The top 10 internet and email scams electricity production by state


This is the most widespread internet and email scam today. A " phishing" email lures you into divulging your login credentials—your username and password—through convincing emails and links to web pages. These phishing emails and fake websites that resemble legitimate credit authorities like Citibank, eBay, or PayPal. The emails frighten or entice you into clicking on a link that delivers you to the phony web page, where you can enter your ID and password. A common ruse is an urgent need to "confirm your identity." The message will even offer you a story of how your account has been attacked by hackers to trick you into divulging your confidential information. Avoiding Phishing Scams

Be wary of clicking links in emails. Check a link’s legitimacy by checking that the URL address of the link is sending you to a secure site—you’ll know this because the link address will begin with https:// (note the "s" after http). Phishing fakes will often just have http:// (no “s”).

If still in doubt, make a phone call to the financial institution to verify if the email is real. In the meantime, if an email seems suspicious to you, do not trust it. Click nothing on it. Being skeptical could save you a lot of money, time, and hassle.

Most of you have received an email from a member of a Nigerian family with wealth. It is a desperate cry for help in getting a very large sum of money out of the country. A common variation is a woman in Africa who claimed that her husband had died and that she wanted to leave millions of dollars of his estate to a good church. This is known as the Nigerian scam, and also as the "4-1-9" (which refers to the section of Nigerian Criminal Code that deals with fraud) and the "Advance Fee Scam." In every variation, the scammer is promising obscenely large payments for small unskilled tasks. This scam, like most scams, is too good to be true, yet people still fall for this money transfer con game. They will use your emotions and willingness to help against you. They will promise you a large cut of their business or family fortune. All you are asked to do is cover the endless “legal” and other “fees” that must be paid to the people that can release the fictional fortune. The more you pay, the more they will scam out of you. You will never see any of the promised money because there isn’t any. This scam is not even new; its variant dates back to 1920s when it was known as "The Spanish Prisoner" con.

This one involves an item you might have listed for sale such as a car, truck, or some other expensive item. The scammer finds your ad and sends you an email offering to pay much more than your asking price. The reason for overpayment is supposedly related to the international fees to ship the car overseas. In return, you are to send him the car and the cash for the difference. The money order you receive looks real so you deposit it into your account. In a couple of days or the time it takes to clear, your bank informs you the money order was fake and demands you pay that amount back immediately. In most documented versions of this money order scam, the money order was indeed an authentic document, but it was never authorized by the bank it was stolen from. In the case of cashier’s checks, it is usually a convincing forgery. The results are devastating—you have lost the car, the cash you sent with the car, and you owe a hefty sum of money to your bank (and potentially fees) to cover the bad money order or the fake cashier’s check.

Although not precisely a scam like the others on this list, this scheme is deceptive and dangerous. It works like this: You can turn your computer into a money-making machine, just like thousands of other now-rich people have done. Just send money for instructions on how to download and install a program on your computer that will indeed turn it into a money-making machine… for spammers. At sign-up, you get a unique ID and you have to give them your PayPal account information for the “big money” deposits you’ll get “soon.” The program that you are supposed to run, sometimes 24/7, opens multiple ad windows, repeatedly, thus generating per-click revenue for spammers. This is just bad business, so don’t get seduced into trying it. Installing dubious programs on your system is a foundational computer no-no. You potentially introduce all sorts of dangerous malware to your system that will erode your system‘s performance, potentially turn your computer into a zombie bot for hackers to exploit or allow malicious elements to access your system and private information with impunity.