A scam is a term used to describe any fraudulent business or scheme that takes money or other goods from an unsuspecting person. With the world becoming a connected place thanks to the Internet, computer and Internet related scams have dramatically increased, and it's often up to you to help stay vigilant and cautious when dealing with people on the Internet.
Types of computer and Internet related scams
There are thousands of different types of Internet related scams today, but most boil down to stealing money, property, or below is a quick overview of some of the common types of scams.
|Scam||Example and Description|
|Phishing||Receive an e-mail from someone pretending to be your bank indicating you are overdrawn or made a purchase you really didn't make and asking you to log in and verify the information. However, the link in the e-mail actually points to a fake site that logs your username and password information. See our Phishing definition for further information, real examples, and related links.|
|Auction fraud||Someone selling something on an online auction site such as E-bay or Craigslist that appears to be something it really isn't. For example, someone may claim to be selling tickets for an upcoming concert that really are not official tickets.|
|Catfish||A person who creates a fake online profile with the intention of deceiving someone. For example, a woman could create a fake profile on an online dating website, create a relationship with one or more people and then create a fake scenario that asks others for money. See the catfish definition for further information and related links.|
|419||Also known as the Nigeria scam this scam lets the person think they have come to gain a large amount of money and only requires bank information to deposit the money or what seems to be a small deposit in order to get a large reward. In reality, the bank information is used against the person or the deposits are kept with no reward. See the 419 definition for additional information.|
|Chain mail||Usually harmless, this scam is usually spread through e-mail and tells people to forward the e-mail to all their friends to get money back from someone such as Bill Gates. See the chain mail definition for additional information and examples.|
- How can I protect myself while online?
- Checking scams like "Facebook to charge" and "Microsoft free money" with Snopes.
- Does Microsoft call about computer being infected with virus?