Sunday, July 29, 2007

You Have Been Scammed!

Did you recently win a million dollars in an online lottery or get a job offer that pays you royally for meagre work hours? Or are you among the 'lucky' few chosen ones to share millions of dollars for nothing with a Nigerian in distress?

Enter the world of online scamsters.

And there isn't just one, but many out there, vying to get YOUR money. Here are some of the top scams doing the rounds in the virtual world.

Urgent and Confidential: The Nigerian Scam

You get an e-mail marked confidential from a total stranger seeking your trust and help to transfer their millions of dollars into your account. The concerned parties are in exile, and seek to transfer their investments with you acting as the mediator.

And you don't have to do a thing. Just send them your bank account number and they will share millions with you.

Interesting? Yes, but dubious as well! Don't get taken in by it or else you will be swindled off all your savings.

Also known as the Advanced Fee Fraud (AFF) or the '419' scam (the number being the section of the Nigerian criminal code dealing with financial frauds), it comes in numerous variations.

How to identify such a scam? Well, for one, the confidential e-mails are usually from fraudsters posing as Nigerian officials. It is written in capitals and is riddled with bad grammar and misspelled words.

Two, if you seem willing to conduct the transaction, at the last moment they will request for a fee, usually in lakhs of rupees. Don't fall prey to such requests.

Phishing

No, it is not 'fishing' misspelt. But everything about it is fishy. In other words it means identity theft.

Phishing usually uses e-mails or fraudulent websites designed to fool unsuspecting people into disclosing personal information. It is an Internet scam that uses spam mails to deceive you into disclosing your personal information like your bank account, credit or debit card number, passwords etc.

Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal financial information.

Congratulations! You Have Won a Million Dollars!

Did you receive a mail on these lines? Well then, congratulations, you have been spoofed!

This is the lottery scam. The victim is notified through e-mail that they have won a prize in a foreign lottery or sweepstakes. To access the winning amount you will have to transfer fees or send your personal information like your bank account number etc.

How to identify them? Most of these lottery scam mails are sent from free email accounts such as Yahoo, Google, or Hotmail etc.

The names of the organisations running these operations change all the time and the wordings used in the mails are usually similar.

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