Internet Fraud Scams Victims Out of Money

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Columbus, OHThe FBI has issued a new warning to consumers to be wary of Internet fraud, including Internet scams and email fraud. According to the FBI, consumers could be victims of an email scam, in which con artists send e-mails to obtain consumers' personal information. That information can then be used to commit identity theft.

The FBI notes that in 2009, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 336,655 complaints—up 22 percent from 2008. Complaints involved losses of more than $550 million.

One such Internet scam involves hackers obtaining access to a victim's e-mail account and using it to send emergency messages to the victim's friends and family. Those messages indicate that the victim has been robbed of credit cards and needs money immediately. In another scam, victims are asked to give money up front for reward funds that are never given out.

Internet retailers are sometimes involved in Internet scams, too. According to Internet Retailer (12/06/10), the owner and operator of an online luxury eyewear retail site has been arrested and charged with defrauding and threatening customers.

According to the article, the accused sold counterfeit or damaged goods from his retail site and made unauthorized charges to customers' credit cards. Furthermore, when customers complained or tried to return the products, the accused became aggressive and intimidated them. The Associated Press (12/07/10) notes that at least 200 complaints were filed against the Internet retailer.

In one instance, the accused allegedly sent an e-mail to a customer's coworkers accusing that customer of drug dealing and homosexual practices. In another instance, he reportedly threatened the life of a woman who was nine months pregnant and also the life of her child.

The accused is charged with cyberstalking, mail fraud and wire fraud, and could face up to 20 years in prison.

Consumers who regularly shop on the Internet are warned to be wary of scams that could result in thieves obtaining consumers' personal information. Once that information is obtained, the thieves can commit identity theft and destroy the victim's credit rating, using his or her name to open credit cards and get access to money.

Internet Fraud Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a consumer frauds lawyer who may evaluate your Internet Fraud claim at no cost or obligation.

Reader Comments

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I was victim of an online fraud that resulted in a loss of 100 euros. The website claimed to be coming from the French government quoting laws and potential consequences after visualizing movies online. My browser was blocked (and IP address apparently caught) and it gave me 24 hours to pay the amount of money with safe payment methods. I paid using "paysafecard", who refused to pay me back and my bank couldn't intervene either. I'm currently in France and I figured out that the fraud is linked to a malware that completely "froze" my computer

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