Internet scams as an activity has existed and will exist as long as the internet itself – as it involves such properties of human nature as curiosity and belief in miracles. You can say it differently: greed and overwhelming desire to profit at the expense of others.
The World Wide Web has become one of the most fertile grounds for the criminal element, as with proper treatment it ensures an adequate level of anonymity so not to be caught off guard, and at the same time it allows you to look respectable enough to impress a potential victim a false sense of security.
In this article we will describe several means of network fraud quite common in recent years, as well as will talk about how to recognize them and how not to get caught on the hook of fraudsters. All these methods have one common thing: referring to the “human factor”.
Nigerian 419 Letter
There are numerous variations of this scam, but they all have similar elements. You receive an e-mail, usually written in screaming capital letters, that starts out like this:
“DEAR SIR/MADAM: I REPRESENT THE RECENTLY DEPOSED MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE FOR NODAMBIZIA, WHO HAS EMBEZZLED 30 MILLION DOLLARS FROM HIS STARVING COUNTRYMEN AND NOW NEEDS TO GET IT OUT OF THE COUNTRY…”
The letter says the scammers are seeking an accomplice who will transfer the funds into their account for a cut of the total-usually around 30 percent. You’ll be asked to travel overseas to meet with the scammers and complete the necessary paperwork. But before the transaction can be finalized, you must pay thousands of dollars in “taxes,” “attorney costs,” “bribes,” or other advance fees.
This is a variation of the classic e-mail fraud, involving curiosity, love for “freebie” and even a fair desire to honestly correct the error that occurred. A letter confirming the purchase of plane tickets, hotel reservations, orders from an online store or money transfer on a bank account comes to your mailbox. The victim opens the email to find out details, and the text offers either to click on a link or open an attachment. Then Trojan that opens a remote access to your PS is downloaded on your computer.
Typically, these letters are quite successfully filtered out by an email server spam filter and anti-virus programs, but separate copies can still get into your mailbox. To avoid becoming a victim of a virus, first of all, do not open attachments unless you know what’s there. If you’re familiar with the sender, before opening the attachment make sure that the data of “From field ” are not falsified, for which you need to open your email client details of the message and look at the “Received from”. For example, in Gmail you need to select “Show details” and look at the “Posted by”.
There are many types of online auction frauds, but the most common one is where you send in your money and get nothing but grief in return. What actually happens: You never get the product promised, or the promises don’t match the product. The descriptions may be vague, incomplete, or completely fake. One scammer accepted bids for Louis Vuitton bags that she didn’t own, and then scoured the Internet looking for cheap knockoffs that cost less than the winning bid. She managed to collect at least $18,000 from bidders before she got nailed. The stories are endless.
You will lose time,money and get a long increased emotional tension. First of all, ask yourself: Who would sell a $500 item for $50?
Antivirus Warnings Scam
These scams can wreck both your finances and your computer system. Typically, they work by inserting malware code onto a site. You surf to the site and a warning pops up, telling you that your computer is infected and you need to download a specific program to get rid of the virus. Of course, you’ll need to pay up! If you do pay, you’re out money, plus the thieves will have your credit card info on record. The program won’t clean up the problem, either. Instead, it will likely make it much worse.
Fake Banking Site
You receive an email claiming to be from your bank, credit card, or Paypal. The email informs you that your account has been compromised in some way, and they need to you log in to verify some information. Once you log in, they have your account information and can access it at any time, wiping it clean before you realize what happened.
Lottery / Prize Winning Scam
Check your e-mail! You may have won billions of dollars in some foreign lottery that you don’t even remember entering. Amazingly, simply owning an email address has automatically entered you, and now, to claim your millions or billions, all you have to do is pay the processing fee of a few thousand dollars. Hey, you’ve just won millions, what’s a few grand? Of course, once you send the money, it’s gone forever and you’ll never see a dime of your imaginary winnings.
Certainly, there are many other ways of online scam – this category of criminals is surprisingly inventive. Even the most cautious in real life people can become victims of particularly sophisticated Internet scams. Thus, the most common recommendation remains the most actual: never open suspicious links, and email attachments from suspicious senders.