The FBI reports that the scammers are enjoying the fact that their identities remain virtually unknown to their victims. It is a rare case when a victim of internet fraud or scam ever knows where the scammer is located or even if the proposition they are offering is real.
It is estimated that these scammers rake in between 1.5 and 2 million dollars each year simply by fooling the public into sending money for some fictitious item or some bogus charity or need.
The FBI also stated that expense of internet crimes more than doubled in 2009. Most of the internet scams are delivered by means of our email. Seeming to be coming from someone we know.
Some of the scams reported include:
Fake Pop-up Ads:
The fake pop-up ads are usually for some phony antivirus software to keep your computer free of viruses. The pop-up has the look and feel of a legitimate virus warning. It tells you that a serious and dangerous virus has been found on your machine.
It also says you should run their free scan now to locate all viruses that may be infecting the machine.
If you click and run the scan it looks like it is actually working. At the end of its cycle a window opens stating that you have 700 or more infections and that you need blank, blank program to clear it out.
You can not go any farther until you purchase the program they are offering which is probably also bogus.
I had it happen to me and had to shut down the machine to clear it but a few minutes into another program or search the same pop-up would show its ugly self. Another shutdown.
I had to do a search for that particular bogus program to find a way to remove it. Luckily for me someone had the answer.
The best answer is just don’t open anything you don’t know about.
Another one is the Hitman Virus:
This one threatens to kill its recipients if they don’t send thousands of dollars. It is still sending thousands of emails on a daily basis.
The FBI said two new versions of this virus began showing up in 2008 and have not stopped yet.
In some cases the recipient was told that some loved ones would be kidnapped if a ransom was not paid by a certain time and in a certain way. Other cases actually threatened death. In all cases the victim was told to send money via western union to a receiving point in the United Kingdom.
They often used government officials names, titles and phone numbers to make it look official.
If someone is threatening you in an email the first thing you should do is report it to the FBI. They want to know as soon as possible. and of course, you don’t want to respond to the email.
The Economic Stimulus Check:
Victims are usually contacted by phone discussing government funds for those who apply but that it is only good for a few more days.
They are directed to go to the website “www.nevergiveitback.com” or “www.myfedmoney.com for eligibility where they are asked to enter their personal information and to pay a $28 business fee. No money ever comes. They have just been scammed.
eive money it has to be a scam. Never send money to someone you don’t know or have personally started business with. And again, notify the FBI.
And then there is the old Astrological Scam and the Job Scam. They have been around for ages.
Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
This is a message from the FBI:
The FBI is warning the public about an ongoing scheme involving jury service. Please be aware that individuals identifying themselves as U.S. court employees have been contacting citizens by phone and advising them that they have been selected for jury duty. These individuals ask citizens to verify names and social security numbers and then ask for their credit card numbers. If the request is refused, citizens are then threatened with fines. Details.