Experts estimate that cyber fraud currently accounts for about $100 million a year in losses to unsuspecting victims. While that is a mere drop in the bucket when compared to the estimated $60 billion stolen annually by fraudulent telemarketers, it’s still a figure worthy of our attention.
What does cyber fraud look like on your computer screen? It often looks exactly like the oldest scams in the world. The culprits are computer scam artists – often operating out of Bombay, Hong Kong or the former Soviet Union – who use the Internet to hawk quack health cures, phony credit-repair scams, and the oldest get-rich-quick deals in the book.
One company which recently went out of business put materials on its professional-looking website that offered the promise of quick profits for a minimal investment (ranging from $250 to $1,750). The scheme was basically a dressed-up pyramid scheme – an electronic chain letter that snared the company about $6 million, while approximately 95 percent of the investors lost money.
To keep yourself and your money safe, the same old rules apply: whether it’s an offer in the mail, on the telephone or on the Internet – if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam!