How To Avoid Online ScamsHow To Avoid Online Scams

According to an FBI report from 2003 to 2004 online scams doubled with nearly ten million new victims. This crime cost those victims nearly $5 billion of money they could not afford to lose.

Sadly, people are continuing to fall for online scams where identity theft is the spammers goal. These con artists and hackers are just waiting to commit online fraud and steal your identity.

Here are a few of the most popular online scams to be aware of so you can avoid becoming a victim.

Phishing Scam

The phishing scam is when a spammer sends you an email claiming to be from a reputable bank. The email complete with authentic bank logos asks you to log in and verify your account information.

Then the spammer captures your account information and helps himself to your account. They sometimes will sell your information to other criminals and you can become a victim of identity theft.

Congratulations You've Won Scam

This email scam tells you have won a big prize like a big screen TV or even the lottery. To claim your prize you need to pay for the shipping and handling with your credit card.

In the case of winning the lottery they ask for advanced fees to cover costs. The only prize you get is discovering mysterious charges on your credit card.

Pharming Scam

Pharming is one of the latest online scams and rapidly growing threat that has been showing up a lot on the Internet. The pharming scam is similar to phishing scams but with a new twist.

The pharming scam works by redirecting your Internet browser. When you type in a website address into your web browser you are redirected without your knowledge to a bogus site that looks identical to the genuine site.

Once you log in with your login name and password, the information is immediately captured by the scammer. With the pharming scam you no longer have to click an email link for your personal information to be stolen.

The best thing to do when you or someone you know has become a victim of one of these online scams is to report it to the authorities. Otherwise these thieves get away without ever getting caught.

Report online scams to The Internet Fraud Complaint Center or (IFCC). They are a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). Their web address is:

IFCC's mission is to address fraud and online scams committed over the Internet. For victims of online fraud, IFCC provides a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of a suspected criminal or civil violation.

Be aware of these online scams and report them to the IFCC so you can avoid becoming a new victim. It makes the Internet a safer and more enjoyable place for all of us.

Copyright ? 2005 Spyware All Rights Reserved.

by Gary Gresham
References and Bibliography

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