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Beware: Top Internet Scams

Beware: Top Internet Scams

Every day men and women around the world are tricked by the top Internet scams. Typically, by the time they realize they have been deceived, it’s too late. Thousands, even millions of dollars later, they are left wondering why they didn’t see it coming from the start. Far too often, the response is, “I knew it was too good to be true.”

Sometimes it’s a handsome man on a dating service, other times it’s a fake email from your bank. This is the way scammers take advantage of their victims; they find a weakness and exploit it. Con artists hide behind the computer and easily create fake identities to trick perfect strangers. In fact, chances are you have had online contact with a scammer without even knowing it.

As the Internet becomes more complex and we continue to converse with more individuals online, it is difficult to know if people are who they say they are. In order to avoid scams, it is important to trust your instincts and learn from the stories of other victims. Here are three of the most common online scams out there:

 

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are a common scheme con artists use to drain their victims’ bank accounts. They send an email that seems like it came from the bank. In the content, it warns you about identity theft and asks you to verify your account information. The email will warn you that if you do not send back your information, your account will be terminated.

Top Internet ScamsBecause the email’s purpose is to “protect you” from identity theft, it seems like it could not possibly be a scam. Unfortunately, these con artists get creative and can trick even the smartest of individuals. With bank logos and real links, the email may seem legitimate. And in just one click, your bank account could be drained faster than you can say “scam.”

Phishing scams continue to collect over $1 billion from their victims each year. If you receive such an email from your bank, call a representative about the matter. And above all, never send your bank account information over the Internet. If you do, chances are you will be stuck in a very “phishy” situation.

 

Auction Fraud

Top Internet ScamAuction frauds are the most popular scam, accounting for nearly 75% of the registered complaints to the FBI. If you have ever sent in your money online to purchase an item and have gotten nothing in return, you have experienced auction fraud.

One famous incident involved a woman who accepted bids for Louis Vuitton bags she never owned. She collected over $18,000 from bidders who were just looking for a bargain. Needless to say, none of the customers received their promised bags nor their money back. The stories go on and on, and yet more and more people are swindled every year. In order to avoid auction fraud, you must trust your instincts. We all like a good bargain, but sooner or later we have to realize that some deals are just too good to be true.

 

Romance Scams

Perhaps the most emotionally traumatizing scams involve those that play with our hearts: the romance scams. We’ve all heard the stories of the man who wins a woman’s heart (and her bank account) through an online dating website, and then turns out to look nothing like the smiling man in his profile picture. Usually, the scammer is millions of miles away in a country like Nigeria, not to mention many years younger than his profile indicates.

Take the story of Ellen. Ellen, a 65-year old woman from British Columbia, lived a happy life that became a lot happier when she met the man of her dreams online. He called himself Dave, and they spoke over the Internet for several months. Dave claimed to have been left with a large inheritance but could not access it without clearing some of his debts. Dave asked Ellen to help him, to which she complied by transferring some of her money to his accounts. She continued to send money as Dave continued to plea, and she even traveled to foreign countries to deliver money to his “friends.”

Top Internet ScamLong story short, Ellen’s bank account continued to diminish and at the end of the long-term relationship, she was $1.3 million poorer, and “Dave” $1.3 million richer. Ellen finally discovered she had been scammed all along, and “Dave” was, in fact, multiple people working behind a computer screen somewhere in West Africa.

Like Ellen, thousands of people fall victim to romance scams each year. Con artists can look on dating sites to see what you are looking for and then transform into your ideal partner.

Because victims of romance scams fall in love, they have a difficult time seeing the facts. The bottom line is if an online dating partner truly loves you, the digits in your bank account won’t matter.

With countless scams and frauds every day, the Internet can be a scary place, especially in the online dating world. That is why we at Stitch have created a safe, scam-free dating service that leaves no room for fake profiles. We require that each member verifies his or her identity before they can communicate with other members. Additionally, our members can only chat if both have agreed, so there is no solicited contact. Finally, we make sure that when you do speak, we give you the option of a secure chat room and phone line so that you never have to share personal contact information until you are ready.

To try out Stitch, safe online dating and companionship, click here.

Of course, it’s always important to be safe online. When all’s said and done, if you find yourself thinking, “this is too good to be true” make sure you take the right measures to protect your personal information until you know more about the other person.

16 Comments

  1. derek

    I met a girl called esther on oasis.com who immediately asked me to go on Yahoo messenger. once on MSN she said her name was matilda. I was scammed for 10500 pounds. please do something about this woman if you can because she is very dangerous. I think she also operates on facebook as sasha angel or angel nana adjoa naysha. There is no limits to the lengths she will go to to extract money from men. Thanks in anticipation for your reading of my comments.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Derek,

      Thanks for sharing your story — it’s terrible that happened to you, but unfortunately you are far from alone when it comes to your experience. “Esther/Matilda” may not even be a woman, as many scammers are skilled at impersonating multiple people of either gender. The good news is that the verification steps we have in Stitch (and we are introducing some more in the next few weeks) make it extremely difficult for scammers like Matilda to get through, and the Stitch community is really helping us try to make Stitch more safe and free from scammers than any other site in the world. With help from people like yourself we are sure we will be successful!

