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Topic Summary

Posted by: Samker
« on: 06. January 2009., 14:35:02 »

Web users have been warned to that 2009 will see a large rise in internet scams, as fraudsters seek to exploit surfers' financial anxieties during the financial downturn.

The number of scammers offering illegal cheap credit, and fake retailers using online classified advertisements to trick bargain hunters out of their money will are likely to see a particularly sharp jump, according to E-Victims, which provides support and advice to victims of online crime.

"Every time you go on the web you are being attacked. There is not an aspect of going on the web that's not a potential threat, Whether you are emailing, using social networks or just surfing the web without clicking on anything," said Jennifer Perry, E-Victims managing director.

She urged web users not to be tempted by offers that looked too good to be true, and to run regular health checks on their computers to ensure that their software is up to date with the latest security patches.

The Top 10 Internet Scams for 2009 - predicted by E-Victims

1. Identity theft and phishing – The black market for financial data on individuals is well established. Criminals try to steal your personal data using different techniques; phishing, social networks, telesales, hacking into websites, setting up bogus websites etc. Don't share unnecessary personal data with websites. If they insist on your date of birth, post code etc. - don't use your real ones.

2. Viruses and spyware - They are everywhere. It is impossible to know if you are visiting an infected website. If you download a pdf, it may or may not be infected. If you view a YouTube video, watch a flash ad, they may infect your computer too.

3. Advance fee scams - Nigerian and lottery scams have also been around for years, but they still work. There maybe a hundred variations to these scams but they are all basically the same. They offer a large sum of money, but there is always a fee to pay before you get it.

4. Work at home and job scams - These scams have been around for years, but rising unemployment will mean that we expect more scams targeting vulnerable job seekers.

5. Fake or spoofed websites - Phishing, domain hi-jacking, posting in forums are just some of the ways criminals attract you to their fake sites. These bogus online retailers offer a great deal, or impossible to find items, to attract victims. They set up a site for a short time, then shut it down only to set up a new site and do it all over again.

6. Economy related scams - Loan and debt consolidation scams have been increasing throughout 2008. There will be new ones look out for, including repossession assistance and unemployment insurance.

7. Classified ads and auction scams - Scammers use local online classified ads, CraigsList etc. to find new victims. Then they contact sellers with fraud cheque scams, offering to buy something or rent a room. They send a cheque for more money than agreed, with an excuse as why you should send the extra money back to them or their friend. The cheque is a fake and they hope you wire the money before you find out.

8. Holiday Scams - Can't afford a great holiday this year? Well the scammers know the credit crunch has hit the holiday budget. So, they are advertising some incredible deals. Unfortunately, the deals aren't real.

9. Ticket Scams - We saw large scale ticket fraud with the Beijing Olympics. Criminals are producing counterfeit tickets for concerts, festivals, football games and other events. They sell them online via auction sites, classified ads or by setting up their own website.

10. Social Networking - A hot scam is sending messages that tell someone they are in a You Tube video or mentioned on Twitter. When they follow the link their computer gets compromised. Dating scams, hacked accounts, conmen that contact friends and family claiming they are in trouble and need money - these are some of the most popular scams we see with social networks.

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