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Tips to avoid scams

Published November 27. 2009 05:00PM

According to the Better Business Bureau, criminals are reaching potential victims through the Internet, offering "Swine flu prevention guides' for $19.95 the same information people can get for free from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, or from local hospitals or their own doctors. Other scams include e-mail messages with subject lines, such as news that a celebrity has swine flu, designed to prompt recipients into clicking on links. The links, however, take them to online pharmacies that may offer harmful or ineffective drugs, or simply serve as a conduit to get credit card information into a scammer's hands.

The Better Business Bureau offers up tips to avoid the scams:

• If you don't know the sender, don't open the e-mail and don't click on links inside it.

• Report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

• Ignore offers for vaccinations. Talk to your medical professional or pharmacist about your concerns before your purchase anything.

• Keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer up-to-date.

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