Scams on Internet are growing -- and with vast selection, it was hard to only choose ten. We've tried to soften this list with a bit of humor. But please don't let humor make these scams seem any less serious than they really are.
Some of these scams are very dangerous.
A word of warning, so to speak. These aren't ranked by dollars lost or people scammed. There's nothing scientific about list. It's just ten scams that we find most disturbing.
You'll note that most of these involve spam. There's a reason for that. The mentality of a spammer is exactly same kind of mindset as a con artist.
As we always say: "If it's spam, it's scam."
Here are top 10 scams of 2001...
10. Herbal Viagra
This is really a whole category of scams, relating to sale of medical or "alternative" medical treatments online. Usually using spam to get to "customer."
If you're lucky, these products will do nothing at all. Some of them are seriously dangerous by themselves. They promise cures for life threatening illnesses, causing those who buy promise to delay proper medical treatment, sometimes past point where it would have helped.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before buying into any of these nostrums. It'll save you a lot of headaches and heartache later.
Folks, consider this: If you wouldn't trust a spammer to handle your money, why would you take medical advice from them???
9. Internet Investigator
"Be first kid on your block to know all dirty secrets your neighbors are hiding! Find out what your prospective mate has hidden in his past! Find lost city of Atlantis! Find your lost remote!"
This one is more an annoyance than a real problem. It serves as a great example of pure hype that you should watch out for in online advertising.
Filled with promises of secret knowledge that's not available to anyone else, it delivers nothing more than a list of places you can pay to search for information. It's perfect example of a pitch that's not quite a scam -- but clearly misleads in its promise.
Ask yourself this: If this stuff was as easy as ads make it out to be, wouldn't you see these "secret techniques" in magazines and on TV?
8. Pump and Dump
You've probably gotten these. The subject line or first part of email says that this is "Highly confidential information."
This scam is based on touting "advance information" on specific stocks in an attempt to drive up price past its true worth, so promoters can sell at higher price.
They pump it up, and then dump it. Hence name.
This is generally illegal. And certainly a bad way to get investment advice...
Ask yourself: If it's so confidential, why are they spamming it to millions of people?
7. Credit Scams
There are all sorts of these that prey on desires of people to repair or establish credit.
The worst are alleged credit repair services. They promise to help you to remove accurate but negative information from your credit record, or to show you how to get a federal Employer ID Number, usually in very questionable fashion.
Not only do these techniques not work, they can get you in deep trouble for committing fraud.
You're not going to fix your credit while you're in jail.
As far as easy credit, guaranteed approval credit cards, and home equity loans that don't require equity in your home... forget it.
This one should be obvious: Cheap money? From a BANK???