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Consumer Internet Fraud

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  1. Auctions (42 %; $ 1,155)
  2. General merchandises (30 %; $ 2,528)
  3. The Nigerian scam, also known as 419 (8 %; average; $ 6,937)
  4. Fake checks (6%; $ 4,361)
  5. Lotteries (4%; $ 2,919)
  6. Phishing (2%; $ 612)
  7. Advanced fees paid for a guaranteed loan or credit card (1%; $ 1,426)
  8. Information/ Adult Services (1%; $ 504)
  9. Work-at-Home Plans (1%; $ 1,785)
  10. Internet Access Services (1%; $ 1,262)

Fraud and deceptions have existed in every society since time immemorial. These characteristics are an inherent motivation among some people to take advantage of others in economic transactions. There are instances of fraud and deception published in classified advertisements in newspaper, through the mail, on television or via telemarketing. These scams are now conducted on the Internet as well. Since the 1990s, cyberspace has made it easier and cheaper to scam consumers through unsolicited e-mails and proliferation of fake websites. In a way, consumers are now being swamped with the old tricks on a new medium as con artists have adapted yesteryear's scams and adapted them to today's technology. We will begin by examining the qualifications for a consumer internet fraud and its characteristics. Next we will overview the 10 major consumers of Internet Fraud. This will be followed by some guidelines about how to avoid fraud or how to fight against them when a consumer has been scammed.

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