Unfortunately there is no way to assure that you won't lose money when you join a HYIP. Basically don't expect to get back your money, but you can definitely take your revenge by labeling the HYIP owner as a scammer and making an online (free) suit against him. You can also warn other innocent investors to be aware of that particular HYIP. If you find a HYIP site and wish to invest in, then you may follow the following steps-
Use Whois Lookup sites to find out the Web Owner details information such as IP address, Web hosting company name& address, name& registered address of the HYIP website or country of origin,etc. After you find these , save the information for future use.
When you make payments to this HYIP then it is very important that you keep all confirmation emails containing information about amount of money deposited , to whom you paid & on what date you paid. This is very important testimonial required whenever you want to file a case.
If you got deceived then The first things that you should do is to report about it throughout the internet. You may report it in sites such as HYIPnews.com ,etc. Also make forum postings in as many forums as you can. Make sure you make a post in large forums like talkgold.com, HYIPdiscussion.com, moneymakergroup.com,etc. Be bold in your statements and give the actual details. I am sure people who read your report will definitely thank for your help.
Then report to egold authorities. Although they wont give back your money but still they may freeze the scammer's egold account so that he cannot make any more transactions. Send complains to the web hosting company of the HYIP asking them strongly to suspend the hosting of that HYIP on charges of scamming. Try to give all your testimonials to convince the fact.
Finally make a fraud complaint to legal authorities. You can file a complaint at www.ifccfbi.gov the official website of the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, administered by the US National Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center.Any body can file a complaint(nationality is not a bar) and its absolutely free of cost.Once they receive your complaint then they will immediately start investigations and take any necessary action as required.
Simultaneously also make complaints to other similar authorities such as www.web-police.org, www.scamwatch.com, www.fraud.org.
By following the above steps you may not get back money but ofcourse you will feel satisfied by taking revenge and prevent others from falling into their scam hands!
In every decission making on investing in HYIPs you have to take help of a lot of tools.I think the most important among them is the use of forums.Its the most useful and the most updated source to HYIP information.They have almost all the necessary data that you need to analyse before making any investment in that particular HYIP.And forums are also very easy to use. Now let me explain why forums are important.Firstly they are the meeting places of investors like you and me.Its an online community of like-minded people who share their thoughts and experiences.You got to learn a lot of things from them for FREE.Thus every investor should necessarily devote some time to forums so that you can know the present trends going on in the HYIP world.And you can even ask for help in making your decissions,because there are a lot of experienced investors who will be more than happy to help you! Another good thing about forums is that they are updated most recently.The most active forums have the lates news(almost within a few couple of hours)!So this is especially beneficial in scam warnings. Hyip forums have different topics under which discussions are carried out.These topics range from technical support to personal experience talks.Once you learn forum posting you will get addicted to it.Thus its both fun with learning. Forums should be a routine follow-up before and after making an investment.Before investment forums help you in determining the present status of the HYIP that you want to invest in.Just search through different threads on any particular HYIP and make an analysis about its worth.If not many people complain about that HYIp & it has many favourable comments then that makes a positive point in favour for that HYIP.However if most of the posts make complaints against,then thats a negative point.People should give a little more weightage to negative comments than positive ones because after all your money is at risk & you should not get it being scammed away! Some of the good forums are like Gold-Horizons, Web Life e-Business Forum,etc.Neverthless to mention talkgold.com is the most popular and heavy traffic drawing forum which is almost a must for all investors.Many other forums may be found in HYIP monitoring websites.Forums are also a feature of many HYIPs itself but most of them are like customer support forums,so it is better advised not to believe/waste too much time in such forums. But the negative part of forums is that many HYIP owner deploy fraud posters who are paid to post false positive feedback in order to promote their HYIP.Also there are HYIPs who employ people to post false negative comments against their rival counterpart HYIPs.So how do you believe which posts are authentic?Well the general rule is that if in a particular HYIP thread there are much more negative comments than positive ones then your decission should go against that HYIP.And you must also look into several other forums about that particular HYIP before coming to a conclusion.Another thing to notice is that any positive feedback should not be over-exaggerated.That would most probably be a fraud response! Finally a thing to be noted is that If you are using any forum to get knowledge then please make your knowledge and experience also posted to help others.Be prompt in giving feedbacks because that may help save somebody's money!
