While the internet provides vast resources for information and socializing, it also invites many dishonest people who are trying to get rich by scamming any innocent bystander who will fall for their illicit tactics. The FBI has reported on hundreds of these scams where millions of dollars have been lost by unwary victims of this fraudulent behavior. These corrupt individuals stalk the airwaves wearing a variety of masks that appear to be legitimate. They are masters at using a host of strategies to toy with human emotions. How do they do this? Almost any way imaginable, but the most common and successful one is through spam emails that employ a method called "phishing." To put it simply, these messages attempt to lure someone in by appearing to be from a credible source, such as an officer of the law or an online bank. The important thing to know is that this is the bait they use to get you to give them your personal identification, such as a bank account number, so they can take you for everything you have.
The best way to keep this from happening to you is to keep abreast of all the various scams that are out there. There are a few websites where you can go to receive information about any reported scams as well as some valuable tips for protecting yourself. The following are a list of these sites:
- New E-Scams & Warnings — http://www.fbi.gov/cyberinvest/escams.htm
- Look Too Good To Be True — http://www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com
It is important to remember that most honest and credible businesses are extremely respectful and careful about your private information. Moreover, you should also never assume that whoever is asking you for information in an email is the real deal. Your best defense is to check it out through the internet using the many sources available.