Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: If Internet connectivity has made informational available at a click of the mouse, it has also opened another option for scamsters to con people online and deprive them of their hard earned money.
Here is the list of the top internet scams that have been doing rounds and making gullible people their prey.
A wealthy Nigerian family needs help in transferring millions of dollar out of the country
In this scam, one fine day someone finds an email in the inbox, supposedly, from a member of a Nigerian family with wealth. The sender, desperately urging for help in getting a very large sum of money out of the country.
He offers to pay the receiver a large sum of money as commission.
In a similar email, a woman, again from Africa, claims that her husband has died, and that she wants to leave millions of dollars of his ''estate to a good church''.
In all the instances, the scammer promises obscenely large sum of money for your help. The ''help'' that you would required to offer is, legal aid and other fees that must be paid to people who would release the email sender's money.
The worst is that once one gets into the the email sender's trap, he/she keeps sucking money out of you without any payment in return. The worst thing is that people fall to their greed. The scam has been going on since 1920s when it was known as 'The Spanish Prisoner' con.
Advanced fees paid for a guaranteed loan or credit card
If you receive an offer in which the bank has “pre-approved” loan or a credit card for you, and you have to pay an up-front fee.
People who may have a poor credit history, may lap up at the offer of a “pre-approved'' loan.
Remember that any fee if any, that a credit card company charges is the annual fee.
Sadly, many people due to poor credit history or financial pressure fall to the scam.
The email comes with the announcement that you are a lucky winner of a lottery, and that you have won millions of dollar.
Before receiving the award, you will need to pay the “processing” fee of several thousands of dollars. If you have a nose to sniff a scam, you would know that it is a gimmick to cheat you of your hard earned money.
Phishing emails and phony web pages
This is considered most common fraud happening in today's IT-lead world. Here, the conman would need your password or other sensitive information on you or your bank account, and you would find your hard earned money siphoned off from your online account.
You may even receive phishing emails and web pages resembling the legitimate credit authorities like Citibank, eBay, or PayPal. They frighten or entice you into visiting a phony web page and entering your ID and password.
You may have often received an alert email from your bank that never part with password or One Time Password or any sensitive information regarding your account to anyone, even if the person claims to be an executive from your bank.
You are offered overpayment for an item for sale
You listed an item for sale, and you think that you have cracked the deal. Someone calls you up, offers you overpayment and issues you a check or money order to you.
You are in turn are requested to send him the car and the cash for sending the car overseas.
You would find out that the money order or the cheque you received was fake. And you were cheated off not just the car but the money that you sent as fee to send the car overseas.
Employment search overpayment scam
In another scam, a person searching for job posts resume, with at least some personal data which is accessible by prospective employers, on a known employment site.
Now, if you receive a job offer to become a financial representative of an unknown company, and if you awould be given neat commission per transaction, is clearly a fraud.
If you apply, you will provide the scammer with your personal data, such as bank account information, theser is danger that something odf the following may happen to you:
Money stolen from your account, or
May receive fake checks or money orders for payments which you deposit into your account but must send 85 – 95 percent of that to your “employer”.
Disaster relief scams
There could be a scam in what seems to be a noble cause. You may receive an email asking for a contribution for a calamity that has hit the nation. It could be flood, earthquake or donation for someone's medical need.
Beware before you donate for charity. Scammers set up fake charity websites and steal the money donated to the victims of disasters. The email could also be a phishing attempt.
Do not click on the link in the email and volunteer your bank account or credit card information. Of course your should indulge in charity, but only after verifying the credentials of the receiver.
You may receive an email with the offer to get amazingly low fares to some exotic destination. The condition would be that you would need to book the same day. In some cases travel may be offered for free.
You may not realize that the deal on offer is not what it appears to be. You may sign the dotted line and end up paying much higher than what you thought was promised to you.