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 Post subject: IT news: Scam Traps - Whatch Out!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:43 pm 
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Guide to common cyberscams
Here is a list of common Internet fraud schemes drawn from the 100-plus investigations launched under Operation Cyber Sweep, a government initiative to combat online crime. The investigations were prompted by referrals from the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, which posted the list.

Credit/debit card fraud
The unauthorized use of a credit or debit card to fraudulently obtain money or property. Credit/debit card numbers can be stolen from unsecured Web sites, or can be obtained in an identity theft scheme.

Identity theft
This occurs when someone appropriates another's personal information without their knowledge in order to commit theft or fraud. Typically, victims are led to believe they are divulging sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers to a legitimate business. Sometimes, they do this in response to an e-mail solicitation to update billing or membership information, or as an application to a fraudulent Internet job posting.

Nondelivery of goods/services
Merchandise or services purchased online by individuals are never delivered.

Spoofing/phishing
Spoofing is a technique in which a fraudster pretends that an e-mail or Web site belongs to someone else. This is typically done by copying the content of a legitimate Web site to a fake Web site.
Phishing perpetrators use a spoofed Web sites in an attempt to dupe a victim into divulging sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card and bank account numbers. The victim is provided with a hyperlink that directs him/her to a fraudster's Web site, with the link usually sent via e-mail. The URL of the site usually closely resembles the true URL of the legitimate business's site.
Victims are convinced by the fake site's content that they are in fact at the legitimate Web site and are tricked into divulging sensitive personal information. Spoofing and phishing are done to further perpetrate other schemes, including identity theft and auction fraud.

Online auction/retail
Products advertised for sale on Internet auction site are misrepresented or goods bought on the site are not delivered.

Freight forwarding/reshipping
This scheme has people receive merchandise ordered online then reship it to another location, usually abroad. Individuals are often solicited to take part in the reshipping in chat rooms or through Internet job postings. Unbeknownst to the reshipper, the merchandise has been paid for with fraudulent credit cards.

Advance-fee fraud schemes
The victim is required to pay significant fees to received a substantial amount of money or merchandise. The fees are usually passed off as taxes, processing fees, or charges for notarized documents. The victim pays these fees and receives nothing in return.
Perhaps the most common example of this type of fraud occurs when a victim is expecting a large payoff for helping to move millions of dollars out of a foreign country. People may also believe they have won a large award in a nonexistent foreign lottery.

Counterfeit check schemes
A counterfeit or fraudulent cashier's check or corporate check is used to pay for merchandise online.
Often these checks are made out for a substantially larger amount than the purchase price. The victims are instructed to deposit the check and return the overage amount, usually by wire transfer, to a foreign country. Because banks may release funds from a cashier's check before the check actually clears, the victim believes the check has cleared and wires the money as instructed.
One popular variation of this scam involves the purchase of automobiles listed for sale in various Internet classified advertisements. The sellers are contacted about purchasing the autos and shipping them to a foreign country. The buyer then sends the seller a cashier's check for an amount several thousand dollars over the price of the vehicle. The seller is directed to deposit the check and wire the excess back to the buyer so they can pay the shipping charges.
Once the money is sent, the buyer typically comes up with an excuse for canceling the purchase and attempts to have the rest of the money returned. Although the seller does not lose the vehicle, he is typically held responsible by his bank for depositing a counterfeit check.

Business/employment schemes
Typically incorporate identity theft, freight forwarding and counterfeit check schemes.
The fraudster posts a help-wanted ad on popular Internet job-search sites. People are asked to fill out an application where they divulge sensitive personal information, such as their date of birth and Social Security number.
The fraudster uses that information to purchase merchandise on credit. The merchandise is sent to another respondent who has been hired as a freight forwarder by the fraudster. The merchandise is then reshipped out of the country. The fraudster, who has represented himself as a foreign company, then pays the freight forwarder with a counterfeit check containing a significant overage amount. The overage is wired back to the fraudster, usually in a foreign country, before the fraud is discovered.

Investment fraud
A scheme that uses false or fraudulent claims to solicit investments or loans, or that provides for the purchase, use or trade of forged or counterfeit securities.

Phony escrow services
In an effort to persuade a wary Internet auction victim to hand over money or merchandise, the fraudster will propose they use a third-party escrow service. The victim is unaware the fraudster has spoofed a legitimate escrow service. The victim sends payment or merchandise to the phony escrow and receives nothing in return.

Ponzi/pyramid schemes
Investors are enticed to invest in a fraudulent scheme with promises of abnormally high profits. However, no investments are actually made by the so-called "investment firm." Early investors are paid returns with the investment capital received from subsequent investors. The system eventually collapses, and investors do not receive their promised dividends and lose their initial investment.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:14 pm 
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Intresting post, I was wondering tho, is there a centralized place where if we or someone we know falls prey to one or more of these they can report it. Or a website with links to places to report it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:10 pm 
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There is: Internet Fraud Complaint Center

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:23 pm 
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Kool, thanks. This may come in handy some day.

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