New Internet Users Beware…

The internet can be a confusing place Report Scam for any new subscriber to the world wide web. Far from being a warm welcome, the internet can often seem daunting and full of hidden horrors. In addition to having to learn a wide range of applications and terminology, the new user has to contend with the ever increasing risk of malicious intent from the fraudsters and scam merchants of this world.

Setting off to explore the world wide web without a firewall and some sort of software protection is both irresponsible and an invite for trouble. Easy access to the internet internationally has ensured that spammers, scam merchants, fraudsters and general conmen are all out to get you from almost every corner of the globe. Just browsing the internet innocently can result in your PC becoming infested with spyware which can blast you with pop ups, or worse still – spy on everything you do online.

Whilst new users sign up in their thousands there is rising evidence to suggest that a good number of experienced internet users are ‘switching off’ from browsing the net due to concerns over security and repetitive spam and browser attacks. With chip and pin credit cards there is also the added risk of further credit card fraud by criminal gangs having to re target the internet in compensation for face to face credit card transactions becoming more secure.

Day after day we are told how wonderful the net is – indeed this is so. However, not so wonderful is the constant bombardment of porn, pop ups, rogue diallers that will cost you a fortune and all manner of persistent and sinister emails, of which many can appear very convincing to anyone who is inexperienced. The internet can actually be a very dangerous place.

Perhaps the most famous scam of all can be referred to as the 419 scam or Advanced Fee Fraud which is reported to be the third largest industry in Nigeria, netting around £8 billion per annum. This particular scam relies on trapping new users to the internet who are led to believe they have chanced upon a golden opportunity to make some serious money. An email reports that some ex president of a massive oil refinery is sitting on thousands or millions of dollars in cash and needs your help to spirit it out of their troubled country. Some scams are ingenious and well thought out whilst other variations can be extremely childish and barely plausible.

The 419 scam in particular, relies on the victim’s greed and gullibility. The initial email is normally a desperate plea for getting money out of Nigeria or some other troubled war torn African nation, with the sole aim of extracting as much money as they think they can squeeze out of your bank account to cover the imaginary fees and costs for a non existent transaction. Once you have entered into correspondence with the scammer you are then persuaded to pass on details of your bank account, arrange to pay local taxes, solicitors costs and all manner of additional expenses relating to the transfer of this imaginary money.

Some lottery schemes work on the same principle and ask you for the tax on winnings before you can get paid your lump sum – basically another variation of the same 419 scam. Even though these people are dangerous criminals, there are some victims who have met them face to face and have been kidnapped for ransom, tortured or even murdered. Never agree to meet anyone over the internet and be very wary of this type of fraud.

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