Frauds & Scams
is dedicated to raise the public’s awareness of online crooks. Many
legitimate companies sell their products or services online.
Unfortunately, fraudulent individuals also understand that the web is a
great way to meet people.
This website was developed and is maintained by its owner, Chris
Triolo. Suggestions for improving this site are always welcomed. Please
send emails to “chris
10 Commandments of Beware.com
- Beware of Spam
of e-mails with outrageous claims or luring you to buy drugs, invest
in small companies, click to a greeting card, news story or state
you are a lottery winner, etc.
99.9% of all unsolicited emails are scams. If you are not
familiar with the sender, DO NOT OPEN THE EMAIL. It is always best to delete
all unsolicited emails.
- Beware of
send emails pretending to be connected with a business or charity,
or provide a fake Web site that looks just like that of a known
company. These fake sites
are trying to harvest personal information from unsuspecting people.
This is called “Phishing”. Do not give any information through the
provided link. You must
find another way to contact the legitimate business or charity, such
as typing the legitimate URL on your browser.
- Beware of
Trojan Horses. When downloading files of pictures, videos,
music, games, etc., you may also download a Trojan Horse virus that
are embedded in these files. Among other things, these viruses give criminals
unauthorized access to information on your computer. Only download programs from
Web sites you know and trust.
Also, your computer must have the following installed:
How-You-Pay. Whenever possible, PAY BY CREDIT CARD. Credit cards
are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can
dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or the
offer was misrepresented.
Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes
unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers
will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.
Auction Fraud. Understand
how auctions work.
Auction companies simply list items that people want to sell.
They don’t verify that the merchandise actually exists or that it is
described accurately, and they can’t guaranty that the sellers will
keep their promises.
Most auctions have a members feedback rating system which
show the sellers past sales. Examine the feedback on the seller before placing a
Unfamiliar Companies. Don't buy on impulse from a random
site. Try to stick to online companies you know and trust. If
you are determined to buy from a seller that is unfamiliar, check
with the local consumer protection agency such as the Better
Business Bureau. (BBB).
Also, get the physical address and phone number in case there
is a problem later.
homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are
click on popups or ads using scare-tactics, such as trying to get
you to buy Spy-Shredder, AntiVirGear, MalwareAlarm or 50 other
similar names. These fake programs will install malicious spyware on
your computer. Online ads pitching fake anti-spyware increased 10
fold in October 2007.
Online identity theft is on the rise. Never give out your social
security number or any other sensitive information online unless the
site is secure and from a reputable company. Sometimes a tiny icon
of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to
transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but
might provide you some assurance.
Dating Scams. An
online dating scam is when a scammer creates a false personal
profile and makes contact with you via an online dating agency or
even a specialized chat room. The scammer says that they are seeking
romance or a soul mate but are really out to steal not only your
heart but your cash too. Use
only trustworthy, well-established agencies to meet people and remember
this formula “request for
money = SCAM”.
If you buy a product from out-of-your-country and have a
problem, the physical distance, difference in legal systems, and
other factors could make resolving it very difficult. When possible, try to buy
within your country.
Information on this website is provided by Chris Triolo, additional
information on internet Frauds and Scams can be found at www.FBI.gov.