Unfortunately, because of the relative anonymity afforded by the internet and due to the relative ease and cheapness with which internet communication can be achieved it has become an increasingly fertile ground for fraudsters. There is even an evolutionary competition going on between email filtering applications and fraudsters' attempts at conning their unsuspecting victims.
Below I am going to list some of the most prevalent scams and I will tell you a little of how to recognize the scam and protect yourself from it:
Advance fee fraud (419 Scams) -- This is also sometimes known as the 'Nigerian Scam' which is a confidence trick in which
the target is persuaded to advance relatively small sums of money in the hope of realizing a much larger gain. This is most often perpetrated by email and begins when the 'investor' is contacted; typically with an offer such as: 'A A rich person from the needy country needs to discreetly move money abroad, would it be possible to use your account?' and sums in the millions of dollars
are named. The investor is promised a large share of this money (generally 30-40% of the total). The proposed deal is often presented as a 'harmless' white-collar crime with no risk to the 'investor'. The operation is professionally organized in Nigeria,
with offices, working fax numbers, and often contacts at government offices. But the mark is then asked for money to bribe
officials etc. Money is sent and the mark is never contacted again. Just delete any message where you're offered money out of
the blue, especially if the message originates in Africa.
The Charity Request Scam -- The Charity Request/Disaster Relief scam is becoming far more prevalent these days. Scam-
mers prey on the natural and admirable human desire to aid disaster victims by sending fake emails desiring donations or they
set-up fake charity websites and steal the money donated to the victims of disasters. Often the approach will come in the form
of what looks like a forwarded email. Essentially, if the request for donations came via email then not only is it a scam but
there's a good chance that it's also a Phishing attempt (see below) especially if it directs you to a website. Never respond to
these emails. If it's a legitimate charity then find the phone number of the registered offices and donate over the phone.
The Employment Scam -- In the Employment Scam unscrupulous persons posing as recruiters and/or employers offer attrac-
tive employment opportunities which require the job seeker to pay them money in advance, usually under the guise of work visas, travel expenses, and out-of-pocket expenses. The scams can also involve lucrative offers of employment in Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, or South Africa with money demanded to be paid to an agency or travel agent for visas or travel costs. This
type of scam has become more and more frequent recently and it often targets people submitting their CVs to employment sites and bulletin boards. Often you will be addressed by name in the contact email. If you are contacted by one of these emails and
the deal is abroad and seems too god to be true then give it a wide berth.
The Holiday Scam -- These started as unsolicited emails announcing that you had won a 'Cruise of a Lifetime' or a 'Free Holi-
day to Florida' or the like. These scams are generally more active during the summer months (May to July) as this is when most people take their holidays. Generally you will receive an email either announcing that 'you, or someone you know' has entered
you in a contest, and that you have won a free cruise or vacation package alternatively your are offered a cheap (or even free)
travel deal -- all at a price that's too good to refuse. If you do call to take up the deal you will find that there are hidden costs or
you have to pay over the odds for the hotel or you will have to sit through a sales pitch when you arrive. As with all similar
scams, if you did not enter for something and an email comes out of the blue it's probably a scam.
The Lottery Scam -- In this scam you get an email saying that you've won the email sweepstakes for a lottery that no-one's
ever heard of. Or you've been told that you've won the email sweepstakes for a well-known lottery but the contact address is not
the contact address of the lottery organizers. This is a very common form of spam email and it's east to avoid. Basically, lotteries only serve one of two purposes. They are there to raise money or they are there to provide publicity in order to draw-in customers.
If you have not seen an ad campaign for a lottery and you have never entered then any email you will have been sent is a fraud.
