Top 10 List of Current Scams - 2008
For detailed explanations of each scam, how to report a scammer and how to
protect yourself, click on the blue titles below for more information! For
internet crime and fraud statistics, see this page.
These include scams which can go under the name of genuine lotteries like the
UK National Lottery and the El Gordo Spanish lottery.
Unsolicited email or telephone calls tell people they are being entered or
have already been entered into a prize
Later, they receive a call congratulating them on winning a substantial
prize in a national lottery. But before they can claim their prize, they are told they must send money
to pay for administration fees and taxes. The prize, of course, does not exist.
No genuine lottery asks for money to pay fees or notifies it's winners
- INTERNET AUCTION FRAUDS
- Auction frauds (commonly called Ebay or PayPal scams, after the two
largest venues) is a misrepresentation of a product advertised for sale
through an Internet auction site or the failure to deliver products
purchased through an Internet auction site.
NIGERIAN ADVANCE FEE FRAUDS
These frauds take the form of an offer, via letter, e-mail or fax, to
share a huge sum of money in return for using the recipient's bank account
to transfer of the money out of the country.
The perpetrators will often then use the bank account details to empty their
victim's bank account.
Often, they convince the victim that money is needed up front, to
pay fees or is needed to bribe officials.
PHISHING AND PHARMING FOR IDENTITY THEFT
The victim receives an email that appears to be from a credible, real bank
or credit card company, with links to a website and a request to update
account information. But the website and email are fakes, made to look like
the real website.
- "PASSIVE RESIDUAL INCOME" SCAMS
Get rich scheme and scam websites -
Make $$$ in your spare time! It so EASY once you get their free book or cd
and learn their secrets! Sure... These
websites are themselves scams; claiming to offer you a good deal, when at
best, their products are worthless, they have no real secrets, and worse,
some are identity thieves!
- LOTTERIES AND OTHERS THAT SEND YOU A COUNTERFEIT CHECK
receive a check in the mail - either from a lottery you "won" (without
buying a ticker) or from an EBay buyer or other source. It looks
real... but after you try to cash it, you find out it is a fake; and you're
arrested for passing a counterfeit check! Read more about
scam checks on this page
and here about the EBay check scam.
- FREE CREDIT REPORT.COM
What a scam this one is! The name of the website is
freecreditreport.com, but you'll only get a credit report when you sign up
for their paid service. And worst of all there IS a government
mandated website where you CAN get a free credit report!
Find out more here!
- WORK-AT-HOME SCAMS
Work-at-home and business opportunity scams are often advertised as paid
work from home. After the would-be worker applies, they are asked for money up-front to pay for
materials and, after paying, they hear nothing back.
A variation of this is, people are asked to invest in a business that
chance of success.
- MATRIX / MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING
AND PYRAMID SCHEMES
"MAKE MONEY NOW!" scream their websites! And do it in your
spare time! Earn big bucks for almost no work. If that isn't
enough to tell you it is a scam, let us explain why it is. These schemes are promoted through websites offering expensive
electronic gadgets as free gifts in return for spending about $25 on an
inexpensive product, such as a mobile phone signal booster.
Consumers who buy the product then join a waiting list to receive their
free gift. The person at the top of the list receives his/her gift only after a
prescribed number of new members join up.
The majority of those on the list will never receive the item.
Pyramid schemes offer a return on a financial investment based on the
number of new recruits to the scheme.
Investors are misled about the likely returns. There are simply not
enough people to support the scheme indefinitely.
PROPERTY INVESTMENT SCHEMES
Investors attend a free presentation, which aims to persuade them to hand
over large amounts of money to enroll on a course promising to make them a
successful property dealer, usually involving "no money down".
Schemes can involve the offer of buying yet-to-be built properties at a
discount. Other variations include a buy-to-lease scheme where companies offer to
source, renovate and manage properties, claiming good returns from rental
income. The properties are generally near-derelict and the tenants non-existent.
900 PHONE NUMBER SCAMS
Postal notification of a win in a sweepstake or a holiday offer in this scam
include instructions to ring a premium rate number.
This is generally an 900 toll number. Calls to the number incur significant charges, the recorded message is
lengthy, and the prize often does not exist. It is a scam that has been
around a long time, but it is still in use.