms to the Federal Trade Commission. You can go directly to their page by clicking here.
If the matter is too urgent and it needs to be dealt immediately, then you should contact the local law enforcement agencies or the police. Lastly, just make sure that you alert the officials at the earliest, otherwise the chances of recovering the funds will go down exponentially.
Also, make note of any specific details such as the email addresses and the domain details as it can help speed the process up.
Prize scams or Facebook Freedom Lottery offers are like cancer on the internet. Regardless of the times you try to scalp it out, it will keep on regenerating and mutating. As end consumers of the digital service, we should be educated about both the good side and bad side of the web and that is the only way to combat the advancement of the scams.