Avoiding Internet Scams and Frauds

What are the best ways to protect yourself against getting scammed online?"

1. Use common sense. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut feelings - especially when you have a bad feeling about an offer or a company.

2. Don't ever respond to a bulk email. At least 95% of these "spams" are scams.

3. If you want to buy something at an online auction, always check the references of the seller, and only buy from sellers that have good references. Most all good auction sites have buyer and seller rating systems. If the item is more expensive than an amount you could comfortably lose, consider using an online escrow service like i-escrow.com at http://www.i-escrow.com/. There is a fee, but it might be worth it to you.

1999 NFIC Top Ten Telemarketing Frauds (they apply to the internet as well)

1. Work-at-home schemes-kits sold with false promises of profits

2. Prizes/sweepstakes-phony prize awards requiring payment of fees first

3. Telephone slamming- consumersí phone service is switched without their knowledge or consent

4. Advance fee loans-empty promises of loans requiring payment of fees in advance

5. Magazine sales-fake sales or renewals for magazine subscriptions that are never received

6. Telephone cramming-billing consumers for optional services they never ordered

7. Credit card offers-phony promises of credit cards requiring payment of fees in advance

8. Travel/vacation offers-offers of free trips or discount travel that never materialize

9. Credit card loss protection-unnecessary insurance sold using scare tactics or misrepresentations

10. Investments-stocks and other investments that donít pan out as promised

Operating a business from home is the same as operating any business. It takes expertise, marketing know-how, and hard work, and there is no guarantee of success. If it were as easy to make money working from home as these crooks promise, we'd all be doing it.

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