Friday, January 24, 2014

Top 10 Online Scams | The Most Common Online Scams

Top 10 Online Scams | The Most Common Online Scams





 



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Top 10 Scams





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Popular Scams




  • The Nigerian/Ghana Emergency Scam
  • Plane Ticket & Visa Scam
  • Medical Emergency Scam
  • Nigerian 419 Scam
  • Fake Police Scam
  • Cashing Money Order Scam
  • Lottery Scams
  • Phony Inheritance Scams
  • Disaster Relief Scams
  • Business Investment Scams
  • Job Scams, Online Classified Scams & Phishing
While online dating sites work hard to eliminate scammers
from their sites, unfortunately some continue to be very deceptive and
get past the fraud checks so it is important to be aware of what a
potential scammer might attempt to do. Nobody wants to be scammed yet
most people are not quite sure what to look out for. These are examples
of some of the most notorious scams in the world of online dating and
on the internet in general.







1. Nigerian/ Ghana Emergency Scam

This is one of the most popular scams in online dating. Nigeria
and Ghana are notorious for their scammers and hence most people
probably wouldn’t pursue a relationship with someone from one of these
countries. These scammers are well aware of this and therefore often
pretend to be from the USA/ UK/ Australia/ Canada or some other Western
country.






Armed with their fake identity, the scammer proceeds to forge a bond
with you. They often communicate with you for weeks and months so you
think you are getting to know them better while it is actually all part
of their master plan. The standard scam story then starts to unfold as
your online date suddenly has some sort of emergency in Nigeria or
Ghana. The stories may range from a businessman having an accident
while in Nigeria for work to a helpless woman being stranded in Ghana;
from asking for charity donations for Africa to a family member having a
brain hemorrhage while in Africa. At the end of the day they all have
the same basic plot – there is an emergency and won’t you please send
them some money? Rest assured, once you do send the money that is the
last you will hear of them and your money.




2. Plane Ticket/ Visa Scam

This is a common ploy used by Russian and Filipino scammers to rob
you off your money. The general storyline is she will want to come visit
you but does not have enough money and will ask you to send her money
to help pay for the plane ticket and/or visa. Once you do send the money
however, it is unlikely that the visit will ever actually materialize.

As
many people are now catching on to this, many scammers are trying
variations of the same scam. Instead of asking you to send them money
for their ticket, they will instead send you scanned copies of a ticket
to convince you they are genuine and are really coming to visit you.
They do not ask for money to buy the ticket or even for visa expenses…
leading you to believe they are real. However, there is usually a last
minute glitch and they will request you to send them a large amount of
money without which the trip will be impossible. These scammers know
immigration rules and regulations well and might even cite some sort of
visa requirement as their reason for requesting money. You might find
their reasons actually check out and send them the money but in all
likelihood, you have been scammed of your money.







3. Medical Emergency Scam

Another common scam one comes across in online dating is the medical
emergency scam. Just when you think your online relationship is going
really well, your online partner will be faced with some sort of medical
emergency. Variations of these include them needing surgery they can’t
afford, treatment for their son’s brain tumor or you may even get a call
from someone pretending to be a doctor telling you your partner has
been in a serious accident and you need to send money so they can start
treatment. Sometimes, the scams are long and stretched out with the
scammers attempting to get as much money out of you as possible by
cooking up a variety of medical complications. Do not send money if you
are in a similar situation because it is probably a scam. Again, most
often these scammers will pretend to be a Western man but in reality
they will be scammers based in Africa.







4. The Nigerian 419 Scams

This breed of scams has been around for a very long time and is known
as the advance fee fraud. It has various names such as the Nigerian
419, Nigerian money offer, the Spanish prisoner etc. Similar to the
Spanish prisoner scam where the scamster promises to share his fortunes
with the victim in exchange for money to bribe the prison guards, the
Nigerian 419 has fully come into its own thanks to the availability of
email. A scam victim will usually receive an email making an offer of a
large sum of money. The subject lines often read something similar to
"From the desk of Mr [name]" or even "Your assistance is solicited".
While the stories may vary slightly, the general plot then talks of a
person (usually a corrupt government employee) who has come across a
large sum of money and needs your assistance to get the funds out of the
country. The money could be cash, gold bullion, blood diamonds, gold
dust, checks etc. The sums usually run up to millions of dollars with
the victim being promised a huge chunk of it for their "help". Like all
scams, there is a last minute problem and you will be requested to send
some money to ensure everything goes smoothly. Needless to say that is
the last you will hear of your apparent fortune.





5. Fake Police Scam

It’s terrible being the victim of a scam and the first thing most
scam victims do is contact the police in the hope they can actually
catch the person who duped them. Sometimes scammers figure out you are
onto them but instead of backing off, they take advantage of the
situation by pretending to be the police. So say you have been duped by
a Nigerian scammer and you contact the Nigerian police for help. You
might get an email apparently from the Nigerian police telling you they
have closed in on the scammer and need a payment from you before they
can arrest him. This is definitely a scam because the police (no matter
which country) will never request money to catch a criminal! Have a
look at the email address – something like nigerianpolice@hotmail.com obviously cannot be the official email address of the Nigerian Police.









