Online and Phone Scams


Tips to ensure a website is valid

Creating an online presence is easier than most consumers know. Here are some tips to help you tell avoid internet scams.

1. Understand an e-mail format: Scammers can only send e-mails from look alike email address.Get in the habit of verifying the information after the @ symbol when it comes to emails.

Example: is fake. is legitimate.

Did you notice what was written after the @ sign?

Here's the concept: If your fictional best friend, the ultimate lover of all things Ghee emails you, it'll be from if one day you get an email from lovinglife - don't be fooled. Your friend is all about that ghee.

Quick test: pick the invalid e-mail address, the correct answer is in the next section: ,,

If your still not sure

Close the email, do not click in the e-mail message. Navigate to the official site, login and use their support options to verify if the e-mail is legitimate.

Here are two Youtube videos to walk you through. Be sure to let your mouse hover over the links before clicking, this will allow you to see where the link is directing you to. Depending on your browser this information will appear on the bottom left of the browser. Click here then here.

2.Look at the words before the final two '.' on websites is real, is fake. Some sites will only have one '.', also be in the habit of checking for a security lock when you visit a web page. It will be in the same field as the web address. For example you'll notice that each time you visit there will be a security lock. Think of a little lock that a high school student my use to on their locker - that's what I mean by a little lock.

Just like an e-mail that's sent from an address similar to but definitely not associated with a real company, internet scammers create fake website. They save images from real websites like, and upload them to their sites. In addition to stealing these real images, they also copy real companies layouts, or make the fake identical to the legitimate site's layout.

If you haven't done so already - consider taking a free computer class at your local library or through Tech Goes Home.

AvoidPhone Scams

Some phone scammers will call your Obama phone pretending to be from the social security administration. Or they may regarding a medical device, a lapse insurance etc. They want to scare you. You don't have to be afraid. Here are some tips:

1. Get the person name and extension number If they offer a number, you can write it down - but be sure to only call a number you already have on hand.

For example, if the caller is from social security and you already have a valid number from that agency, call the trusted number and then try dialing the extension or ask for the person by the name.

If it is indeed a scammer, you can report it at here .

For IRS fraud you can report online here.

2. Google the number If you aren't sure if the number is legitimate do not call it. Google it instead. By typing in the phone number into an internet search, you may find some other internet users have already reported the number as abusive or fraud. If it is legitimate you most likely will encounter a name of a business you trust. Try different formats.

Example: 1-800-555-5555 or 18005555555.

Use your best judgment, and always contact existing companies you have existing relationships with by hanging up and dialing the number you've already trusted.

Scammers will want to scare you. They will try to rush you. If someone claims to be an officer calling from a prison or jail telling you to pay for your grandson to make bail - ask what jail in what city, then hang up and use the Yellow Pages, call 411, Google any valid source to call the jail. Scammers work on fear, don't let them rush you,use your tools to find out if it's a real business. Do they have a physical address of the jail? If so does that address match the information available to you in public records?

Helpful links

Do Not Call List Register your home and mobile phone with the National Do Not Call List by clicking here:

Federal Trade Commission File an electronic complaint with the FTC by clicking here:

Multiple Locks