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Online Scams Growing

Last week Friday, we blogged about the concept of “scams” and the fact that businesses who use telemarketing to promote their products and services are often stereotyped as scam artists. While we know that this unfair stereotype often disallows customers to take advantage of great offers, we can’t necessarily blame them for their skepticism.

Last Friday, The Toronto Sun reported that online business promotion is beginning to experience the same type of concern. According to a recent study, there are 57,000 new scam websites appearing online on a weekly basis! Apparently, cybercriminals are creating so many fraudulent websites so quickly that search engines can’t even keep up!

The three-week study was conducted by PandaLabs, the antivirus developer at Panda Security. Among the biggest targets of online scams are banks. It’s no wonder that so many people are still hesitant to do any banking online. The study concluded that an overwhelming 65 per cent of scam websites purport to be legitimate banking websites.

In second place came auction websites representing 27 per cent of online scams. According to The Sun: “The top targeted brands were eBay (23.21%), Western Union (21.15%), Visa (9.51%), the United Services Automobile Association (6.85%), HSBC (5.98%), Bank of America (2.29%), PayPal (1.77%), Internal Revenue Service (1.69%) and Bendigo Bank (1.38%).”

Evidently, if you are looking to do any banking or shopping online, it pays to be extra cautious. Clearly, the intention of online scammers is to cheat people out of their money, one way or the other. Perhaps, it pays to get someone on the phone after all. One piece of advice to take if you are looking to make a purchase online is to call the customer service line of the business you wish to buy from.

According to Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs: “Although search engines are making an effort to mitigate the problem by changing indexing algorithms, they have so far been unable to offset the avalanche of new websites being created by hackers every day.”

Here, at Synergy, we herald our website as a method of openly proclaiming our legitimacy. Of course, you may locate our exact address, phone number and details about our business. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case with many other websites out there. As always, we encourage you to give us a call for that added personal touch.

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