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Economic Despair Boost Internet Frauds and Phishing Threats

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is cautioning of a surge in fresh Internet scams that promise to make government grants available for credit-hit consumers, as the world succumbs to economic recession.

Expectedly, cyber-criminals are leaping into the bandwagon of the economic depression, the commission stated. They are distributing spam mails carrying links connecting to Internet sites that pose as sources of information about method(s) to become eligible for the economic stimulus of the U.S federation. However, these Internet sites load spying software onto the systems of the spam recipients.

Moreover, several of malevolent websites could as well be pretending to be pages belonging to government agencies, with some displaying different news networks' logos, or even President Barack Obama's photo along with an urge to end-users to apply for their share of the "free endowment money."

These websites, which pose to offer information on the way(s) to claim the money from the stimulus package, actually ask for users' private details like name, bank account number, employment position, and salary assortment. The details, though claimed as necessary to determine the user's eligibility conditions for an endowment fund, actually, are traded in illegal markets or applied to illicitly access online banking or similar other accounts.

Moreover, the federal officers stated that online scams like phishing attacks rose during 2008 with further rise expected during 2009 since there are increased possibilities of innocent users becoming victims during the meltdown. State reports that online scams grew 33% during 2008, increasing like never before since 2006.

Meanwhile, Gartner similarly notes that almost 5m Internet consumers lost money because of phishing attacks launched over the 12 months ending September 2008. Further, during 2008 alone, approximately 80% of all adult users of the Internet received spam messages related to a phishing threat, a rise of 14% since 2004.

State security specialists that individuals hit with economic plight can be easily victimized in online scams since they are prone to open e-mails related to employment opportunities, lotteries, overseas money transmissions and inheritances.

Hence, FTC is recommending users that they should never disclose personal information to any entity that is unknown to them.

Related article: Economic Crisis Hot Topic for Online Fraudsters

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