Basics of security and privacy in high yield investing
So far we have covered the risk of being scammed and steps you can take to minimize the risk. We have also covered the risk of bad trading results and how to identify the likelihood of them happening for programs in general. But what about the basics security & privacy? Don't worry, I am not going to bore you with an article about firewalls, anti-virus etc etc, there's plenty of that elsewhere. But I remembered something that happened to me a few months ago.
The program I was looking into was MCAJ, which is now closed to new investors. I had never invested in the program because the returns were, well, really not that good, but I was considering it for diversification purposes. What finally put me off however were not the poor returns, but security issues. I discovered them through trial-and-error.
As it happened to be, I registered utilitizing yet another randomly generated password by my trusty KeePass, 25 characters in length. Somehow the textbox did not have a maximum number of characters, but the system truncated the password to 15 characters. Obviously this meant that I could no longer login, but it was not immediately clear to me why, which is how I ended up contacting customer support.
Customer support was helpful, unfortunately a bit too much. They reset my password and notified me with the new password by e-mail, not the safest practise in the world. So I threw another randomly generated password at it and ended up with the same problem. But this time I spotted the problem. The customer support representative was able to confirm the truncated bit of my password. Does that ring a bell? It should.
Most poorly programmed websites will at least put some effort into securing member information and especially account username & password. One has to wonder though what the point is of putting in a lot of effort into encryption and other security measures at the website, while at the same time confirming the new password by e-mail...in MCAJ, not only did they e-mail you your password, clearly the support representative had access to the password, meaning it was not saved with any encryption at all on the server either. Basically a hacker would only need to hack the database password and once through, he would instantly be able to login to every account and do whatever he liked.
I have a background in web development, so I threw in a few pieces of advise and gave helpful tips on how to improve security and why it was necessary. The once so friendly representative ignored all forms of communication from that point forward. I had simultaneously reached the conclusion that this was just not worth it for me and dropped the program from my list.
What I got from this was a new trick up my sleeve. I now suffer from amnesia the moment I have made the decision to join a program and sign up... I feel it is important not only to test customer support, but also to get an idea on security measures in place. Some programs really don't have a clue on security, which can compromise your personal details and thus your privacy. Not to mention your investments.
Which brings me to another point: the dreaded secret questions. Even the websites you'd consider to be pretty tight in security can't help themselves and offer you the secret question. Twenty years ago, there was just one secret question: "What's your mother's maiden name?" Today, there are more: "What street did you grow up on?" "What's the name of your first pet?" "What's your favorite color?" And so on.
The point of all these questions is the same: a backup password. If you forget your password, the secret question can verify your identity so you can choose another password or have the site e-mail your current password to you. It's a great idea from a customer support perspective -- a user is less likely to forget his first pet's name than some random password -- but terrible for security. The answer to the secret question is much easier to guess than a good password, and the information is much more public. Security goes out the window and we fall back to the illusion of security. Much worse than no security at all.
Here's a few (hopefully) helpful tips:
- You'd hate to pass up a great opportunity, but consider the security measures put in place to protect your personal information and not to mention your account with full access to your investments. Does the website use SSL, a secured connection? If not, this is not immediately a disaster but definitely a starting point for more checking. Does the program e-mail you your password after creating your account and can you have yours e-mailed to you with a click on 'I forgot my password'? Is there a secret question mechanism? Pretend you are an idiot and contact customer support, get them to tell you your password, check how hard it is. All this will help you make up your mind whether or not the program has a clue about security.
- Obviously you use a hard to guess and long password, preferably one randomly generated for you. When asked for a secret question, hit your keyboard a few dozen times and fill both the question and answer with utter rubbish. You can never use this method to gain access to your account again... but neither can anyone else!
- Just because they ask for your personal details, doesn't mean that you have to give them. In most cases a working e-mail address and payment processor information will do the trick. No one is going to check your address or ring you. If you feel uncomfortable, then add your real name. You can always make up an excuse right?
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As all long-time subscribers of Internet ScamBusters know, we are very strongly opposed to using bulk email ("spam") for any reason whatsoever. We've also warned subscribers not to buy or take action on any bulk email offer. For information on why, see Internet ScamBusters issues:
UCE: Unsolicited Commercial Email Spam Mail 12 Spamming Issues
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is offering the same advice. The FTC had asked people to forward bulk email to the agency so they could take an inside look at the kind of offers that arrive via bulk email.
"FTC staff found that more often than not, bulk email offers appeared to be fraudulent, and if pursued, could have ripped off unsuspecting consumers to the tune of billions of dollars."
Last month, the FTC identified its "Dirty Dozen," the twelve scams most likely to arrive via bulk email in consumers' email boxes.
Here is the "dirty dozen" and a brief explanation of why each is a scam:
1. Business opportunities scams: These offers make it sound like it is very easy to start a business that will earn piles of money without much work, selling or cash. Many of these "opportunities" are actually illegal pyramid schemes that are masquerading as legitimate opportunities to earn money.
2. Make money by sending bulk email. These solicitations offer to sell you bulk email lists (consisting of millions of email addresses), spam software (usually very poor in quality), or services to send spam on your behalf. Don't do this.
3. Chain letters. No list of scams would be complete without this old "favorite" - email style. Here you're asked to send a small amount of money (or some item) to each of four or five names at the top of the list, and then forward the message including your name at the bottom, via bulk email. Many of these letters claim they are legal - they are not. Further, nearly everyone who participates in these chain letters loses money. Even if there is a "product" such as a report on how to make money, it does not make these schemes legal.
4. Work-at-home-schemes. The most common work-at-home scam promises that you'll earn money for stuffing envelopes. For example, you're promised you'll earn $2.00 for every envelope you stuff. In fact, there never is any real envelope stuffing employment available. Instead, you pay to register and then you're instructed to send the same envelope-stuffing ad via bulk email to others. The only money you can earn would come from others who fall for the scam and pay to register. Finally, if you did actually do work for one of these outfits (for example, some promise to pay you for craft work), they'd refuse to pay you and say your work didn't measure up to their "quality standards."
5. Health and diet scams. These are similar to the miracle cures offered off-line: ways to lose weight without eating less or exercising, "scientific breakthroughs," "secret formulas" which provide cures for hair loss, and herbal formulas that liquify fat cells so that they are absorbed by your body. These scams often include testimonials from "famous" medical experts you haven't heard of. Of course, these gimmicks don't work.
6. Effortless income. The newest version offers get-rich-quick schemes to make unlimited profits exchanging money on the world currency markets. There are lots of variants, but they all promise vast riches with no work. Beware of these scams.
7. Free goods. These offers promise expensive items such as computers... for free. They ask you to pay a fee to join, and then you have to bring in a certain number of other members. Many of these scams are just disguised pyramid schemes.
8. Investment opportunities. These scams promise outrageously high returns... and of course, there is "no risk." Many of these scams are illegal Ponzi schemes, in which early investors are paid with the money from later investors. This gives the early investors the illusion that the system works and they are then encouraged to invest more money (which they eventually lose). The sales pitches for these offers include claims of high-level financial connections, that the promoters are privy to inside information, or promises that they'll guarantee the investment. The promoters are long gone if you try to take advantage of their "guarantees."
9. Cable descrambler kits. These scams offer kits or information on how to receive cable transmissions without paying any subscription fees. There are two problems with these offers: 1) the kits and information don't work; and 2) even if they did work, it is illegal to steal service from cable television companies. Further, many cable companies have aggressively been prosecuting cable service theft.
10. Guaranteed loans or credit, or easy terms scams. There are lots of variants of this scam: home equity loans that don't require any equity in your home, loans regardless of your credit history, offshore bank loans, credit cards regardless of your credit history, etc. Sometimes these offers are combined with pyramid schemes that offer to pay you for attracting other participants to the scheme. However, they are scams - the loans don't come through, you are turned down unless you meet stringent requirements, or the credit cards simply don't arrive.
11. Credit repair scams. These scams promise to erase accurate negative information from your credit file so that you can now qualify for loans, mortgages, or credit cards. The promoters of these scams cannot deliver. Further, if you follow their advice and lie on a loan or credit application, misrepresent your Social Security number, or get an Employer Identification number from the Internal Revenue Service under false pretenses, you will be committing fraud and violating federal laws. Don't fall for this scam.
12. Vacation prize promotions. Last, but not least, is a scam in which you receive electronic verification congratulating you because you've "won" a fabulous vacation, or you've been "specially selected" for this opportunity. The "deluxe cruise ship" may well be more like a tugboat, upgrades can be very expensive, and hotel accommodations are likely to be very shabby.
More about the FTC's Dirty Dozen can be found at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/doznalrt.htm
The punch line (which you've heard from us many times before): If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Further, don't buy anything via bulk email (spam). Your chances of being scammed are astronomical. And follow the advice from other past issues of Internet ScamBusters when buying items... both on and off the Net.