Beware of strangers bearing gifts
A message is probably up to no good if it congratulates you for being a website’s millionth visitor, offers a tablet computer or other prize in exchange for completing a survey or promotes quick and easy ways to make money or get a job (“get rich quick working from your home in just two hours a day!”). If someone tells you you’re a winner and asks you to fill out a form with your personal information don’t be tempted to start filling it out. Even if you don’t hit the “submit” button, you might still be sending your information to scammers if you start putting your data into their forms.
When shopping online, research the seller and be wary of suspiciously low prices just like you would if you were buying something at a local store. Scrutinize online deals that seem too good to be true. No one wants to get tricked into buying fake goods. People who promise normally non-discounted expensive products or services for free or at 90% off likely have malicious intent. If you use Gmail, you may see a warning across the top of your screen if you’re looking at an email our system says might be a scam – if you see this warning, think twice before responding to that email.
When in doubt, play it safe
Do you just have a bad feeling about an ad or an offer? Trust your gut! Only click on ads or buy products from sites that are safe, reviewed, and trusted.
And, if you clicked on or saw a bad ad on Google, please let us know so we can take action.
Several organizations may help you report and resolve any complaints: The Better Business Bureau and the National Consumers League both offer information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: www.ftc.gov/ftc/contact.shtm
You may wish to file a report with the appropriate authorities and/or your regional fraud reporting center — such as the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center.
If your complaint is against a company in a foreign country, you may be able to report complaints at: www.econsumer.gov