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Safer Internet Day: February 11, 2014

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sid.png "Let's create a better internet together" is 2014's slogan for the celebration of Safer Internet Day on February 11. This tagline is a wakeup call for all internet users and does not just involve website admins and authorities alone. Like we at Locanto always say, internet safety is a two-way street. Actually it's gone way more interactive than that. It works more like a huge community now, where we look after each other's safety.

We give you information and warnings on the site, and you as our users should read them, be aware and spread the word about it. How can we participate in our own way?

When you are new to a website, do you first read a site's terms of use and privacy policies before continuing to the site? Do you bother to check the links at the bottom of the homepage? You should!
We were just wondering why, despite the many warnings we have installed on Locanto, still some users violate the rules and worse, get scammed. Let us explain further why you should pay attention to these details no matter which internet platform you use.

Secure Payments And Scams

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Unfortunately for the reckless internet user, there is only a very thin line between "secure payments" and scams. Quite often, this "thin line" is - being taken for granted until a lesson is learned. To all our readers and Locanto users, please read further for your own safety. 
Sometimes, no matter what precautions we take, no matter how many articles we publish, scammers still find their way through to their victims. No matter how hard we push just to inform you; our users, through our blog and social media, including the website itself, efforts end up as one of the following:

  • Unnoticed
  • Ignored
  • Disregarded
  • Lost somewhere in the world wide web trash folders.

But for those who realized this too late and already got scammed, no worries! We have a solution for you.
Getting locked out of your own house or car without accessible duplicate keys is one of the most dreadful situations one could ever experience. Scammers posing as legitimate locksmith services are just waiting to milk money out of their next victim. Locanto wants to make sure that you are aware of these offline scams by sharing this report exposed by Angie's List, which is a service that compiles consumer ratings and untainted testimonials about businesses in the US.

This short clip from WCPO explains how the scam happens. The customer's house or car gets "hostaged" if the inflated fees are not paid immediately.:

The video may have been from 2012, but unexposed locksmith scams are still rampant. Don't let them make a comeback. When ads say that these locksmiths are local, make sure that when you make that call, you are not forwarded to a call center. This kind of scam is a syndicated activity that appears to be "legal".

Michael Schaffer is the owner of the property background-check site After reading an article about rental scams, he decided to contribute to the safety efforts of Locanto by sharing his knowledge and experiences with our readers.

checkyourlandlord.jpgBack in November, Jennifer published a blog post introducing readers to the dangers of rental scams. Unfortunately, rental scams have been increasing in recent years, as con artists have been taking advantage of the difficult economy and the housing crisis. Reports of rental scam victims have come from all corners of the world. I have personally read reports from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and India. This issue is so prevalent, that we wanted to revisit the topic and provide some further information.
fire.pngLet the games begin! In less than 200 days, the London 2012 Olympics begin. However as the excitement builds up, the list of people being victimized by scams using the name of the London 2012 Olympics Committee (in vain) also increases due to the lack of available warning information on TV and other public easy access media apart from the Internet (BBC News article). You have probably heard of the viral Olympic torch being passed on via emails and social media sites that enables scammers to commit phishing and identity theft. There have also been many cases of people complaining about fake lottery scams being pulled off on unsuspecting people who have never even joined any lottery or games of chance. Through this article, Locanto aims to protect its users from such rackets being committed on and off-site and appeals as well to the public to keep an open eye and help report attempts to perpetrate such fraudulent acts.
safe.png The early bird always catches the worm. That's why we rush into sending our cash deposits to entities having apartments or houses rented out the moment we see "first to pay will be prioritized". These phrases are normally highlighted right beside the money transfer details on online ads, most of the time written in questionable English. Sounds funny, but your need gets you on your feet, right? What's even more inviting are the cheap "reservation" rates. But these low rates might actually be the poisonous worm's trap for the unsuspecting bird looking for a new home. More often than not, too much excitement, rushed judgment and trusting too much might lead to a crushed egg. Here on Locanto, we constantly protect our users with tips and guidelines to ensure their safety when looking for an apartment or a house, either for rent or for sale.
Many people dream of owning a home, and now that the Real Estate prices are on a low, this is the perfect time to make that dream come true!
However, this is also something that scammers like to take advantage of. Real Estate scam is widely spread. But there are many hints that will tell you upfront, whether a Real Estate ad is a fake or not.