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Avoiding Internet scams
Thread poster: Telesforo Fernandez
Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 06:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 1, 2001

Here below I am reproducing an article which tells you about Internet auctions for the benefit of our job bidders.

If you want to know if a particular business is a scam or you are being cheated find out all about it on : http://www.scambusters.org/



If you run into a problem during your transaction, try to work it out directly with the seller or with the auction web site. If that doesn\'t work, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission( USA) by calling toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or visiting the FTC\'s web site at http://www.ftc.gov. Although the Commission cannot resolve individual problems for consumers, it can act against a company if it sees a pattern of possible law violations. You also may want to contact your state Attorney General or your local consumer protection office.



Avoiding internet scams :



Be suspicious of web sites that don\'t allow you to easily verify a company\'s identity and legitimacy by clearly providing a physical address, telephone number and email address.

The con artist continually alludes to the \"great potential for entrepreneurs\" on the Internet--with frequent references to the tens of millions of customers online--yet can’t show or explain the product you’re supposed to sell. This clown is trying to sell you pie-in-the-sky; if he or she can’t show you a product, can’t show results, and tries to sell you on \"potential\" only, forget it. It’s most likely an illegal pyramid scheme.



Do they offer you a free promotional site for your use with your own personal referral code? If you have to pay your entry or membership fee and then find out you have to pay another $100 or so to get a promotional site and email advertising package, and that is the only way they allow you to promote it, be leery. They are making their money up front. I don\'t believe that you should have to pay a company for basic promotional tools to promote their company. They can take the expense off as a business expense if they are for real.



The netrepreneur offers no physical address that’s not a mail drop, no voice telephone number, and no name. These are sure indicators that the scammer does not want you to find him or her later--and usually for good reason.





The information superhighway has become the newest medium for scam artists. Some of the same villains who used telemarketing, infomercials and the U.S. postal service are now turning their sights to the home computer and the realm of cyberspace. Utilizing the world wide web, scammers are able to reach more potential targets, not just in the U. S. but around the globe.

Many of these scams are run by two methods, classified and disguised advertising. Classified ads have the largest number of misleading promotions. These ads may advocate quick and easy weight loss, miracle cures or unusual medical devices, for example. Others push investment schemes or \"business opportunities.\" Still others taught using your PC to make money in your spare time.

Disguised ads are the second category and more difficult to recognize. Many of these disguised ads are found on bulletin boards and chat forums. People contributing to the bulletin board have ties to businesses that sell products or services related to the bulletin board area. Chat forums or chat rooms are live discussion groups which some advertisers use without disclosing their true interests. These may not be obvious ads, but may appear to be an objective, open discussion. But the cyber scams don\'t stop there. Here are some of the more common scams on the internet.

Web Auctions: In 1998 and 1999, the National Consumers League announced their top ten internet scams list. Number one on the list were web auctions. If you\'re looking for a hot collectible or a cheap airline ticket, online auctions may appeal to you. But before you place a cyber-bid, consider how some online auction houses work. Like a traditional \"live\" auction, the highest bidder wins. That\'s where the similarity ends. Because an online auction house doesn\'t have the merchandise, the highest bidder deals directly with the seller to complete the sale.

If you\'re the highest bidder, the seller typically will contact you by e-mail to arrange for payment and delivery. Most sellers accept credit cards or use a third-party escrow agent to handle the entire process. Be especially cautious, however, if the seller asks you to pay by certified check or money order. Some online sellers have put items up for auction, taken the highest bidder\'s money and never delivered the merchandise.

Web auctions can be deceptive in other ways, as well. Here\'s an example: one online auction offers airline tickets and vacation packages. At first glance everything looks fine. They set a very low minimum bid and a closing date. However, if you return on the closing or end date you\'ll find they extended the bidding time 3 or 4 days into the future. Thus the longer the auction continues, the higher the bidding goes. Airlines tickets purchased from a travel agent may be the same price or cheaper, without the hassles and risk. In other words, the item is no longer a good deal, since extended bidding has pumped up the price.

Online investing: Online investment fraud comes in many shapes and sizes. One category targeted at older Americans are called high-yield \"prime bank\" investments. Seniors who depend on interest and dividend income are vulnerable to con artists pushing phony \"prime bank\" investments that promise risk free annual returns of 20 percent to 200 percent or more.

