Beware of Common Internet Scams and Frauds

Beware of Common Internet Scams and FraudsThe term Internet Scam or Internet Fraud refers to any type of fraud scheme that uses one or more online services to conduct fraudulent activities. Internet frauds can be conducted using online programs such as chat rooms, e-mails, message boards or Web sites. In this post, I will discuss about some of the commonly conducted scams and frauds across the Internet.

1. Phishing Scam:

This is one of the most commonly used scam to steal bank logins and other types of passwords on the Internet. Phishing is fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging.

Example: You may receive an email which claims to have come from your bank/financial institution/online service provider that asks you to click a link and update your account information. When you click on such a link, it may take you to a fake page which exactly resembles the original one. Here, you’ll be asked to enter your personal details such as username and password. Once you enter your personal details on this page, they will be stolen away.

Such an email is more than likely to be the type of Internet scam known as “phishing”. Phishing is said to be highly effective and has proved to have more success rate. This is because, most Internet users are unaware of this type of attack and hence fail to identify the scam.

Most legitimate companies never request for any kind of personal/sensitive information via email. So, it is highly recommended that you DO NOT respond to such fraudulent emails. For more information on phishing visit my detailed post on How to identify and avoid phishing scams?

2. Nigerian Scams:

This type of scam involves sending emails (spam) to people in bulk seeking their help to access a large amount of money that is held up in a foreign bank account. This email claims that, in return for the help you’ll be rewarded a percentage of the fund that involves in the transaction. Never respond to these emails as it’s none other than a scam.

In case if you respond to these emails you will be asked to deposit a small amount of money (say 1-2% of the whole fund) as an insurance or as an advance payment for the initialization of the deal. However, once you deposit the amount to the scammer’s account you’ll not get any further response from them and you lose your money. In fact, “The large amount of money” never exists and the whole story is a trap for innocent people who are likely to become victims. The scammers use a variety of stories to explain why they need your help to access the funds. The following are some of the examples of them:

Examples:

  • They may claim that political climate or legal issues preclude them from accessing funds in a foreign bank account.
  • They may claim that the person is a minor and hence needs your help to access the funds.
  • They may claim that your last name is the same as that of the deceased person who owned the account and suggest that you act as the next of Kin of this person in order to gain access to the funds.

3. Lottery Scams:

This type of scam is similar to the one discussed above. In this type, you may receive an email saying that you have won a large sum of money in an online lottery scheme (ex. UK Lottery) even though you have not participated in any such schemes. The message claims that your email ID was selected randomly from a lagre pool of IDs.

When you respond to such emails they initially ask for your complete name and address so that they can mail the cheque accross to you. After getting those details they may also send you an image of the cheque drawn in your name and address so as to confirm the deal. But in order to mail this cheque they demand a small amount of money as insurance/shipping charge/tax in return.

However, if you send the money in a hope to receive the cheque, all you get is nothing. You’re just trapped in a wonderful scam scheme. That’s it.

4. Other General Scams and Frauds:

The following are some of the other types of scams that you should be aware of:

In general, be aware of unsolicited emails that:

  1. Promise you money, jobs or prizes.
  2. Ask you to provide sensitive personal information.
  3. Ask you to follow a link to a website and log on to an account.
  4. Propose lucrative business deals.

It may seem to be a difficult task for the novice Internet user to identify such online scams. So, here are some of the common signs of such scam emails. By knowing them it may help you to stay away:

  • All these scam emails never address you by your name. In turn they commonly address you something like “Dear User” or “Dear Customer” etc. This is a clear indication that the email is a fraudulent one.
  • When you observe the email header you may notice in the “TO:” Field that, the same email is forwarded to a large group of people or the “TO:” field appears blank. So, this confirms that the email was not intended particularly for you. It was forwarded for a large group of people and you are one among them.

I hope this post helps. Express your opinion through comments.

13 Comments

  1. Damjo
    November 18, 2009 at 11:37 PM

    Hey Srikanth, your posts lately aren’t very interesting, could you write something about network hacks plsss.
    Best wishes
    Damjo


  2. Abhijeet
    November 19, 2009 at 6:37 PM

    Hi! Thanks for information.I have sent you email but you didn’t reply.
    You have excellent knowledge.I want to know about you.Please reply on my email.Waiting for reply.Thanks ones again for providing us valuable information.


  3. Bill
    November 28, 2009 at 9:04 PM

    Hey Dude,
    Waiting for your wonderful tutorials on viruses and torjans. Pls post them soon.


  4. hady
    December 5, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Hi there
    I want to know which addresses are online when I am online.
    How can I realize these connections.
    thanks very much


  5. Rana
    March 3, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    this is the first time i logged on into this site and i found it is very useful and helpful to common people who use internet…

    thanks Srikanth….


  6. Patrick @ registry clean up site
    May 4, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    I like your blog. Registry cleaning has helped me a couple of times avoid my laptop from crashing. It is great that you offer good tips on this. Thanks!


  7. Praban
    June 25, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    Thanks for helping me…


  8. ds
    August 8, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    hi sri, ur posts r fantastic.here is a request: pls post on: how to protect our privacy of yahoo and gmail.. I.e., others should not monitor our activities, updates,ungoogable, etc.thanks in advance.
    Also, how to get free gprs/3g(bsnl).


  9. Asanabs
    October 15, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    Hello Srikanth
    Its a pleasure to read your tips.
    I just want to let you be aware that what you have labelled as “Nigerian” scam is misleading. This type of scam is called “advanced fee” scam. Indeed, most perpetrators have been known to be Nigerians; however, it is not right to schackle a whole country to a fraud committed by a few crooks. In calling it “Nigerian” scam you have absolved other participants (even the victims are involved in the scam)from other countries who do commit this type of fraud.

    To buttress my point, you have listed “Lottery” scam which is mostly perpetrated by Europeans (especially UK) but failed to list it as “UK or European” scams. Please be careful in the way you label things or actions of a few people so that you don’t drag the name of a whole nation into a negative pit.

    By your name you may be from Asia. There are a few crooked Asians in Nigeria who are sucking the country dry in collaboration with crooked Nigerians.

    Please remove this DEROGATORY tag and be kind and balanced in your approach to labelling in the future.

    I thank God for your wealth of knowledge and will continue to enjoy your writings


    • Srikanth
      October 18, 2010 at 10:51 AM

      @ Asanabs

      Since most such scams are being mainly reported to be from Nigeria, it is termed as Nigerian scam. However I agree with you that it may not be right to blame the country itself, but this is the term most people use on the Internet. So as obvious I have used the same term here also. I am sorry if I had hurt anyone’s feelings :(


  10. Asanabs
    October 19, 2010 at 4:54 AM

    May be you should take the lead to try to correct the wrong. Isn’t that what it should be about? If you agree that its not right to make such reference then do something about it knowing that a journey of a thousand miles only starts with a step. Please use your power to change the tagging on your site to show the way to others.

    Does it make it right to do something you have acknowledged to be improper because others are doing same?

    I am mindful that you cannot be pushed here, I am rather making a passionate plea to you to help us Nigerians who are working hard to change the wrong perceptions people have about us.

    Thanks so much.


  11. mangesh
    July 24, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    thanks srikanth sir i have read many post of yours you are just great


  12. sunny
    July 25, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    once i was trapped in email scams thanx for your post


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