The Internet is a wonderful thing. It allows us to connect with friends and family across the world and to communicate instantaneously with our loved ones. But there's also a dark side to the Internet, and a part of that dark side is the extent to which it has made consumer fraud much easier.
There are a lot of Internet scams out there, and more pop up every day. But here are three particularly common ones you need to be aware of:
- Fake tech support: These days, most folks are aware of the danger of viruses and malware. But that vigilance can lead to clever fraudsters taking advantage of the situation. Many scammers pretend to be IT professionals, and they spam your e-mail address with messages describing fake problems with your computer. They explain that you can fix the problem – for a hefty fee. And, in many cases, these scammers will “fix” the problem by installing actual malware on your computer and defrauding you even further.
- Foreign lottery scams: The Nigerian prince e-mail is a dubious classic, but foreign lottery scams are still being successfully run. Recipients get an e-mail saying that they've won the lottery in some foreign country and just need to pay a nominal fee or provide their Social Security number in order to access the money. Just practice common sense for this – if you don't remember entering a lottery, you didn't. Foreign countries aren't in the business of entering random foreigners in their lotteries without asking.
- Fake job offers: These scammers take advantage of the desperation felt by those looking for work. They trawl career websites and use the contact information of job applicants to send e-mails describing an amazing job offer with a huge salary and impressive benefits. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail with an offer for a job you didn't apply for and you don't recognize the name of the sender or the company it's supposedly from, don't respond to these e-mails. Delete them immediately.
As we said, there are a lot of different Internet scams. Be careful. Be vigilant. Be skeptical. And if you've been victimized by one of these scams, our consumer fraud attorneys can help.
Markoff Leinberger is located in Chicago, Illinois, but our consumer fraud attorneys help clients throughout the country. Please call us today at 888-517-9115 for a free consultation.