safety net tips

Security: Good internet habits and what you should do to avoid becoming a target of scammers.

1. When something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Always use common sense and logic.

3. Never give out personal information or photos of yourself.

4. Always be skeptical.

5. Do not use your real name.

6. Do not accept requests for friendship on social networks of people who do not know in person;

If you want to speak to a new contact Remember the first 6 rules above and:

1. Use “google image search” or a similar tool to ensure that the picture profile of the person with whom you are in contact is actually theirs. (Scammers tend to copy attractive profiles to lure in their victims);

2.Search on google for the email address of the person to see if it is has been highlighted as a potential threat on an anti fraud or scamming site.

3.Usually, the email addresses of scammers end up with 3-4 numbers written at random;

4.Request to meet and speak to other family members on Skype. (Scammers tend to avoid this type of contact.);

5.To be certain of the identity of the person you are meeting request to see his/her passport and any other type of documentation. (Scammers tend to avoid showing this type of identity evidence.);

6. Another precaution is to request his/her home phone number and call them anonymously to validate the information;

How to recognise that you may be being groomed and how to confirm it

There are some classic signs that may indicate that you are in contact with a scammer:

1.The scammer builds a profile himself with images that often represent fashion models;

2.Often, to lure/entice the potential victims the scammer’s photo poses are sexually provocative;

3. Most scammers running romantic scams claim to be citizens of the United States or the United Kingdom residing / working temporarily in Africa or Russia for a particular worthy cause;

4.The scammers ask to move as quickly as possible to a chat / IM forum, substituting for and stopping email contact;

5.The fraudster declares love very quickly, often within a few days of your first contact;

6. Victims can often receive parcels, purchased by the fraudster and sent to your house address. If the merchandise is part of a stolen property, the victim can be in serious difficulty;

7. The scammer in the chat forum is often slower to respond because he is chatting simultaneously with other victims and often you can receive messages intended for other people,

8. As soon as the conman realizes he has captivated the victim then the demand for money is made. They use many plausible excuses for needing the money; for travelling expenses to meet the victim, to help with medical expenses, purchase something, leave the country where he his living and so on.. or for other reasons, the scammer will normally declare that they will return the money in the shortest time possible, often from funds that they say they cannot presently access…

9. The money transfer will be required by Western Union or Moneygram which are difficult to trace.

 10.The fraudster will find any excuse not to give their landline number or home addresses;

11.Check their spelling and grammar if it is incorrect, attention !!

Indications of a red flag:

A. Request for money.

B. Request for any personal information, especially bank details.

C. Bogus stories; my Mum is sick, my daughter needs surgery, any type of sad story.

D. Anything that might sound like a threat.

E. Anything that might sound like an extortion.

F. Romance wording; too much or too fast. I love you here, I love you there, you are the love of my life, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, etc.

G. Age difference.

What to do if you think you are being or have been scammed

Stop all communications, and report it as soon as possible, especially if they ask for money for any reason whatsoever – make a report to the police!!