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ConsumerMan Releases Probable Internet Scams for 2009

Just as every security company is releasing the most common online scams in 2008 through their annual reports, so the Internet scam warning website ConsumerMan of MSNBC is also highlighting the top frauds of 2008 in its own report and also predicts various online scams for 2009.

According to ConsumerMan, among all the online frauds in 2008, the most frightening one was the "hitman fraud". In this, the hoax e-mail sent looked official, but said that one of the friends of the recipient had hired the e-mail's author to kill the recipient. Therefore, the killer man said that he has been tracking all the recipient's movements; however, due sympathy has decided to forgo the assassination. In the end, the e-mail tells the recipient that if he sends a certain amount of money to the sender then his life would be spared.

But this fraud has become old now. The new one in 2009, according to ConsumerMan, would be targeting people who are bearing the brunt of the 2008 recession. Thus, recession related Internet scams would be plenty in 2009.

The scam alert website also forecasts lottery scams in which the fraudulent e-mail typically congratulates the recipient announcing that he has just won a huge prize money. But the message asks the recipient to pay the handling charges, insurance, taxes and some other (fake) fee for processing the deal. The recipient might also be encouraged to issue a check, wire money immediately or provide a payment card number. However, ConsumerMan warns users to stay away from these scams as neither anyone has won anything nor does any winning amount exist.

The site explains that in a lawful contest, no one ever has to pay anything to claim his prize. Similarly, if there are any taxes due, they have to be paid straight away to the IRS. Therefore, ConsumerMan warns people never to trust such e-mails, as they simply appear legitimate due to the sophistication they use in their language and design.

Furthermore, other e-mail frauds are expected and to remain safe from online auctions in 2009.

Related article: Consumer NZ Website Encounters Hack

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