      Would you be interested in sharing your story on the Stitch blog to help warn other members about the dangers of online scammers? We would be happy to write it for you and could keep it anonymous if required — we find that our readers really benefit from stories of other members. Please just let us know!

      Thanks,
      Andrew.

  2. Nelia

    I have been in numerous dating online and found lot of scammers. They offer me to help financial problems and asked my bank account. The usual things they said they widow with ine daughter or son. Theywere saying sweet nothings until you fall into a trap. They will say they were businessman or engineer assignef in other country and begged to help them as they run out of budget or lost their things. I never biy their alibi.

  3. mrs Angelina

    If you’ve lost money in a Moneygram or western
    union scam, here’s what
    to do:
    If you have already filed a complaint with
    Moneygram or Enter your comment here…western union,
    there is no need to do anything further at this time.
    If you have NOT filed a complaint with Moneygram
    or western union you
    need to do so. Call Moneygram or western union at
    1-800-Moneygram or western union to
    file your complaint.
    The FTC is working on developing a refund program
    to
    appropriately distribute the $18M, however, given
    that
    the settlement is capped at $18M, the FTC is
    alerting
    consumers to that fact that they will only be eligible
    for
    a partial refund (i.e., so don’t expect to recover all
    monies you may have lost as a result of the scam).
    If you do participate in the refund program, you will
    not
    give up your legal rights (translation: you can still
    pursue legal recourse).
    If you are sure you really lost your cash to
    scammer using money gram or western union
    contact lostfinancecontrol37@gmail.com

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Thank you, Angela for providing that information!

  4. Frenzzy

    People here should beware, the person describing herself as miss Angelina recommending an e-mail, is a top scam. I almost became her victim. You people should beware, she is a Nigerian but I always feel sad as people like her spoils the name of my country. She will scam you perfectly if you contact the e mail she recommended here. Thanks.

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Thank you so much for sharing this warning!

  5. Alex

    G

    “Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is officially a final notice from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you.”

  6. Alex

    Beware of the SCAM CALLs from: 1-617-7086522
    I got one today: “Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is officially a final notice from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you.” Needless to say, they have nothing to do with IRS.

    1. Michael Dean

      Hi Alex,
      Thanks so much for commenting, and letting everyone else know about this! That is very helpful, and much appreciated. I am glad you knew better, and nothing bad happened. Thanks again!

      Best,
      Michael from Stitch

  7. Arcelia

    Read all of the above comments. I have been in several “dating” sites. I am a widow and
    really wanted to meet a nice man to become friends and why not: if possible find love again.
    But it is our option to “fall” for scammers….why? Because we are so desperately seeking to
    replace our previous situation… that we blindly continue answering to messages that CLEARLY are scammers…specially when they mention needing money, or that need help because
    they have an inheritance or are in jail or sick…or whatever…
    In that MOMENT we should act
    emotionally mature and S T O P and block those scammers….it is just common sense.
    So if get robbed we can not blame the “dating site” or the scammer…it is OUR OWN FAULT.
    Hey, guys males or females…we have to understand the “cause and effect” theory…right?
    With warmest regards to all the Stitch members with good faith to find friends or other connections. All my best to all (including me….hahahahah!!!!) Jan 28/2016
    Arcelia

  8. Mark

    I had my car for sale on gumtree and a man named Garry replied to it and wanted to buy it however he wanted to put the money for buying it into my account without thinking I gave him my bank details.Then almost emediatly got an email saying he has put $2550 into my account but my car was for sale for $1600.then he said I would need to pay $950 to a nominated account that he gave me befor the money will be cleared.Then im thinking farout even selling my car can get scammed .I never lost any money but they got my personal banking details now I feel like an idiot for even getting that far.

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Hi Mark, thank you for sharing that story. This could happen to anyone! It’s completely understandable but unfortunately today we have to be more careful than ever.

  9. abdul matin

    it is very much uncalled for the cabalistic agenda been advanced to paint Africans with a black brush.Even though scam is real which must be globally combatted from all fronts but hey it spreads its clout all over the world.There are scumbags from Britain,USA and most other unsuspecting countries. It is not only Africa.simpliciter.To have any effective fight against internet fraud,my European siblings should work at releasing stolen funds which our leaders have stashed in offshore accounts for the continent to establish jobs for these nauseating hoodlums.

  10. Sonya

    Recently I’ve been messaged by men online that seem to be trying to scam me. I am a member of several online dating sites and it’s unfortunate that you can’t find out who’s real or fake!!!
    It’s so frustrating!! I’ve since decided to discontinue my membership due to my suspicions.
    It’s really sad!! Really frustrating that we really can’t trust anyone online!!!
    FYI.. iys best to just stay away from these sites and the possibility of being scammed!!

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Thank you so much Sonya for sharing that. It’s really unfortunate and why we are very, very serious about safety on Stitch and do require everyone verifies their identity before being able to connect with other members. I hope you can give us a try and see that we are different. Take care of yourself!

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