In 2009 alone, the number of people who made a complaint about a scam online increased by 20% to a whopping 336,655 complaints.Top 10 unusual lawsuits
Below is a list of five of the most successful Internet scams. Some are extremely popular these days while others have taken the backburner to more seemingly successful scams. If you ever run into something you believe is a scam, remember the old phrase: “if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.”
While your presence online can expose you to Internet scams, you can also use the Internet to protect yourself. Onguardonline.gov invites you to stop and think before you click, while providing useful resources to help you guard against scams. 1. Nigerian 419
Most people today have an email account that they use for various purposes. Of course there are the occasional spam emails that many of us just put into the junk folder, but on some days, we get an email that is really shocking.
If you’ve ever received an email, usually from a Nigerian member of a family that comes from a lot of wealth stating that they are attempting to get a very large amount of money out of the country, you were a possible-victim of the Nigerian 419 scam. Usually these emails call out for your help in order to get this money moved into the US.
But, these emails are nothing less than a scam. It is said that over $32 billion has been lost.
The Nigerian 419 scams are one of the most popular today, and the number of scammers who use this tactic continues to grow. It is said that there are about 300,000 of these scammers in the world today, but the number is steadily increasing.What’s the attraction?
Of course like many scams on this list, the Nigerian 419 scams seem too good to be true, but somehow people fall for them.
Simply, people like money. If you were given the opportunity to receive half of a million dollars for simply helping to transport money from another country, it might be very tempting, particularly if you are unaware that this is illegal.
People fall for this scam each year: the promise of such a large amount of money is sometimes enough to make a gullible Internet-user fall for a huge scam.2. PayPal
Many times with these PayPal scams, one is scammed when they have someone respond to an online ad they have placed on Craigslist or some other similar site.
The scammers will usually respond to the ad, stating that they are interested in the product that is being sold and that the product will be sent to a friend or family member within the US.
Many times these scammers are people from a foreign country who are promising to pay more money than what the seller asked for in the first place.
After shipping the item and after the seller pays, you’ll realise that soon enough, PayPal has taken the money from your account, and that you’re out of the item you were trying to sell.
Many times the “buyer” will contact PayPal saying that they never received the item, or in even worse cases, the scammer will be using a fake PayPal address or a stolen account.What’s the attraction?
When you’re desperately trying to get rid of an item, you are probably pretty impatient and anxious to get rid of it. So when someone responds you probably don’t think twice about the possibility that the person on the other side is a scammer that is trying to get your item without paying for it.
People fall for it simply because many times the scammer is giving them more money that what was asked for and because they really just want to get rid of the item and have money to spend elsewhere.3. Working from Home
Not only do these scams mean you’re out of money, but it could mean that your computer is left nothing short of…ruined.
These scams usually have a situation where you are given the opportunity to work at home, making your computer a “money-making machine” by doing very simple things. However, you aren’t told what these things are and how to locate them on the Internet without paying a few dollars.
The catch is that you’re paying for information that you often don’t receive, or that often has nothing to do with working from home.
Often times you are guaranteed that within 24 hours you’ll have full access to information and programs that allow your computer to make money for you, without much effort on your part. But this is just another scam and you’ve provided your banking information, and many times you’ve installed rogue software that will only ruin your computer.What’s the attraction?
Who wouldn’t want to work in their pajamas and slippers all day while sipping a cup of hot coffee?
Many people would love to be able to have a job like this, and this is why people get sucked into the work at home scams.
Working at home is easy and requires less energy than it does to work outside of your home. Paying a measly $5 seems like nothing when you can have the great opportunity of not having to drive to work each day. But many times you get nothing in return from the $5 that you put out, and you’re left with the same early morning routine.4. “Free” Trial
We’ve all seen the ads and pop-ups on certain websites that promise a free trial of some sort of product: weight-loss pills, a colon cleanse, or dieting pills.
We all know how expensive these products can be, so many people will fall for the free trial scam. While many do get the free product they were promised, the scam starts when you have to provide your banking information to pay for shipping and handling fees.
With the information you provide, the company can then charge you each month for not canceling your free trial. Usually the cancellation notice is in a very fine print that most people pay no attention to.
However, after not canceling your free trial within 15 or 30 days, your debit or credit card is billed monthly. Sometimes even after canceling, the company who has your banking information will sell it to an affiliate company who can then use it as they please.What’s the attraction?
Free stuff! Who doesn’t like free stuff? Free is good. Free means no money is spent and free means you get to try something without providing any sort of money for the product itself.
The catch is that when you provide your banking information to pay for shipping, you’re giving this company access to take out amounts of money each month for your “free trial.”
Most people don’t remember to cancel, so in the end you could be out money for a product that was never free at all.
Thankfully if you contact your bank, many times the bank will cover these fees and ensure that you are safe from the company taking more money out of your account.5. Fake Auctions/Sales
With the popularity of places such as eBay, Craigslist, and other auction websites growing each day, it’s no surprise that fake auctions and fake sales would start to become an issue online.
Many people use these websites on a daily basis to obtain items at a discounted price; and where you find people with money, you will also usually find scammers trying to take it off their hands.
At first, it looks like an opportunity to save money, but in the end many people are left empty-handed and out some bucks. These fake auction and sales scams usually happen pretty frequently and in the blink of an eye.
It’s simple. The scammer creates an ad or auction on a website, stating that he has a certain item for sale, usually something that is pretty expensive to begin with, for a very low price. Top 5 Internet Illnesses
The scammer knows that people will jump all over this “deal,” without even stopping to think that it could be fake and just a luring act for money. Plenty of people fall for it, making this particular scam a huge success.What’s the attraction?
Saving money. Who doesn’t want to be able to save a few bucks on an expensive item? Coupons are good, but coupons aren’t always offered on the newest electronics, so people will look at other ways to save.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll look in the Sunday paper and find a coupon for Apple’s iPad or Sony’s new Playstation console; it just doesn’t happen. Craigslist and eBay have become the perfect websites to go to if you’re looking to buy items for cheaper than they’d cost in the store.
However, the amount of scamming that goes on is unbelievable and many people end up regretting their decision.
Sometimes it’s best to fork out a few extra dollars and buy the product in a store, but this doesn’t mean that every auction or online sale you find is a scam. If the deal seems like a ’steal’, remember you may be the one getting ripped off.Other internet scamsThis list provided by TopTenz.net, your source for the Ultimate Top 10 Lists!