Internet Fraud And Identity Theft

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					Internet Fraud And Identity Theft
The Internet is a global marketplace that allows businesses to reach
consumers in almost any part of the world. Unfortunately, crooks also
recognize the potentials of the Internet. The scams that were previously
conducted by regular mail and telephone were transferred to the Internet.
The complaints related to online scams can be subdivided into two
categories: fraud complaints and identity theft complaints. According to
a report published by in 2006 out of 674,354 complaints
428,319, or 64%, were fraud related and 246,035, or 36%, were identity
theft related.
In the fraud category, almost 7% of all complaints were shop-at-
home/catalog sales related, 7% were prizes/sweepstakes and lotteries
related, 6% were Internet services and computer related complaints, 5%
were Internet auctions related complaints, 3% were foreign money offers
related complaints, 2% were advance-fee loans and credit
protection/repair related complaints, and the remaining 11% complaints
were related to telephone services, health care, business opportunities
and work at home plans, travel, vacation and timeshare, investments, and
etc. . Overall, consumer losses amounted to over 1.1 billion dollars and
the medial monetary loss was 500 dollars. According to, in 2005
the top scams included the following:
Auctions: goods were never delivered or were misrepresented.
General merchandise: goods were never delivered or were misrepresented.
Nigerian money offers: false promises of riches if consumer pays to
transfer money to their bank accounts.
Fake checks: phony checks were used to pay for work or items sold.
Lotteries/lottery clubs: requests for payment to claim lottery winnings
or get help to win.
Advance fee loans: false promises of personal or business loans, even if
credit is bad, for a fee upfront.
Work-at-home plans: kits sold on false promises of big profits from
working at home.
In the identity theft category, in 2006 the credit card fraud amounted to
25% of all complaints and was the most common form of reported
complaints. It was followed by the phone or utilities fraud (16%), bank
fraud (16%), and employment fraud (14%). Other significant categories of
identity theft reported by victims were government documents/benefits
fraud (10%) and loan fraud (5%).
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