Overpayment Scam -- This scam targets people selling high-value items on internet auction sites or on internet classified
sites. Here the scammer finds your ad (through on-line or paper small ads usually though this scam is also seen on auction
sites such as eBay). You are sent an email offering to pay much more than your asking price. The excuse given is supposedly related to the various international fees to ship the item overseas. In return you are requested to send the scammer the item
and cash for the balance. This looks legitimate and you agree to the transaction. Your are sent a money order or cashier's
cheque or banker's draft which looks genuine and you deposit it. The claimant is at your door so you hand over the balance
and the item you were selling. Later you the bank calls you to say that the payment method was forged and you are out of
pocket. Once you know about this scam it's east to avoid. Never agree to any overpayments and always wait for funds to
clear in your bank.
The Phishing Scam -- Phishing is a term used for the criminal practice of attempting to fraudulently acquire sensitive informa-
tion, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. The majority of phishing methods use some form of technical deception designed to make a link in an email
(and the spoofed website it leads to) appear to belong to the spoofed organization. The easiest way to combat phishing attacks
is to modify users' behaviour by education. The truth is that nearly all legitimate email messages from companies to their customers will contain an item of information that is not readily available to phishers. Always check for this information. But if
you see this kind of email purporting to be from a bank or other organization always contact the organization directly to check
if what the email you received says is true. Always beware of SPOOF emails (Fake or hoax emails)
Phishing is a type of fraud where an attempt is made to access your confidential information by an email request for information, i.e. User ID, password or account numbers into an email or non-secure web page; confirm, verify; update your account, credit
card or address information; Requires you to enter personal information directly into an email or website following a link, which
will then submit that information in some other way; threatens to close or suspend your account if you do not take immediate
action by providing personal information or that there has been third-party activity on your account and requests you to enter or confirm your account information.
The Pyramid Scam -- In this type of scam you will receive an email with a list of people in it. The email will say something like
'you have received an incredible opportunity to make CASH FAST!'. To gain anything you have to send $5 to the people on the list and forward the email to six other people. Basically this is just a pyramid scam and it is completely illegal. Do not reply, do not forward as to do so means that you are participating in a fraud.
The Re-shipping Scam -- The re-shipping scam is designed to trick individuals or small businesses into shipping goods to countries (generally West African or Asian) with weak legal systems. The goods themselves are most often paid for with stolen
or fake credit cards and the re-shippers (unbeknownst to them) assume the brunt of the legal risks. Often the fraudster pauses
as a representative of a growing company trying to establish a presence in the UK/US (or wherever). Lucrative offers of employ-
ment are made if the victim only accepts parcels and forwards them. Stolen credit cards are used to purchase the goods and
they are sent to the address of the victim. Soon after a package delivery company package with pre-printed labels arrives and
the next day the delivery company arrives to pick-up the packages. More often than not the cost of the package delivery com-
pany will be billed to the victim's address.
The Romance Scam -- The romance scam is generally perpetrated on internet chat rooms and most especially on online
dating services. Essentially it's a variant on the Advance Fee fraud but uses a money for romance angle to reel-in the victim.
The victim is often groomed for many months to make them believe that the person they are communicating with is really in love with them. Eventually however demands for money start coming in and because the victim is in love with the person on the other side they pay. Often the victim may give everything they have. This scam is most often perpetrated from West African countries
but the scam is also now perpetrated from Russia. This is very insidious as it relies on feelings of love. Anyone can be targeted
and niche dating sites are as likely to be used as mainstream ones.
Typical Email romance scams
Btw! I'm certainly looking around for guy!
Howdy! I not really know howcome I really don't see some sort of answers by you. May be something is wrong with my e mail.
Are you able to please message me. I will be however ready for your individual answer. I will become your friend or relation.
Hello my dear,
My name is Sanilya and I write from a country of Azerbaijan.
I am warm, pleasant, tender and intelligent girl. But I am very single in my life. I want to find a cute person to spend my entire
life with such a guy. You can view my pics with this email, I truly hope that you like it.
If you do not have relationships with other women currently, and if you are unmarried, then respond me back. I hope you like
my looks, and you'll answer me soon. And I'll tell you more about my lifestyle, and know also more about you.
I also ask that you never call for my naked pics, because I never attach it through internet. And if you request it, then Iíll never
write you again.
Have a nice day.