Types of Internet Fraud - Top Internet Fraud Scams
Together with spam advertisements selling prescription medicines, cheap mortgage rates, loans and online
gambling sites, there are a number of top internet fraud scams whose sole objective is to separate you from your
hard earned money. Well known types of internet fraud, which have been around for years, are the Nigerian online
scams, in particular, the Nigerian Bank Scam.
The sender, allegedly the wife or relative of a former Nigerian dictator, or government official tells the sad
story of how millions of dollars were deposited into a bank account which is no longer accessible. In exchange for
your assistance, they are willing to share this wealth. However, they will need you to cover 'expenses' which will
mean you transferring a few thousands from your bank account. As ludicrous as it may seem, numerous people fall for
this one every year. Indeed, in one well publicised case, an elderly Czech man who had lost his life savings to
this Nigerian scam shot the Nigerian consul in Prague.
Some internet fraud involves investment opportunities with massive paybacks. They normally claim to be risk
free, but once they have your money, you are very unlikely to see any return.
Other common online scams involve offering credit cards for those with bad credit ratings - just send a security
deposit and processing fees. In return you get... nothing!. By the time that you realise that you have been 'had'
and start to investigate, the scam artist has disappeared.
Then there are the infamous MLM or multilevel marketing schemes, urging you to buy large quantities of the
latest new product. You can then resell for an easy profit while receiving a commission on each sale from the
greater fool down the line. Of course, once you have parted with your money and bought the goods, the so called
distributor will have disappeared, invariably without even sending the goods that you bought and paid for.
Bear in mind that these offers are worse than even normal spam. Legitimate businesses do not, or should not,
promote their products by spamming. They email selected groups, normally previous customers or other prospects that
have signed up onto a mailing list. Any other offers should almost always be ignored - merely hit your delete
button. Sometimes however, the mere fact that you have highlighted the email in order to delete it can signal a
spammer that you have received that message.
One golden rule is to never reply to spam. Doing so simply indicates to the spammer that your email address is
valid, and then you will receive more spam than before. Some spam contains a message offering to remove your email
address from their mailing list. Do not use even this service as it is nothing more than another method to verify
your email address.
Most importantly, never give your credit card number, bank account data or private details to anyone unknown
over the Internet. PayPal or your Bank for example, will never ask for your password in an email. One common scam
is to fake return addresses and tailor subject lines and content so the message appears to be from them or another
financial institution confirming your details. They are all internet scams - Don't fall for them.
How do you know whether it's spam? Since, one man's spam is sometimes another's welcomed advertisement, there's
no perfect answer. But there is one good rule of thumb: if you don't recognise the sender, it is more than likely
not someone you want to hear from, especially it is from a former Nigerian dictator!