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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Current Internet Scams

Feb 17

Internet Scams

In this entry, we will examine the top 5 current Internet scams and what you should do to avoid becoming an identity theft victim.

Top 5 Internet Scams:

• Hotmail Scams – Usernames, passwords, and account information are surreptitiously stolen when keyloggers are downloaded after you have opened a malicious email that appeared harmless, like those funny forwards you get from friends.  

• Online Education Scams – The difficulties in the economy have made an advanced degree important.  Wherever there is a legitimate opportunity, a scammer will turn it into an opportunity chance for illegal gain by creating a fake online course designed to steal your identity.

• E-Card Scams – A common E-card scam will involve receiving an E-card that brings with it a keylogger program that becomes imbedded in your computer when you open the card.

 Work at home Scams – Most of these scams are advertised online and you have to pay a fee up-front to get started to which fraudsters use this tactic to lure individuals to provide personal or credit information.

• Online Tax Scams – U.S. based employees receive an email to complete an updated version of the government’s W-2 form because of important changes within the forms. The updated form is conveniently attached to the e-mail. However, scammers have created fake forms designed to gather your personal information and use it as their own.

General tips to avoid Internet scams:

• Think, look, investigate every link you receive in your e-mail before clicking.

• Do not open e-mail forwards; inform friends that unless they know the source of a pass-along-email you’d prefer they didn’t send it to you.

• Type in Web site addresses manually into your browser – Sites that require you to use your personal data – such as banks, social networking sites and others — should be typed in manually into the address bar.

• Use secure webservers for transactions with your credit card – Always look for “https” rather than “http” when you share sensitive information.

• Antivirus and Firewalls are important – If a fraudster can’t get you to click on a link, chances are they will try to send you a virus.  It’s very important to protect yourself.

• Update yourself – It’s important to keep in the know since scammers create different techniques to steal identities.