You can be subjected to a scam online, by email or when using a mobile device. There are various types of scams. What they all have in common is that a customer is encouraged to hand over money, personal data or bank account or credit card details without anything being given in return, or in return for a product that does not correspond to what was promised. A subscription trap makes you unknowingly tied to a product or long-term service agreement.
A good way to prevent being scammed is to learn to recognise how scammers operate. This March the Consumer Advisory Service has been providing information and instructions about various topical consumer scams.
New scams turn up when the old ones no longer work. Here are a few common consumer scams you should be aware of:
The contract terms do not match what is advertised in subscription traps
If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t. For example, by agreeing to receive free samples or trial periods or a smartphone for one euro, scammers receive your details and without your knowledge tie you to chargeable agreement that is difficult to extricate yourself from. Read more
Purchases paid for in advance in online scams never arrive
In a typical online scam, customers must pay for their purchases in advance but never receive the product. The vendor is never available afterwards. In order to avoid disappointments, check the online shop carefully and pay with credit card whenever possible. If you suspect that the company may be unreliable, look for other users’ experiences online. Read more
Phishing by means of well-know brands
Online bank credentials and payment card details are often phished with messages involving a well-known brand, bank, shop or pay-tv service, telling you that you have won a prize. In order to claim your prize, you must click a link, taking you to a website where you are requested to provide your contact and payment card details. Phishing messages may appear to be genuine, but the pages where you are requested to enter your details are fake.
Be suspicious with any messages that arrive suddenly and ask you to give your details, change your password or log into a service. Phishing websites may be difficult to tell apart from the real pages by the page content; therefore you should always check the web address. A phishing page’s web address may appear to be deceptively close to the real website’s address. Read more
Do not keep quiet about phishing and subscription traps
The more and sooner the authorities obtain information about various phishing methods, the better chances they have of countering them. It is no shame to have been subjected to a scam, so inform the authorities about it. Report a scam