The main objective behind Internet scams is easy and fast money. There are several types of white collar crimes such as scams, hoaxes, computer fraud, and identity thefts which have flooded the Internet. As an Internet user, it’s always wise to be aware of such fraudulent methods so as to avoid falling victim to them. The Internet has certainly opened up numerous communication and financial possibilities for people around the world. With the expansion of the Internet, Internet hoaxes and scams have also started to increase.
- Internet Hoaxes: How to protect yourself against Internet hoaxes and scams.
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Some of the most common Internet tricks by scammers include misguiding people into buying software or services. Online scammers try to steal banking passwords or other information to siphon off money. A few of the common Internet illegal activities and the ways to protect against them are detailed below:
Nowadays, almost every kind of goods is available online. There are several e-commerce sites such as eBay and Amazon which deliver goods to one’s doorsteps at a discounted price. There are also thousands of other e-commerce sites which offer goods and services for sale. You should always be wary before making purchases or giving away credit card information to websites which are unknown. Try to get a feedback on unknown websites. Check to see if they are using any security certificates on the website. Find out if the online seller has a physical address. If you make a purchase, keep a receipt of the transaction. Try to buy goods or services from reputed sellers and websites only.
- Online Shopping Tips: Tips to protect oneself from cyber fraud.
- Shopping Tips: Learn how to shop online securely.
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- Security Tips: Information Security Tips Archive.
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While online, it’s essential to be safe and avoid giving away your identity to unknown websites. There are a number of Internet scams out there, some of which include counterfeit postal money orders, online automotive fraud, counterfeit cashier’s check scam, real estate, automotive, re-shippers scam, Nigerian scam, online auction and retail schemes, PayPal fraud, work-at-home scams, money transfer fraud, dating fraud, phishing, and pharming. Some of the organizations where one can seek help online include www.bbb.org, www.consumerfraudreporting.org, www.fraud.org, www.webguardian.com and www.spamcop.net. You should remember to always create strong passwords by combining letters, numbers, and special characters. Do not respond to all unknown emails and avoid sending personal information through instant messaging. Avoid disclosing financial information such as credit card or bank details online.
- Disaster Fraud: A typical Internet scam from a bogus company to help get in touch with missing relatives.
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- Internet Fraud: The FBI Academy Library.
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Spam emails are emails which trick the user by making false claims. Some typical features of spam emails are typos, unbelievable offers on online purchases, and misspellings on the email subject line. You should recognize spam and use spam filters. To protect yourself, you should never reply to spam email messages or post your email address in places such as forums or threads. Spam emails also often contain an ‘Unsubscribe’ link, which is actually a way of confirming one’s email. Hence, never click on any link in the spam email.
- Spam: More information on how some consumers find unsolicited commercial emails.
- Types of Scams: Recognizing and avoiding email scams.
- Reduce Spam: Spam blocking information.
- Anti Spam: Provides information on unsolicited commercial bulk email.
- Junk Mail: Forms, guides, laws, and other information for junk mail, email, and fax spam.
Cramming is basically the way in which monthly charges like voice mail service charge appears on your bill, even though you have not subscribed for it. A crammer may place charges on your telephone bill by picking up your telephone number. Hence it’s advised that you scrutinize your telephone bill and also avoids taking free telephone service offers. Moreover, you should pay your bills timely and clear any disputes or taxes which are attached with the telephone bill.
- Telephone Scams: Putting telephone scams on hold.
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- Winning but Losing: Discusses the telephone scam where you are misled to think you have won a free holiday trip, only to be charged with a big phone bill.
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Hoaxes and Viruses
Hoaxes are attempts made by online spammers to defraud the users. A hoax can include malicious advices to a computer user to delete certain files from the computer or download software for removing an online virus. Fraudsters could also try to convince users to send personal information or money to an unknown person in distress.
- Hoax: Information about the different types of online hoaxes that exist.
- Chain Letters: Email hoaxes and chain letters.
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- Computer Virus: Excellent description of a virus.
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Scams and Frauds
Scammers and fraudsters have increased exponentially in the last few years. They have also become more sophisticated in their methods. Right now, the wise thing to do is to transcend these scams. Learn to recognize the scams and make it a point not to click on any unfamiliar link. Never respond to any email by an unknown sender by relaying private information. Awareness of computer fraud, scams, and identity theft techniques is the best way of staying safe online.