These schemes go by other names such as: bank-secured trading programs, yield investment programs or standby letters of credit. So what\'s the common denominator? All are supposedly debt obligations guaranteed by the world\'s top 100 banks, hence the name, prime banks. Swindlers claim only big corporations, foreign banks or ultra-wealthy investors know about them. They\'re pitched as secret trading programs the Rothchilds and Rockefellers set up years ago, which are only offered to the elite. Often, investors are told not to investigate the offering independently or risk being permanently expelled from participating.

Self-employment or work-at-home scams: This type of scam was also on the National Consumers League top ten listing. Promises of a sure path to riches through work-at-home schemes are prevalent on the net. They take aim at anyone seeking supplemental income.

The most common work-at-home scam promises you\'ll earn money stuffing envelopes. For example, you\'re promised $2.00 for every envelope you stuff. In fact, no actual envelope stuffing ever happens. Instead, you pay to register and then you\'re instructed to send the same envelope-stuffing advertisement via bulk e-mail to others. The only money you can earn would come from others who fall for the same scam and pay to register. Finally, if you did do some type of work for them, such as craft work, they\'ll refuse to pay you, saying your work didn\'t measure up to their quality standards.

Chain letters: Here\'s an old favorite, up-dated for cyberspace. The speed and efficiency of emailing has caused email hoaxes to increase dramatically. Many work this way: you\'re asked to send a small amount of money (or some item) to each of four or five names at the top of the list, and then forward the message including your name at the bottom, via bulk email. Many of these letters claim to be legal, but they\'re probably not. Furthermore, nearly everyone who participates in these chain letters loses money. Don\'t bother.





As with any deal, beware of the offerings in cyberspace and be very selective about using your credit card online. It may be high-tech, but it can still be a scam.







[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-01 23:33 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-01 23:38 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-02 02:50 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-02 03:02 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-02 03:16 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-02 03:31 ]


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Lesley Clayton
France
Local time: 02:11
French to English
+ ...
Here's a different type of scam Dec 2, 2001

Thanks for the Scambusters address Telesforo. I think the following is very similar to the Nigerian Advance Fee Scheme mentioned on the Scambusters site.



A couple of months ago, I received an e-mail (which I deleted, so I\'m relying on my memory) written in very poor English, from someone claiming to be the widow of an African despot. There was supposed to be a very large sum of money in a bank account in London which neither she nor her \'uncle\' could withdraw as they were not British (or some such reason). If I agreed to meet the \'uncle\', he would explain how I could withdraw the money on their behalf and I would received 20% for my trouble.



Last week, I received a similar proposition.



Quote

From: Mr. Luis Filipe da Silva,

Email : dluisfilipe@yahoo.com

Luanda Angola



Dear lesley clayton,



My name is Mr. Luis Filipe Da Silva, the personal assistant to the Minister of Geology & Mines in Angola, Mr. Manuel Antonio Africano, I oversee and coordinate his private businesses, both in Angola and in Europe.



Mr. Manuel Antonio Africano, as the Minister of Geology & Mines in Angola, and Chairman of Empresa Nacionais de Diamantes de Angola ENDIAMA, the State National Diamond Company, he Manages mineral exploration and Development activities through the Granting of relevant Prospecting and mining titles as well as supervision of the entire mining industry in Angola.



During the renewal of the Prospecting and mining titles of Canadian Easton Minerals, Ashanti Goldfields and Anglo American which is Done every five years. Mr. Manuel Antonio Africano made the sum of $12 Million United States Dollars as the result of selling four

additional titles to them, which one is valued at $3 Million United States Dollars /km2/year at issue and $3 Million United States Dollars /km2/year at issue for renewal. This fund was not declare to

ENDIAMA, the State National Diamond Company, instead this fund was lodged in one of the financial institutions in Europe.



Unfortunately for Mr. Manuel Antonio Africano, he cannot operate a foreign bank account because of his position in the

Government. And Angola does not have a good climate for investment right now because of the civil war.



