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Online Threats - Internet Fraud

What is Internet fraud?

Internet fraudInternet fraud is a type of cybercrime that attempts to solicit and conduct fraudulent transactions by deception. Identity theft can result when a cybercrook illegally obtains and uses your personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception. The National Consumer League's Fraud Center lists 25 different scams currently making the rounds on the Internet including online auctions, identity theft and phishing.

Where does Internet fraud come from?

Many scams are variations of schemes that were in existence before the advent of the Internet, but have grown in number with the popularity of online shopping and other types of e-commerce. Internet fraudsters use email, online chat, forums or fake websites to deceive people.

How do I protect myself from Internet fraud?

Internet fraud and identity theft can occur if you respond to an unsolicited email (see phishing), or if you fall prey to a type of malware that allows a cybercrook access to your computer. The best defense against Internet fraud is common sense. If the offer is too good to be true, then it is!

  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited email requesting personal information
  • Don't open or respond to spam
  • Never give your personal information to anyone unless you can confirm who they are and why they need it
  • Protect your social security number • Memorize your passwords and PIN numbers
  • When shopping online, be very careful about revealing your credit card number and shipping address. Use websites that offer secure transactions and read the privacy policy for information about how the websites scramble or encrypt your personal data.
  • Ensure you understand refund, return, and warranty policies from online shopping sites
  • Security needs to be multi-layered; install and keep anti-virus, antispyware and antimalware software up-to-date
  • Check the WOT Security Scorecard for ratings of online shopping sites

See also AdwareBrowser exploits, Malware, Phishing, Spam and Spyware