Until pigs fly – tread lightly with internet deals


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Whether it’s through finding a bargain while shopping or spending as little as possible or keeping savings in your bank account – it’s clear that everyone likes to save money.

And most of us try to find the best ways to do so in a way that works for us.

But there’s a downside to that natural desire – digital scammers could use it against you by giving the impression of a deal and tricking you into giving up your hard-earned cash.

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Sometimes, we say something will happen “when pigs fly” if it’s too good to be true, and these so-called “deals” shouldn’t make you believe a swine will take to the skies.

Third-party emails for Amazon gift cards are just one way cyber criminals try to go from your inbox to your wallet.

Amazon’s official site warns users about a multitude of scams that use the Amazon brand to lure in unsuspecting people, and specifically tells customers to stay away from these unsolicited email offers.

According to their site, the only place to legitimately get an Amazon gift card is through an authorized retailer.

Another tactic used by cyber crooks is the classic case of pretending to be someone else.

One email claiming to be from Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist Li Ka-Shing asks for a user’s personal information by saying he will use his wealth to give $1.2 million dollars to selected individuals.

The email asks you to Google Li or check out his Wikipedia page.

It turns out, Li is a real person, and actually has a fortune from working in the shipping and health and beauty and real estate industries.

But internet security blog “Online Threat Alerts” warns consumers that these emails offering $1.2 million are being sent by cyber criminals, using Li’s name to draw them in.

Finally, Internet-based rogues also make attempts to string you along by sending fake payment invoices, like one sent to CBS North Carolina by someone allegedly named ‘Casey Smith.’ It asks you to click on the invoice to “check it”

This email is listed by a number of consumer protection organizations as a phishing scam that tries to steal credit card or other information from you.

So, remember, until a hog sprouts wings, tread lightly with internet deals.

Email CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.

Photo of Li Ka-Shing used in TV version licensed under Creative Commons which requires this notice about a link to the license.

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