6. Money Order Cash Requests

As opposed to some of the other scams, in this type of scam the
fraudster takes their time to build a relationship with their victim.
After a few months when the scammer is convinced they have formed a bond
with their victim, they request the victim to cash some money orders
and wire transfer the money to t hem (usually to Nigeria or Ghana).
The scammer pretends to be someone from a Western country based in
Nigeria for work and hence cannot cash the money orders. This seems
harmless enough and most people don’t think twice about it. However,
these money orders are often doctored so a $20 money order could have
been washed and altered to show a sum of $2000. Once the victim cashes
it and wires the money, the bank usually detects a forged money order
and the victim is then liable for the entire amount while the scammer
gets away scot-free and richer by a few thousand dollars.





7. Lottery Scam

Have you ever received an email or even an actual letter telling you
you've won an obscenely large amount in a lottery you never entered?
It's definitely a scam so please do not send them any financial details
because you're just setting yourself up for a fraud or identity theft.





8. Phony Inheritance Claims

Similar to the lottery scam, these scams revolve around you receiving
an inheritance that you previously had no knowledge of. There are a
few variations of this type of fraud but the bottom line is they are all
scams. Some will write to you telling you they are "estate locators"
who have located a long lost inheritance for you. Others might be from
someone in Africa claiming to have received a huge inheritance which
they want to share with you if you can help them get the money out of
the country. The scamsters will typically ask for your bank details so
they can deposit the money into your account and once they have those
details, they will rob you of your money.




9. Disaster Relief Scam

Every time there is a disaster like the tsunami, a tornado or an
earthquake, millions of do-gooders want to do something to help the
victims. Scammers take advantage of this by setting up scam charity
institutions which rob the money that you wanted to send to the victims
of the disaster. Scammers also attempt phishing by sending you donation
requests via email where you can click on a link which then
leads you to website designed to steal your passwords and other details.



Sometimes, scammers also take advantage of disaster situations by
pretending to be a victim themselves. For example, an earthquake in the
Philippines affects millions and the scammer sees this as an
opportunity to ask you to help them during this difficult time. They
will spin a story about how they have lost everything due to the
disaster and tug at your heart strings. Yet, despite losing everything
they seem to be an online dating site? Isn’t that a bit odd?



10. Business Investment Scam

Business investment is another popular lure scammers use to attract
their potential victims. People want to use their savings for a
worthwhile investment option. Solicitations for an investment scam can
come via email, telephone or even in the mail. Offers include
work-at-home jobs and other get-rich-quick schemes, gambling software,
opportunities to buy "secret" shares and other too-good-to-be-true
schemes. How do you know it's a scam? While there is no foolproof rule,
it is best to avoid investing in opportunities that have been presented
to you by someone who came out of the blue. When investing your hard
earned money, it is important to consult with a financial adviser about
the best course of action.







Other Common Internet Scams

  • Job scams

    With the increasing use of job search sites (E.g. Monster.com)
    across the world scammers have found a new way to fool innocent victims.
    Scammers contact their victims on the pretext of offering them a job
    with unbelievably high salaries. With most people always on the lookout
    for a better job, these emails seem like a welcome opportunity with
    people seldom realizing it's a scam. As a potential "employer" they will
    request your bank account details etc so you can get paid but instead
    you could have money stolen from your account and even run the risk of
    identity theft.



  • Online Classifieds Scam
    Online classified sites have turned out to be some of the most popular
    websites for a variety of purposes including dating, buying and selling
    products and even finding work. Unfortunately they have also become
    notorious for their scams so if you are using an online classifieds
    website you should watch out. There are all sorts of scams on these
    sites including scammers even trying to fool you with overpayment for an
    item you list for sale. As always, never divulge your financial details
    and if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.




  • Phishing

    In this type of scam, the fraudsters usually lure the web surfer
    to a website which seems real and legitimate but in fact is set
    up to steal personal details, passwords etc. This is often used
    for identity theft as well. The common guise for phishing these
    days seems to be to “confirm your identity”. You might receive
    emails pretending to be from your bank, Paypal, eBay asking you to
    click on a link so you can confirm your identity. But this link
    does not lead to the actual website but will instead redirect you to a
    fake website cloned to look like the original. This information in
    the hands of scammers puts you at risk of potentially losing
    thousands of dollars.
There are various types of scams on the internet which prey on a
person's good-hearted nature or vulnerability. It is therefore important
to keep your guard up and think before divulging sensitive information
online or to strangers. Now that you know what sort of scams could
occur, if a scammer does happen to contact you, you will be able to spot
them and report them immediately rather than wasting your time forming a
relationship with them.

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