The 10 most common internet frauds
Listed below is a summary from the US Federal Trade Commission of the most common crimes
on the Internet .
1. Internet Auctions:
Shop in a "virtual marketplace" that
offers a huge selection of
products at great deals. After sending their money, consumers receive an item that is
less valuable than promised, or, worse yet, nothing at all.
2. Internet Access Services:
Free money, simply for cashing a check. Consumers are
"trapped" into long-term contracts for Internet access or another web service, with
substantial penalties for cancellation or early termination.
3. Credit Card Fraud:
Surf the Internet and view adult images online for free, just for
sharing your credit card number to prove you're over 18. Fraudulent promoters use
their credit card numbers to run up charges on the cards.
4. International Modem Dialing:
Get free access to adult material and pornography by
downloading a "viewer" or "dialer" computer program. Consumers complained about
exorbitant long-distance charges on their phone bill. Through the program, their
modem is disconnected, then reconnected to the Internet through an international
5. Web Cramming:
Get a free custom-designed website for a 30-day trial period, with no
obligation to continue. Consumers are charged on their telephone bills or received a
separate invoice, even if they never accepted the offer or agreed to continue the
service after the trial period.
6. Multilevel Marketing Plans/ Pyramids:
Make money through the products and services
you sell as well as those sold by the people you recruit into the program. Consumers
say that they've bought into plans and programs, but their customers are other
distributors, not the general public.
7. Travel and Vacation:
Get a luxurious trip with lots of "extras" at a bargain-basement
price. Companies deliver lower-quality accommodations and services than they've
advertised or no trip at all. Others impose hidden charges or additional requirements
after consumers have paid.
8. Business Opportunities:
Taken in by promises about potential earnings, many
consumers have invested in a "biz op" that turned out to be a "biz flop." There was no
evidence to back up the earnings claims.
Make an initial investment in a day trading system or service and you'll
quickly realize huge returns. But big profits always mean big risk. Consumers have lost
money to programs that claim to be able to predict the market with 100 percent
10. Health Care Products/Services:
Claims for "miracle" products and treatments convince
consumers that their health problems can be cured. But people with serious illnesses
who put their hopes in these offers might delay getting the health care they need.
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