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» Scams on the internet

There are many internet scams and scammers that want your money, here is a few of the ways they use.

Internet Lottery Scams

Normally you've got to be in it to win it as the saying goes, luckily with internet lottery scams you don't even have to be in it because you really haven't won it, generally you will recieve an email similar to this one, this works on the principle of you paying them a fee to forward your winnings to you, they get their fee, and you get a lighter bank balance, and no, you really can't win a lottery that you haven't gone in for.

Cheap Cell Phone or Mobile Phone Sales

This scam is the most common on the internet and is generally run from Nigeria, if you see a long list of cell phones at bargain prices, quite often offering 3 for the price of 2 the odds are it's a scam, generally the easiest way to check is google the contact email, you will see the same spam all over the internet, now google the contact email with the word scam and more than likely you will find more results telling you about the scammer, you can view a sample here and a small listing of some of these scammers here.

Dead Persons Money Transfer

This is just advance fee fraud, the email will be from a free mail account, ie yahoo or hotmail, they will be a lawyer or banker depending on what the mood of the day is, sums of many millions of dollars will be mentioned which you will get a good percentage of if you give them your bank details so they can transfer it to you, eventually to ensure the transaction you will need to forward several thousand pounds to get your imaginary millions, they will end up with several thousand pounds of your money and that will be the end of their contact with you. Some more here.

A few advance fee fraud emails here
Also known as 419 scam or fraud and has been going since the days of Telex.
Update* As spam filters are getting better the emails are quite often one line, ie "I am Shung Hin Hui, I have a business of $15.5 million for you contact me for details.", you can see an example here and the follow up email with their fantastic offer.
This scam is also becoming popular on instant messenger services, here is an example from Skype.

Pishing Scams

Pishing scams are the most well orgainised, basically they will send out thousands of emails that look like they are from a certain bank asking you to confirm your account details or stating your account has been frozen until you confirm your details, in the email will be the link you need to click on to confirm your details, the page you go to will be a copy from the bank, the only difference is that it is not your bank and if you type your details in it is logged by the pisher, they now own your account.
You can view a screen shot of a pishing site here, only difference between this and the real site visually is the url.

ATM Card Skimmer Scam

This one is quite funny and like Karmic retribution, the scammers set up a website to sell ATM card skimmers, obviously this attracts other scammers, they pay for their purchase of card skimming equipment, and never recieve it, who they going to call? Not the police surely.

Motorbikes for Sale

A new Nigerian scam, basically a big listing of motorbikes that they will be willing to sell for any price, normally claim their business is in the UK, their IP shows them as being in Nigeria, as you will never ever get the motorbike due to it not actually existing they can be bargained down to any price you want and you can send them the money, obviously the sending them the money isn't probably a great idea unless you think it is charitable to send money to scammers and con-men.Should mention the Nigerians are also doing this with push bikes now, with bikes costing more than $1,000 these days they could do quite well out of the unitiated and unwary, here is an example.

DJ Equipment for Sale Scam

Seen an advert with a long listing of dj equipment at bargain prices, yep, those crafty Nigerians have started moving on from fake cell phone sales and are now moving onto more niche markets, you still wont get that mixer you have always wanted from them though, just another scam for trying to get your money.
It seems that the Nigerian scammers are now moving into the Camera Market for their scams.

Internet Oil Scam

This scam never really took off, not many people interested in buying different oils by the 1,000 liter with some scammers claiming over 100 million barrels in stock like this one.

A Tug at the Heart Strings

These emails are always good for a laugh, again advance fee fraud with offers of millions of dollars, generally most of their family has been killed, they are on there last legs with some incurable cancer or whatever, and they want to send the money to you, sounds to good to be true don't it, anyway as things progress if you email them the crunch comes when you will need to advance them some money so they can send you the millions, if you send them the money unsurprisingly you will never hear from them again and wont get the promised millions.
This one is nearly dead and wants me to distibute $12,000,000.

Those Crafty Russians

This scam only run for a while, basically it was a begging letter using pictures of pretty Russian women stolen from the net, they would ask you to send them wood burning stoves to heat their homes during the winter months, as most people are not going to send a 70 to 150 kilo stove to them I assume they would have gone for cash.