Tips to help you avoid being scammed:
1) There is no such thing as winning the lottery through your email address. If you receive an email saying you were selected through email or told for any other reason you have won a lottery, it is a scam! Do not reply. No matter how tempting it is, please don’t respond. It is for your own good! Lottery scams come in many forms.
2) If you are selling an item online, do not accept a check and wire money back in return. The check will bounce and you will be out the money you sent plus the amount the check bounces. If the deal looks too good to be true, it likely is a scam.
3) Your long lost cousin, nephew, brother, mother, did not die in a car accident. This relates to the “next of kin” or “inheritance” scam. You will not be collecting millions of dollars because someone shares the same last name. These scammers will always ask for money to pay for this document or that permit for funds release, etc etc. Don’t be fooled, it is a scam!
4) Fred Oboko, George Ubmbuka, or whatever the name of the latest Nigerian Securities and Fuel Efficiencies Committee is not in exile and attempting to transfer a large sum of money out of the country. They do not need your help in transferring the money, they want to scam you out of yours! This is a classical example of the “419” or Nigerian scam.
5) Phishing! Scammers pretending to be legitimate businesses, organizations, institutions, etc. Often a victim will receive an email appearing to look like a “must respond” notice or at times a request to update a password or other information for an account you may hold with a legitimate business. The links in the email are spoofed and when you enter your secret information you are actually sending it right to the scammers. Don’t get caught! A legitimate business will never ask you for your password or private information via email. Always access those sites through your web browser directly, do not use links in an email! Phishing scams likely enter your email inbox daily. Report and delete.