Too Good to be True
Most scams fall into the "too good to be true" category. If it seems to be too good to be true, it is. Crooks take advantage of the fact that even their skeptical victims often can't figure out how they are being scammed.
The Internet offers a global marketplace for consumers and businesses. But crooks also recognize the potentials of cyberspace. The same scams that have been conducted by mail and phone can now be found on the World Wide Web and in email, and new cyber scams are emerging. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable online sellers and criminals who use the Internet to rob people.
While there are many legitimate companies that use the telephone for marketing, consumers and businesses lose millions of dollars to telemarketing fraud each year. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable telemarketers and criminals who use the phone to rob people.
Phishing (FISH-ing) is a new twist on an old telemarketing scam; however, instead of the phone, scam artists use the computer email system. Phishing refers to how thieves steal victims' personal financial information. They're phishing for information. Phishing con artists pretend to represent a trusted source, like a bank, and then scare the consumer with threats if they don't act quickly. These scammers steal credit card, bank account and Social Security numbers. They also seek passwords and any sensitive financial information.
If you receive unsolicited or unfamiliar email requests you should either delete them immediately or confirm through other means that the email is legitimate before opening it. If you receive such an email request, do not open it, do not click on its links, do not open its attachments, and do not reply or forward it.