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Web Stalkers
Chapter 8 -
Identity Theft

E-mail Scams for Identity Theft

As mentioned previously, email scams are commonplace on the web.  As a public service, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issues a consumer alert listing the 12 most common scams likely to arrive in a user’s mailbox.  Some of the more common ones are listed as follows:

  • Business opportunities including work-at-home jobs - With the ease of electronic communication, there are increasingly more opportunities to work at home or “be your own boss”.  However, most of these are either an outright fraud or simply an offer to purchase a business that one could get a better deal on elsewhere.

  • Health and diet supplements - These supplements include the “enlargement” advertisements most Internet users receive from time to time.  These products usually either do not work or else they would be available in the local pharmacy.  They also may not have been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration and may pose a health risk.

  • Investment advice - There are excellent sources of financial information on the Internet.  Sadly, there are even more sources for financial misinformation on the Internet.  Charlatans publicize stock that they own as a “must buy” and “guaranteed winner.”  They then sell their stock as soon as enough people have started buying it and they can make a profit.  The rest of the investors in the company, frequently a small company in financial trouble, are left holding stock that is worthless.

  • Credit repair - An individual’s credit score is designed to track how well, or poorly, they have used credit.  The credit fixer services can only fix credit by instructing users to violate federal law.  Unless there are genuine errors in an individual’s credit file, only time and a consistent repayment of credit can help a credit score improve.  If there are errors, they can be corrected at no cost to the individual by following the instructions of the reporting agency.

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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