How do you spot an email scam?
Why are they so prevalent?
These days there are billions of emails sent on a daily basis. If you try to send scam messages through social media, there is a very high chance that, with the Social Media platforms and their sophisticated algortithms, you will be caught and blocked, possibly completely banned from using that platform.
But with email, many, if not most of the Email Service Providers try very hard with Spam or Junk filters to filter out possible scam traffic but it is a very hard task, as they do not want to overly tax you by putting every possible dodgy email into your Junk Mail folder and a lot of Spam is fairly harmless, so you can't block everything
I set my Junk mail settings pretty high and go in there pretty regularly, and I still find a fair bit of mail that I am happy to have in my Inbox. There is also a lot of nuisance mail and probably some Spam mail, but guess what, the Scam Mail still manages to get through into my Inbox on a regular basis.
So, what to do?
1. NEVER, EVER click a link in an email if you are not certain it is totally safe. That is the quickest way to let viruses, trojans, and other nasties onto your hard drive, and worse still, any network that you are hooked into, and to give scammers your personal details.
2. Check the email address of the SENDER - I get emails all the time with a Bank Logo on it or a PAYPAL logo, and these look real, and authentic. So much so, that many people click away with blind trust, only to find that they have, again opened themselves up to a scammer. Always take a second to check where it came from.
3. At the moment, in my country, there are emails and fake phone calls circulating purporting to be from the Australia Federal Police, telling you that you are about to be prosecuted for tax evasion, and probably many more like them.
What do you do?
1. Always check the sender email address, because most of the time they don't even bother to disguise them.
2. For example, If you get a dodgy email from the Australian Tax Office and the sender is something like" firstname.lastname@example.org" - you can be fairly certain it's not coming from any government department. It is a simple shift of your eyes to the "From" field and will cost you nothing, but a second of your time.
3. HANG UP THE PHONE - a real government department is not going to ring you. You would most likely receive formal mail from them, probably followed by a proper Court summons.
4. If in doubt take their number and tell them that you will call them back.
5. Ask them what department they work for and the name of their supervisor and ask for their switch number - they will almost certainly hang up on you at that point.
6. Google the phone number - there are a lot of sites out there now where you can report scam calls and the chances are they have already been reported. The comforting thing is reading the comments to see that the people reporting the calls have had the same experience that you have had. Just type the number with the area code into your address bar and you will be amazed more often than you think.
7. Watch Out for Nigerian Scams - these are getting through less frequently, these days, but the classic is where some "poor" African lady tells you that she has found a secret stash of $20 million from her late husband's will, or a public servant has uncovered a stash of bribe money and needs your help to move it out of the country, in return for which you will earn 5% commission - I am not kidding, in years gone by many people have been ripped off for millions on this one and worse, been killed or injured - if you don't believe me just google it or go to Wikipedia.
WHAT IS RULE NUMBER ONE?
.. in fact, rules 2 and beyond?
"IF IT APPEARS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.."
Here is some more courtesy of ScamWatch.....
How to spot a fake
Documents are easily faked. Some will look just like the real thing but others might have warning signs, such as:
Scammers will often try to take advantage when you’re feeling vulnerable and try to extract more money from you through a follow up scam.
Some common follow up scams include:
Have you had a bad experience with a scam or a virus?
Let us have your comments below with any other tips or experiences.
Are you an international trader? Where do you trade? Do you know all there is to know about trading across international borders?
I doubt that there are many people out there who can say that they do. What is more important is that people who are dipping their toes into the world of international trade at least understand that .."they don't know what they don't know.."
...and there are more and more people as the advent of Amazon and dropshipping and ebay selling grows, more and more new entrepreneurs are out there having a go, and good for them. The world definitely needs more entrepreneurs.
What are the unknowns? Here is a sample of a few..
...and trust me - that is just a small sample.
How to travel efficiently, what to take, how to plan ahead.
Are you just heading out to a Trade Show and hoping for the best?
Have you got someone at the other end who will assist you?
Does your bank understand international financing?
These are all the things (and more) that I have referenced in my new book - "International Trade - The Ins and Outs of Import and Export". It is not an academic tome, but a good light read designed to get you thinking, planning, looking in the right places and getting good advice before you put your toe in the water.
I hope you will head over to my Sales Page and also www.johngates.com.au for a look - or you can find it as Smashwords (www.smashwords.com/books/view/870894)
First published by me at Linked In on 15th October 2018 (original content)
I'm no expert or scientist, but my interest was sparked, a little while ago, when I saw a quote in a reasonably academic publication that went something like .."90% of the rainfall that falls on northern Australia finds its way back to the ocean.."
From there I learned that there are many projects and research studies that show that it is all possible, to catch that water and channel it in the right direction. All the experts seem to have differing views or different barrows to push and, as usual in this country, a talkfest results in nothing happening. It's easy for politicians to make grand statements about nation building, but not so easy when it comes time to find the funds.
It's certainly more effective than a whole lot of desalination plants, where you then have to get rid of the salt and brine and that usually means being pumped back into the ocean in very high concentrations, which doesn't make for happy sea life.
Look at the success of the Ord River Scheme and the Snowy Mountains scheme - they were true nation building projects - we need more.
I like the idea of making immigrants move out of the large cities and live in regional areas, that the PM announced the other day.
I also like the idea of people who don't need to go to a physical city office, moving into regional areas. That is more and more possible these days with remote workers, and e-commerce sellers, and has always been the case for writers, composers and many people who are not saddled by having to follow the '9 to 5' grind.
Cities are encouraging developers to build high rises to stop urban sprawl, so why not also encourage people to move to smaller communities, to find work, and make that work worth their while.
Maybe if we start these immigrants close to the coasts we will eventually build communities that move the water further inland.
Do you suppose we will ever "water the desert"?
They need jobs, many will be skilled, let's not create jobs for the sake of creating jobs - that's just another form of social welfare, but creating jobs for the sake of nation building and leaving the place better than your generation found it, is a noble aspiration, particularly if it is driven the by private sector, who innovate and employ people with efficiency in mind.
It seems like state and federal governments are never going to be brave enough to spend the billions that are needed on the big infrastructure projects, so if we can get people to go and live in remote areas, maybe it is possible that with some wealthy industrialists, who are prepared to take a punt, a bit of ingenuity and many hands making light work, that we could, ultimately look at projects like "watering the north". Big thinkers are needed.
Perhaps a condition of Foreign Investment approvals could be that a percentage of it is channelled into large infrastructure projects without us being in a position that we are beholden to the financier, who would get tax breaks and visa rights etc, but not control of our national assets.
Big thinkers are needed. It could take hundreds of years, but if people of good will, a few benefactors, a whole lot of foreign investment and willing workers come together we could build regional centres right across the country.
What do people think?