Internet frauds may not be apparent to you, if you are new to the Internet. But, make no mistake! It does not seem to be real until you are actually bitten by an online scam. Those who do fall prey to internet scams are hurt in more ways than one. Anybody using the net for long would sooner than later be acquainted with internet frauds in one of its many avatars. Unsolicited emails, dubious websites and suspicious links are familiar calling cards to online scams if you are a seasoned net user.
Online fraud is alluring because it is ridiculously easy to carry out
Committing fraud is easy online. The easiest way is to cheat outright. Scammers collect money in lieu of a product or service and later shy away from keeping their word. Another way is to steal personal financial information like bank account number, social security number and credit card number and to use these to swindle online. With stolen information, they can conduct illegal transactions on bank or credit card accounts thus robbing you of your hard-earned money.
Scammers operate at another level by cheating emotionally. They use your feelings of sympathy and empathy and play on it. They also prey on feelings like greed present in individuals. A common scam known to net users as Nigerian email scam is worth recounting. It starts by offering the chance to earn a substantial amount of easy, illegitimate money to its victims.
The Nigerian Email Scam
Individuals who perpetrate such a scam send an email to you. This unsolicited message would describe how the scammer has access to a large sum of money in their country. But they cite some reason, usually political or legal, for not being able to realize the funds in their country.
Now, they would request your help in this endeavor. In return, they promise you a commission of something like 15-20% of the total amount. The fraudster would then send a check made out in your name for the substantial fund. But, he would request you to send a check for the balance amount before redeeming it. As soon as the fraudster receives your check, he would redeem it. You only realize the scam when you receive a communication from the bank informing you that the check from the fraudster was a fraudulent one.
Internet scams are and will continue to be part and parcel of online experience
Internet frauds have come to stay. Despite the fact that more and more people are waking up to them, they will continue to be an outrage to fair trade and a gross misuse of a powerful and wonderful medium of communication.
But this should not stop you from using the Internet. Using small precautions can keep you away from falling prey to online fraudsters. In this one-up game between you and fraudsters, ignorance can mean defeat. A simple awareness of such issues can guarantee a safe and enjoyable online experience for you.