Knoxville (WVLT) - These days you can do just about anything on the internet, from surfing to shopping. And that gives scam artists more avenues to take advantage of you. Here's a look at the top five email scams, according to PC World.
Number one is the Auction Fraud, where you're asked to send in your money, but you never get anything in return.
This one accounts for three quarters of the complaints registered with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.
The second is the Phishing Scam, that's when you receive an email that looks like it's from your bank, asking you to log onto your account and verify your information or else your account will be terminated.
Knoxville Police Department Spokesman Darrell DeBusk says you should take caution if you receive one of these emails. "The banks just do not do that. You need to be very suspicious from the very beginning. Banks, as their practice, will not send you an email asking you to update your account."
Another common online scam is the Nigerian 419 Letter.
You've probably seen something like this; you'll get an email written in all capital letters, asking you to transfer funds into an account.
In return, the letter may offer you ten percent of the total for your efforts.
The catch is you may be asked to pay thousands of dollars in so called taxes or attorney costs.
The next one is the Postal Forwarding or Reshipping Scam.
According to PC World, this is when you answer an online ad looking for an offshore corporation that needs you to take goods to your address and reship them overseas.
Now, what's really happening here is goods are bought online using stolen credit cards and shipped to your address, and you reship them overseas.
If you're caught, you could go to jail because you're shipping stolen material.
The last one is the Congratulations, You've Won Something Email.
It's usually some big prize like an XBOX or an iPod.
The email will ask you to visit a website that'll ask you for your credit card number.
You'll never get your prize, instead, your identity is stolen.
Darrell DeBusk says anytime you receive an unsolicited email, you need to be suspicious of it. And remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For a longer list of common online scams and a link where you can register a complaint if you've fallen victim to one of them, check out the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
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