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Internet fraud refers to any type of activity where the Internet is used to solicit prospective victims and conduct fraudulent transactions. Usually this is done to transmit funds from someone’s personal financial institution to that of the person, or persons, connected with the internet fraud scheme. Internet fraud can happen through email, in chat rooms, on websites or message boards. According to Wikipedia, the Nigerian version of Internet fraud is one of the most common:

Nigerian version of Internet fraud:
In Nigerian re-shipping scams, fraudsters recruit victims from Western countries via chat rooms and dating websites, developing long-distance relationships with their victims to obtain personal details. After the victim accepts a marriage proposal from the scammer, items are bought online using credit card information stolen from other people and shipped to victims without their knowledge. The fraudster then claims the goods were sent to the wrong address, and asks the victim to apply pre-printed labels to the packages and re-ship them to fraudsters' real address. Once the victim re-ships the goods, the fraudster ceases all communication with the victim. Victims often discover that the shipping account for the pre-printed labels is in their name when the freight company bills them for the shipping costs.

Internet fraud has become a major concern as millions of people worldwide log online every day. Millions of individuals are subject to internet fraud threats. Try to keep as much personal information as possible private. In today’s technological world, companies are hired to gather information about sites that you visit online, then send information or “SPAM” to you based on your browsing history. Other more malicious threats to internet privacy include spy ware and various software bugs, as well as internet fraud schemes.

Phishing is a criminally fraudulent process of trying to obtain sensitive information such as user names, passwords, credit card or bank information. Phishing is an internet crime in which someone masquerades as a trustworthy entity in some form of electronic communication.

Pharming is hackers attempt to redirect traffic from a legitimate website to a completely different internet address. Pharming can be conducted by changing the hosts file on a victim’s computer or by exploiting a vulnerability on the DNS server.

Social networking sites are very popular today and pose another threat. Privacy settings are provided for all registered users of these websites. The settings usually involved the ability to block certain people from seeing your profile, the ability to choose “friends,” or block people from becoming your “friend.” Other settings involve the ability to limit who can access your pictures or videos. It is entirely up to the user to choose which settings and to apply them when setting up your account. You can always go into your account at any time and change your settings.


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