Internet Scams

Internet fraud is the use of Internet services or software with Internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them. FBI DEFINITION

According to the FBI there was 280,000 complaints only for the year 2016. FBI also estimates online crime costs the victims over 1,2 billion dollars. Internet criminals use several methods to steal. Following are the two high profile methods they use:

1) The breaching of email accounts in order to obtain access to clients bank accounts or credit card numbers.

2) The deliberate sending of malware to organizations or individual networks in order to deny the availability of critical date or systems. Then the criminal asks for ransom in order to allow victims to regain access to their account.

Other instances of fraud include

  • -Business Fraud
  • -Credit Card Fraud
  • -Internet Auction Fraud
  • -Investment Schemes
  • -Nigerian Letter Fraud
  • -Non Delivery of Merchandise

How to Identify an Internet Scam

Hi, let us inform you that you are a winner. You’ve won $1,000 in our sweepstakes and we need you to provide us with some personal information in order to claim your prize. We’ll need your bank account information, so we can deposit your winnings and we also need your social security number for tax purposes.

This is a simplification on how an online scam looks like. In fact, the real versions of scams are much more sophisticated and believable.

Over the years online scammers have perfected their art. They know exactly what works on people and what doesn’t.

There are common elements in most scams. All you need is to learn these elements and then it will be easy to spot an online scam.

Here is how to spot a scam

1) It sounds too good to be true.

If the offer is too good to be true, then it probably is. Scammers know that we all want to get rich quickly without any effort or with minimal effort. They use easy money as bait in order to distract us from their target, which is your personal and financial information.

In addition, many scammers may not ask you for your personal information, but they will ask you to install software in your computer. The software is malware disguised as something else.

2) When money is involved.

This is the biggest indicator that you are looking at a scam. They will say that you have been left with some money or that you’ve won money. In that case do not listen and do not give away your financial details. This could also come in as an email or through a link as a pop up message.

3) Act now or you will miss the offer.

Internet scammers always try to create a false sense of urgency and panic. They will not allow their victim to have second thoughts. Therefore, scammers use a false sense of urgency to distract you from their real goal.

4) We need your personal details.

Stealing your money is not enough for scammers. They want your personal details, so they can use it themselves to obtain loans or credit cards on your name. Many of them go ahead and sell your personal details to other criminals.

5) They use fear.

Many times scammers use fear to manipulate their victims to do something they normally wouldn’t. They might tell you there is something wrong with your computer, they might tell you that you’ve committed a crime usually the crime is the downloading of pirated software. Then, they will tell you they are the police and if you pay a fine you will get away with it.

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My Advice to you.

  1. -Always be suspicious on the net.
  2. -Do not give your personal or financial details to anyone.
  3. -Double check all information before you decide.
  4. -Search in Google for more details or complaints.
  5. -Try to get in contact with them. Ask a few questions and go through the replies carefully.

Affiliate Scams

To my astonishment there are a lot of affiliate scams out there and their numbers are growing. Lately, I’ve been coming across many of them quite regularly. It is sad but its true.

Recognizing Affiliate Scams

1) Impossible to contact the company on its website. If the company is not going to offer you the chance to be able to get in contact with them, or you contact them but there is no reply, then you should not make a purchase.

2) Poor product support-guarantee. Before you purchase a product or service you need to test the product support if any. A company who respects and values its customers will definitely have a proper product support. Send an email with a couple of questions. See how long they will take to reply and what how they handle your questions. If they take over 48 hours to reply, then forget about them.  If a sales person gives you a short shrift, or hits you with a high sales pitch, then this is bad news.  Also, check the guarantee. Reputable companies that sell quality products offer at least a one-year guarantee.

3) Incredible success claims. If you really want to succeed you will but it won’t happen overnight unless you win the lottery. I’ve come across many websites who claim that you can become rich and successful overnight. You can actually see the owner driving an exotic car, living in a mansion claiming he did all this in a year. This is definitely a scam.

4) Non stopping up sells. When you buy a certain product or service, you are entering an agreement with the other party. You are paying an amount of money to buy that particular product or service and you expect it to fulfill your needs. Soon you realize this is not the case and you need to buy another one and then another one and another one. At the end you find yourself to have spent many times more than you should have. Best is to try a product, or service before you go ahead and buy it.


Nowadays, online scammers can be found anywhere on the net. If you type: Internet scams on Google you will find at least 26 million related articles, and the numbers are growing. Remember a criminal could be hiding behind a reputable internet business, a professional website or even an innocent email. Always check and then check again.

To report an internet crime or to get more details on the subject go to FBI.

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