Examples of Internet Scams
1. A person advertising an apartment on Craigslist.org is contacted by someone via email who is interested in renting the apartment. The apartment owner is told that a check will be sent for the first and last month’s rent. When the check arrives it is for more money than the first and last month’s rent. The owner is told to wire the difference back to the prospective renter. Subsequent to this, the check is returned for non-payment.
2. Responding to a work at home Internet advertisement, a victim receives $2,500 worth of American Express Travelers Checks that they are told to cash. The victim is instructed to wire the money minus their 10% commission. After depositing the checks and wiring the money, it is learned that the Travelers Checks are counterfeit.
3. People are receiving e-mails stating that the sender has been contracted to kill the victim. They go on the say if the victim doubles the contract price they will not be killed and they will be provided with the information of the person who wants them killed.
*** Unfortunately, people have fallen victim to these scams. The oldest and simplest advice is still the best . . . If it’s too good to be true it probably is!!
Internet Fraud Prevention Tips
- If you encounter an unsolicited e-mail that asks you, either directly, or through a web site, for personal financial or identity information, such as Social Security number, passwords, or other identifiers, exercise extreme caution.
- If you need to update your information online, use the normal process you've used before, or open a new browser window and type in the website address of the legitimate company's account maintenance page.
- If a website address is unfamiliar, it's probably not real. Only use the address that you have used before, or start at your normal homepage.
- Always report fraudulent or suspicious e-mail to your ISP. Reporting instances of spoof web sites will help get these bogus web sites shut down before they can do any more harm.
- Most companies require you to log in to a secure site. Look for the lock at the bottom of your browser and "https" in front of the website address.
- Take note of the header address on the web site. Most legitimate sites will have a relatively short Internet address that usually depicts the business name followed by ".com," or possibly ".org." Spoof sites are more likely to have an excessively long string of characters in the header, with the legitimate business name somewhere in the string, or possibly not at all.
- If you have any doubts about an e-mail or website, contact the legitimate company directly. Make a copy of the questionable web site's URL address, send it to the legitimate business and ask if the request is legitimate.
If you've been victimized by a spoofed e-mail or web site, you should contact your local police department and file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center.