Today, millions of people around the world use the Internet on a daily basis. This is due to a wide variety of useful information available in many websites and the convenience it offers to web users. However, it also resulted in many Internet users being victimized by different online scams. These internet scams have enormously emerged and has already alarmed the authorities.
The objective of these scams is to steal money and property. It even caused death to unsuspecting victims. Based on reports from authorities, there are millions of dollars of lost money due to these crimes, and because of this, many police agencies have organized special units to combat these kinds of crime.
Scammers use different schemes and strategies in order to do their criminal acts. Here are some of the many kinds of Internet scams spreading online.
E-mail is one of the most used features of the Internet that provides users a convenient means of communication. However, e-mails have become a great way for scammers to easily lure money or personal information from innocent individuals.
Phishing is one of the scams which use e-mails as a way to fool people. These e-mail scams usually consist of letters pretending that they are from a bank or an online financial group, providing a link and convinces you to visit that certain website and requests you to fill up a form that is aimed to collect sensitive personal information such as bank accounts, credit card information, passwords and many other information.
These sites are “bogus”, in the sense that it looks like a legitimate company since it resembles the looks of some of the known legitimate companies offering the same services posted by the scammers. In reality, e-mails from these sites are merely to tempt their prospect victims to provide their personal data and once they succeed, they will use the submitted information to steal money from the victim’s bank accounts or purchase items through the credit card provided by the victim.
Phishing was first known during the 1990’s when an attacker has attempted to steal AOL accounts by sending numerous messages to Internet users. The messages are intended to lure users to verify their accounts and ask their victims to input the password for the account. Afterwords, the victim’s accounts will then be used to do different scamming schemes and even distribute numerous spam mails.
Lottery scams are e-mails containing messages informing you that you have won millions of dollars from an international lottery. The message usually informs you that your e-mail address was included among the winners through a draw. In order to convince the prospect victims, they would attach links of real lottery sites or even attach fake documents or ads which claim that the lottery was endorsed by popular companies like Microsoft.
If the scammers were able to convince its victims, they would then ask important information and then request the victim to send some money to cover up taxes, processing fees, and other similar charges in order to get the prize when in reality there is no such prize and everything is bogus.
419 or Nigerian Scams
The 419 scam or popularly known as the Nigerian scam is one of the most widespread and very popular among other Internet scams. This also uses e-mails in attempting to steal people’s money. The e-mail basically contains different versions of stories such as an alleged political leader having been ousted from power and having millions of funds which he needs to transfer to other countries. He will then offer you a share of the funds by helping him. Another example is an alleged rich person seriously ill and needs someone to help in managing the funds for charity purposes. The huge amount of money involved usually attracts unsuspecting victims to believe the scam.
Similar to other e-mail scams, the criminal would then request for money to be utilized for processing the transfer of funds to the victim’s account. Some scammers even request their prospect victim to travel abroad to speed up the transfer of funds but the victims will then be abducted and would only be released after paying a large amount of money.