Con-Men and Women have been around for a long time, but the online world has created new avenues for these pitchmen and women to practice their wares. Anyone with an email account has received solicitations that are so obviously phony , they make you wonder who exactly would fall for them. The most famous, yet most often perpetrated may be the poorly worded announcement of the millions of dollars available to you if you just supply the sender with your social security or a ban account number to transfer money to.
As our awareness of these scams increases, so does the sophistication of the senders. The Better Business Bureau recently published a list of the 10 top scams of 2011. Let’s take a look at five of them and see how many have been sent to you;
- The Job Scam – This scam targets anyone looking for work or additional income – which in this economy is a very large group. They send an email pitch offering you a professional website and a phone interview. All you need to do is to fill out an online credit form – allowing them to collect all the information they ned for identity theft.
- The Lottery Scam – Anyone who uses social networks can be the target of an online pitch, informing them that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to send you $1 million dollars – all you need to do is click on the enclosed link – which allows the scammer access to your personal profile information and all of your friends , photos, etc
- The Top Social Media Scam– “”Did you see the video of Osama Bin Laden’s Death? Upgrade your Flash player to view – grabbing the curious, and downloading a virus that steals your passwords
- Top Phishing Scam – Email from ACH (Automated Clearing House) about a problem with an electronic transaction. Though it is sent to huge numbers of people, the real target is people who use electronic banking. A link takes you to an official looking site that collects your information.
- THE BBB Scam – Sadly, their number one scam of the year is a phishing scam purportedly sent out sent out by the Better Business Bureau with the subject line “Complaint Against Your Business”. This particularly nasty bit of business has a link or attachment that downloads malware that finds your bank info and transfers money.
Its fascinating that not only did the BBB provide a great service by printing their list, they also alerted the public regarding the consequences of the scam, helped protect against the abuse of their name, and make the public aware that they were not involved in these emails. A pretty effective response to say the least.
For more information on these scams, the rest of BBB’s top 10, and other scams, just go to www.bbb.org/scam