It is based on this development that I have the mandate of Mr. Manuel Antonio Africano to contact you and request you to assist Mr. Manuel Antonio Africano, to secure this

$12 Million United States Dollars which is lodged with a financial institution in

Europe and put it in safe keeping by accepting to receive it from the financial

institutions on his behalf and invest this fund in good areas of investment in your country and you will act as a trustee.



This will make it impossible for the Government of President José Eduardo dos Santos to find or trace this fund to Mr. Manuel Antonio Africano.



We will discuss what percentage I will give you for your effort and you will be furnished with details of this project if you accept to assist



Because, of the urgency this issue requires, you should reach me on the following Email :

dluisfilipe@yahoo.com

Do not forget to include your telephone and fax numbers while replying to this message.



I await your response.



Best regards,



Mr. Luis Filipe da Silva,

Unquote.





As explained on the Scambusters site, getting involved in anything like this could have very dangerous consequences.


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Carole Muller
Denmark
Local time: 02:11
English to French
+ ...
...and past FBI warnings Dec 2, 2001

Yes, you are very right. I am surprised anyone would believe especially that one and not wonder why the person is not addressing one of the many discrete \"lawyers or other professionals\" that handle such requests when they are true. There are so many possibilities to find such a person on the Internet and all of those involved in off-shore banking businesses that are even more off than off the shores.



But there are variants that many professionals believe are true: one is that \"Microsoft Corporation \" is testing a new product etc... and will reward you with $ 450 or whatever seems likely if you will test, just click on the link etc... and send this to 10 others.



I once received such a mail forwarded from the commercial attaché of an Embassy (I wont say what country and it is not one of those I am translating from or to)as I was in his contact list and he wanted to \"inform us about business opportunities\".



There is a place on the Internet to check these scams and postings are updated by the FBI. Can\'t remember it right now, but if I find it in my papers I\'ll post it. I think the site was closed at some point.
[addsig]


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Anila Mayhew  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:11
English to Albanian
+ ...
I got similar emails recently Dec 2, 2001

I got similar emails recently and deleted them immediately because it was clear to me that they were a scam. But I was trying to figure out how they got my email address. Since it makes two of us from ProZ that got similar emails I am wondering if they emailed directly from our profile pages.



I don\'t want to receive any more such emails. I wonder if there is a way to stop them?



Anybody have any idea?



Anila Mayhew


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A counterscam? Dec 9, 2010

Today I received this one:
DEPARTMENT OF FOUND RECOVERY
Metro Plaza, Plot 991/992
Zakari, rue Maimalari
AO Zone cadastrale,
Central Business District, Bénin

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Department of Found Recovery ( DFR ) was setup by West Africa countries to
recover all the stolen money by internet scammed.

And through our investigations We notice that a lot of huge amount of money was deposited in different bank account and some security companies in abroad.

We want to bring to your notice that the government of west Africa have instructed
that if you are one of the internet scammed, you should stop giving money to anybody until we finish our investigation.

Be advised to stop further contacts with all the fake lawyers and security companies who in collaboration scammed you.

Information: if you are one of the victims contact our office immediately for further investigations.

THANKS
DEPARTMENT OF FOUND RECOVERY
Contact Mr Abey Maluda
telephone number +22998156918
Operation Director.


I wonder... what's the point???

They don't ask for any personal information. They don't ask me to click on anything. They don't ask me to do anything unless I feel I've been scammed.

Can anyone imagine what's the point in sending this?


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:11
Member (2004)
English to Polish
A hook... Dec 9, 2010

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
I wonder... what's the point???

They don't ask for any personal information. They don't ask me to click on anything. They don't ask me to do anything unless I feel I've been scammed.

Can anyone imagine what's the point in sending this?


It's a hook.

Scamming is so successful due to psychological reaction: in the beginning your reasoning is turned off by greed (millions to be deposited!) and you invest a small amount of money (the risk is uncomparable to the possible reward). However, afterwards you are unwilling to admit it has been a mistake and you do the only thing that could possibly allow you to recover the loss - invest more. And more...

The scam you quote is aimed at victims who have already lost some money to scammers (which means they are gullible enough and unwililng to withdraw to cut losses). If you reply to that, soon it will turn out that the only way to get your money back is to pay some money - first for the postage, then the transfer costs, etc. That is, the scammer changes, the scam goes on.


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