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Common Online Scams You Need to Guard Against

Updated on February 5, 2012

There have always been dreamers who think that the next big thing is just waiting to happen to them. They are going to win that contest or the grand lottery prize has their name on it. The truth is that some smart Con Man is just waiting to take advantage of them.

This happens each on the world wide web and you need to be aware of some of the more common online scams so that you can be on your guard against them. This hub lists a few such frauds that have come to my email inbox and been dealt with as spam!

Have you ever got an email declaring you a winner of the lottery?

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Contest / Lottery Scam

You won the lottery, but need to make a payment to get your prize. That's the gist of the deal when this email asks you pay a "small"amount of the big prize money to enable the prize delivery.

Then they will wait till you pay the amount, withdraw it, and simply not respond to any further emails that you send them. So make sure that when you get an email declaring you the winner of some contest online, that you confirm that there really was some such legitimate contest and of course consider if you really did enter the contest.

Its common sense that you can not win something if you did not enter a contest! Do make sure you guard yourself against petty cash theft online by this scam.


Tempt you with a job

Job offers in today's economic environment hold special relevance to online scams. The Con Masters know that you have probably bundled off applications for jobs on any number of sites. It is very likely that you do not remember each of these jobs applied for.

So they prey on this by using offers from large corporations and public institutions asking for your confidential banking information. They will first pretend an interest in hiring you. Maybe even ask you for an interview online.

Then they will say that they would like to hire you. This makes the unemployed mark happy at the prospect of work. Now they want to know your bank details so that they can make online payment transactions to your account.

Next thing you know the bank account has been hacked into and you are poorer by some dollars and richer in experience.

Unexpected Windfall Scam

These scams usually use your sentiments to exploit you. Once I got a request for friendship from a so called poor African girl.They even included a snap shot of a fairly nice looking girl, but it was amazing that she could afford such expensive clothes if she was as close to starving as the email implied.

Another time a so called lawyer sent a mail saying a distant uncle who had moved to South America when I was just a baby had died and named me his heir. There was a considerable fortune and stake and all I needed to do was give them details of my bank account.

Naturally there are other similar stories like the one where funds in Afghanistan need to be transferred out and need your bank account to do so. Promising you a nice cut of the money if you allow it, naturally its never going to happen. So be ware of false intimation of gifts and inheritances from a foreign country, specially if the email ends with asking you for personal information or money.

Investment Scams

Some Con men offer you investment schemes offering very high returns on small investments. It makes you wonder how you can lose by investing such a small amount. They will give you the high return on your first small investment as well.

This further cements the operation as legitimate in your mind. Next you decide to put in a little bigger sum. This too comes back with the unrealistically high return. So you decide to put in a big amount and guess what? The company folds and the man disappears.

There is no way to get what you have lost back. The financial losses seem even worse in view of the light that you have been conned by a fraud artist.

Remember to trust your gut

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably needs to be checked out under a microscope!

Yes we all love a get rich quick scheme, but you need to be sure that its not a scam that will leave you with even less money than before.

There are any number of scams and frauds doing the rounds on the internet. Entire fraud websites are constructed to make a fraud company seem real. Emails that tug at your heart strings to help people less fortunate than you can have you loosening your purse strings to unscrupulous people.

Take the basic precautions that you would take offline in dealing with real people and transfer them online to the virtual world. Do not get hustled out of your hard earned money just because you got greedy to earn a quick buck.


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    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from India

      Thank you Debbie

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 

      7 years ago from Greece

      The more people who hold their hands up to being scammed the better, awareness at least offers some sort of protection. Anyone can get caught up in one of these scams if they are not careful.

      Your hub raises awareness and gives some good advice on how not to get caught out.

      Socially shared as I think this is an important subject that we all nee to be more aware of...

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from India

      So true Stephanie they churn out new ones each day.

      Tamara this is a fact that someone unfamiliar with computer operations would not know. Sadly there are a lot of otherwise sensible people who are gullible about this fact.

    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 

      7 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Another online scam is the notice that your account needs to be verified, please send your credentials and password. System administrators do not need to know your password, they can reset it to a default if they want to.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      7 years ago from USA

      It's incredible that there are people who will be taken in by these scams. I think that it's more likely to happen to people who have never heard of them before, so an article like this is very useful to spread the word!

      I just got a scam email today from a company claiming to be working for the IRS to match names with social security numbers because of some mix-up. All I had to do is send them my name and correct social security number... There's a new one every day, isn't there?


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