Top Five Scams

PC World has published a list of the top five online scams affecting Americans. Research firm Gartner believes nearly 10 million were hit online by fraudsters in the past year. There's nothing hugely surprising in the top five, with some old favourites in there. These are they:

1: Auction Fraud

Place a bid on eBay and win; but your goods never turn up; you get a fake version of what you ordered; or you simply get sent a web link to a site offering money off the product. Helpful...

2: Phishing

As Neowin reported earlier today, the number of people being caught out by phishing e-mails - messages pretending to be from their bank or another agency and asking for their details - has gone through the roof. The sites look real - but they're completely fake.

3: Nigerian 419

An old favourite at number three. A message arrives from a mysterious African, telling you he'd love to split millions of dollars with you, if only he could get it out of the country - and can you help? Shame the money doesn't exist, really...

4: Postal Forwarding/Reshipping

Give your address to some "offshore company". Let them get stuff sent to you and ship it on - and they'll pay you, too. Unfortunately, the goods are bought using stolen credit cards, making it likely the feds will pay you a visit - and those nice people will probably steal your money as well.

5: Congrulations, You've Won!

No, you haven't. That random e-mail telling you you got an iPod, Xbox, or plasma telly? Couldn't be more fake. They'll ask for your card number and PIN so they can cover shipping costs - then go on a spending spree. If you're lucky, they might steal your identity too.

View: PC World Coverage

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