Listed below are some of most popular and common scams:
1. Nigerian Letter Scam: This one's been around for many years but continues to flourish. Many of these e-mails claim to be from a person in Africa, usually Nigeria. The writer claims to have access to millions of dollars, either from a relative or from knowledge of an idle account. A percentage of this money is promised to victim if they will allow money to be processed through their personal bank account. The victim is instructed to keep their share and send remaining money to scammer.
The check given to victims is fraudulent. The victim is then liable to bank for check they wrote to scammer.
Here's what will happen when you give strangers your bank account information: They will take your money. Period.
2. Phishing Scams: "Phishing" is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop- up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.
Phishers send an e-mail or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you deal with--for example, your Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message usually says that you need to "update" or "validate" your account information.
Recent phishing victims include Yahoo, Citibank, eBay, Best Buy and Bank of America among others.
If you get spam that is phishing for information, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Chain Letters: In this classic scam, you're asked to send a small amount of money (usually $5.00) to each of several names on a list, and then forward letter including your name at top of list, via bulk e-mail. Many of these letters claim to be legal. They even include a section of U.S. Postal Code on illegal schemes. Don't be fooled. They are not legal. And if you participate, not only will you be breaking law, you'll lose your money as well.
4. Work-At-Home And Business Opportunity Scams: These scams tempt victims with ads stating "no experience necessary," promise high earnings and claim to have inside information. The scammers usually require victims to pay anywhere from $35 to several hundred dollars or more for information, kits or materials that do not provide promised results.
Frequently, these schemes involve making handicrafts, stuffing envelopes, medical billing, or state, "Use your home PC to make money fast in your spare time!"
In craft making or envelope stuffing scam, after paying fees and completing assembly of products, victims are told their work is low quality and unworthy of compensation.
Medical billing scams require victims to purchase supplies and lists of doctors who, inevitably don't exist or are not interested in service.
5. Bulk E-mail Scams: These solicitations offer to sell you bulk e-mail addresses (spam software) or services to send spam on your behalf. Example: "Reach 100 million websites, $39.95"! The software is usually of poor quality. It's spam and a scam. Don't do it.
6. Auction and retail scams: These schemes typically offer high-value items, such as Cartier watches, Beanie Babies and computers, in hopes of attracting many consumers. What happens is victim wins bid, sends money and receives nothing or receives products of much lower quality than advertised.
7. Guaranteed Loans or Credit Scams: This scam comes in a variety of flavors: home equity loans that don't require equity in your home, personal loans regardless of credit history, etc. After you pay application fees, you receive a letter saying that your loan request was denied. Usually, you never here from these companies again.