SAN ANGELO — A recent Facebook post has been circulating in 'swap and sell' groups advertising free diapers and baby wipes.
The promotion has been posted in numerous online groups, including San Angelo swap and sell groups.
While there is no information on the actual event, there is a link stating you could win a box of free baby goodies, if you enter personal information.
Richard Espinoza, public information officer with the San Angelo Police Department, is urging the public to be cautious about these types of offers.
"This has the potential to be a scam. Be wary about sharing personal information on links that might not be credible," Espinoza said. "Do some research if there is any doubt."
HP wrote an article on tips and tricks to recognize an online scam. Here are the tips by Tom Gerencer:
1. Tries to gain trust: An online scam will often try to gain your trust in some way. It may pretend to be from a respected source such as the government, a business you like, your employer, or a family member.
2. Emotional: "Act now or the IRS will place a lien against your home." "Your Amazon account was hacked and you need to log in right away or risk massive problems."
You log in to fix the problem – but to a fraud site that skims your password.
3. Asks for action: Online scammers frequently ask you to call a number, click a link, or log in to an account. The trouble is, you’re not logging into a legitimate portal, but instead, you’re sharing your login info with the scammer through a counterfeit web page or form.
4. Unexpected contact: If you receive an SMS, email, phone call, or even a paper letter that you didn’t expect, proceed with caution, even if the message seems innocent.
5. Asks for personal info: Never share personal information like your social security number, password, or PIN with anyone who contacts you (vs you contacting them first).
6. Overpays you: One of the most common scams online involves overpaying for something, then asking for money back. For example, in one overpayment scam, you win a cash prize or get paid in advance for a project for your business.
7. Promises something: If someone promises something that sounds too good to be true, and you don’t know them, it’s most likely bogus.
8. Wire transfer request: Any time someone asks you to transfer money by wire, watch out. Wire transfers are untraceable, and once they pick up the money on the other end, it’s gone.
9. Pretends to be a family member: You may get a Facebook message from an aunt, saying she’s trapped in Costa Rica because she was robbed and needs you to wire money right away.
10. Offers something you want: Cheap silver, stock in Tesla at 50% below book value, or a pontoon boat in great condition selling for thousands less than it should? These all sound like you should act fast, but that “act fast” element should make you pump the brakes.
11. Pretends to be a business or the government: AT&T free message: your bill is paid. Thank you. Here’s a gift - click this link! Then you click the link, log in, and the online scammers have your login info. If you receive a message about online shopping, account status, investments, failed package delivery, or a prize you won, slow down, verify it independently, and save yourself a lot of trouble and expense.
12. Masquerades as your employer: The scammer’s goal is to get you to send sensitive info they can use to access business systems or introduce a virus. One method of scamming money online is to post fake job listings by posing as an employer.
13. Romance scams: Romance scams start with a fake social media or dating site account. The victim chats with the scammer and develops strong feelings. Then the scammer asks for money and, once they get it, quickly vanishes.
Gerencer also gives these tips on how to protect yourself against scams:
Look for signs of fakery like misspelled words or poor grammar. Legitimate organizations pay attention to these details.
Don’t click links in emails or texts.
Don’t log into an account from an email or text.
Don’t call a number from an email. Look it up instead.
Secure your online accounts using two-factor authentication and a secure connection.
Pay by credit or debit card. They have protections built-in to get your money back.
This article originally appeared on San Angelo Standard-Times: Online scams are on the rise, here's how to spot them