Internet scams

Beware of scams!

Fraudsters use various ways to embezzle money. E-mails that notify the recipient of winning the lottery or gaining an unexpected inheritance or benefit are among the most common deceptions. There are also various widespread investment schemes that offer an opportunity to make money fast as well as web stores that fail to deliver the goods or that deliver goods that are not as promised.

Tips on how to recognise and avoid common scams.

Trust but verify!
Try to use common sense upon receiving letters that notify you of winning the lottery or gaining an unexpected inheritance or benefit, and consider the likelihood of the situation. Avoid any transactions that are stated as a prerequisite for receiving the money (lawyers’ fees, various taxes, etc.). Since a significant number of such letters are sent under the name of the United Nations, read more on how to avoid these on this website.
The larger the profit, the greater the risk
In the case of investment offers, be sure to check the background of the other party of the transaction and make sure that they hold the relevant activity licence. Do not forget to consider the possible risks regarding the investment. The Estonian Financial Supervision Authority regularly publishes on its website the warning notices received from the financial supervision authorities of other countries regarding companies who offer financial services without a licence to operate in the relevant field. It is worth to check this information before entering into a client relationship with a company operating outside of Estonia.
Pleasant internet acquaintances who ask for money
People who are looking for romantic relations should beware of exchanges, during which they are asked to transfer money to purchase airline tickets, retrieve parcels or to cover unexpected health costs of relatives. The persons in distress tend to not just ask for money, but rather refer to it as a loan. In this case, they promise to return the money as soon as possible, but never do. Various so-called manuscripts and scenarios of such romantic relationships are listed on this website.
Cyber security 101
When surfing the internet, always make sure that the websites that require submission of personal data are protected by a secure encrypted connection. This means that the web address starts with https and the padlock symbol is displayed. Be sure to also check that the web address is written exactly as it should be (google.com versus g00gle.com). More tips on safe conduct are available on the website of the Information System Authority of Estonia.
Do not store your cards and passwords together
Keep your passwords, bank card data, means of authentication and bank cards safe. Do not disclose these to third persons and never keep your cards and passwords together in one place. If you suspect that third persons have come into possession thereof, immediately inform the issuer and change the password.
It is important to report scams
If you have fallen victim to a scam, be sure to notify the bank and police as soon as possible. Thus, you are more likely to get your money back. Even if you did not personally fall victim to the scam, notify the police of any attempt of a scam. This helps to prevent the their further spread.