Complaints about online fraud continue to increase every year. In fact numerous American are constantly hit by online fraud mostly due to phishing e-mails designed to steal the identities of users. These e-mails are just one of the many online scams that circulate the worldwide web and despite efforts to warn people about them, the number of victims still continue to rise.
Considering the great number of fraudsters and con artists online, are you confident about being able to recognize online fraud? Do you know when you are just being tricked? Do you know when and how to stay away?
These are the most common online scams and schemes today –
By Auction – Send In Your Money And Get Nothing In Return
This type of online fraud is often done through eBay, where you send in your money, but get nothing in return. You bid on an item just like in any other auction and when you are informed to be the highest bidder, you never get the item or receive an item that is nothing like the item you had bid on. In most cases, the item description may be incomplete, vague or simply fake.
Auction scammers have various schemes and they seem to never run out of ideas on how to trick people. When you fail to identify auction fraud, you lose both time and money. Moreover, any attempts to post negative feedback about the auction and user, can be retaliated by the seller through negative reports posted about you using fake names. The only way to avoid such trickery is to use your common sense – if an item originally costs $500, how can it be sold at the price of $30?
Phishing Scams – Giving Your Identity Away
These scams come in the form of e-mails created to look like they were sent by your bank to give you a warning about identity theft. You are then asked to log in and undergo an account information verification process, or risk your account being terminated. Though the email may look like the real deal and the linked website also works like a real website, it is actually a complete fake.
Sometimes the website is genuine, but the pop up window that pops up over the site to retrieve your information is used to steal your details. In such schemes, account information is used to damage your credit and drain your account. Always think twice before keying in any information because if the verification is so urgent, your bank would be on the phone with you and not communicating by mail alone.
Letters From Nigeria – Transferring Funds?
This type of online fraud in the form of an email featuring capital letters and unfamiliar names never seems to get old. The email involve looking for an accomplice who can transfer funds to their account for a certain amount or percentage. You will be asked to travel to meet with the scammers in order to accomplish the paperwork, but made to pay attorney costs, taxes and other fees.
Sadly, the only money involved here is the money you put up is your own and when you travel, you might find yourself physically threatened until money has been handed over. This is a serious problem as you can be at risk to serious financial loss, of going missing or lost. Sometimes, you can also get into trouble with the a law, as Tad Nelson & Associates says,” It can be easy to accidentally get involved with a fraudster and end up facing criminal charges for a white collar crime that you didn’t intentionally commit, but that doesn’t make the charges as less real and the government investigation could still uncover wrongdoing.
Congratulations -You’re A Winner!
Sometimes you receive emails informing you that you won something such as gadgets and for you to receive it, all you need to do is, provide your debt card number to cover shipping costs. Sadly, you lose your money the money in the bank and then sudden charges start to appear in your bank account after a few months when you fail to dispute the charges. You do not receive any product just problems after your identity is stolen too. So, before you get all excited, recall if you joined a contest first.
- Photographed By: dave
License: Royalty Free or iStock
Valerie Terger is a freelance writer specializing in a variety of legal topics and road safety, as well the latest apps and devices used in legal issues.