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Thread: How to REPORT and avoid internet fraud

  1. #1
    Full Member aatayyab is on a distinguished road
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    Exclamation How to REPORT and avoid internet fraud

    How to avoid and report internet fraud!

    Today, after spending 11 years in internet marketing and technical writing, I became victim of an Internet fraud by a company that is operating a well-known freelance jobs/projects website in USA and is a proud member of trust websites like www.bbb.org and www.squaretrade.com . By seeing such affiliations, I became interested to join them and seriously deliver services to my global clients. But unfortunately, within 2 months, I had to face my first and last internet fraud over this website. As I am based in Pakistan and not a US citizen, I could do nothing except report them to the concerned authorities which I am sure is not going to cast much impact on such a 200,000+ members-strong portal where I am treated just as a number, not as an individual. This helplessness and internet fraud by that USA based website prompted me to research and write an informative piece of advice for all of the global internet users who are prone to such internet frauds.

    This column is meant for all those who are either victims already or potential ones who are fearful of such internet frauds online. Here, I try my best to help you via suggesting ways to report such internet fraud legally and avoiding them in future. "Internet fraud" means many types of fraud plans or schemes that employ internet technologies like e-mail, forums, websites, chat to solicit fraudulent transactions of money. Although you may never see your money again, you can hopefully take some joy in seeing justice done. It is only by the cumulative response of angry victims that authorities will have the impetus to devote resources, such as forensic accountants to trace the money, and other costly manpower, to a particular operation. As well, if restitution is available, having your name recorded increases the chance of seeing some monetary recovery down the road.

    Internet used to be a safe and simple place to communicate via e-mail and post information about yourself or your business viewable by the whole world via web. Not any more. Using internet is becoming more and more unsafe and unreliable due to mis-representation, fraud and lies posted by individuals and organizations with criminal intentions to harm innocent internet users via web, e-mail or any other internet medium.

    Many websites have sprung up as trying to subside these internet fraud and crimes, but unfortunately in absence of clear legislation by the respective country governments and/or implementation of such legislation in their own territories is making internet increasingly a dangerous place to conduct business. All we hear is a promised e-commerce boom which never fulfilled by those pundits or their back-end providers. Simply search "internet fraud" in any internet search engine and you will find many victims of such internet frauds telling their stories of fraud and yet you see the same "alleged" websites conducting business as usual on internet without being properly prosecuted or inquired into by the proper government authorities.

    The purpose of this informative column is to make you aware of the kind of dangers that using internet pose to you, your repute, profession, family or money. Some of the dangers are as under;

    1. Anybody can be slandered, insulted or misrepresented by the internet or websites like web based forums or groups without any "proof" and or spreading bad information about the innocent person or organization.
    2. If you enter into a web-based transaction such as many websites enabling e-commerce on their websites, chances are that your credit cards information is misused, causing you financial loss. Many even ask you to give them your social security ID or citizen identification which is wrongly used by the criminal-oriented websites, their owners or their readers.
    3. Many of us are all being forced by so-called technology companies into making all of your business transactions online via web. That poses a great threat of exposing our critical business information to "teenager" hackers who misuse it or sell it to others for money without your knowledge. All these technology companies try their best to fool many of the innocent businessmen or professionals to believe e-commerce is safe, which is untrue and still proved otherwise.
    4. Many professionals and organizations fall into trap of internet jobs or projects portals and signup by either paying hefty amounts or pay upto 40% of their hard-earned income to these intermediary websites. Whenever they have any issue with any fraudulent buyers on these websites, the arbitrary favorism of these portals to their buyer subscribers disappoint and such innocent professional providers and they not only lose money but global reputation as well.
    5. Mis-representation of age or financial background of an individual towards opposite sex for entering into internet based marriages which turn out to be nothing but a waste of lot of time in terms of chatting online and sometimes emotional black-mail of such criminal minded persons via internet.
    6. Stealing of your website domain name or your e-mail identity and mis-represent you or your organization globally over internet.
    7. Fraudulent schemes appearing on online auction sites are the most frequently reported form of Internet fraud. People either offer to sell or offer to buy products and/or services on such auction sites and induce their victims to either send money or deliver products and services without any payment what was promised (e.g., counterfeit or altered goods).
    8. Fraudulent schemes sounding like “Business Opportunity” or "Work-at-Home" advertise and induce their victims online via promise to earn thousands of dollars monthly or even weekly to get work done without any payment being made to the victim service provider or employee.
    9. Market manipulation schemes where criminals use many methods to manipulate securities markets for their personal profit. Usually called "pump-and-dump" schemes, they spread false information in a hope to cause dramatic price increases in thinly traded stocks (the "pump"), and instantly sell off their stocks (the "dump") to realize substantial profits before the stock price falls back to its usual low level. All other buyers of the stock who are unaware of the false information become victims of the scheme once the price falls. Similarly, in short-selling or "scalping" schemes, the scheme takes a similar approach, by disseminating false or fraudulent information in an effort to cause price decreases in a particular company's stock. The criminals usually combine uses of the Internet with traditional telemarketing to reach large numbers of potential victims.
    10. And then there are the usual Credit-Card schemes whereby it involves the use of unlawfully obtained credit card numbers to order goods or services online. It involves offering consumers high-value consumer items, such as video cameras, at a very attractive price (i.e., below the price set at legitimate e-commerce Web sites). When a potential consumer contacts the "seller," the "seller" promises to ship the consumer the item before the consumer has to pay anything. If the consumer agrees, the "seller" (without the consumer's knowledge) uses that consumer's real name, along with an unlawfully obtained credit card number belonging to another person, to buy the item at a legitimate Web site. Once that Web site ships the item to the consumer, the consumer, believing that the transaction is legitimate, then authorizes his credit card to be billed in favor of the "seller" or sends payment directly to the "seller." As a result, there are two victims of the scheme: the original e-commerce merchant who shipped the item based on the unlawfully used credit card; and the consumer who sent his money after receiving the item that the "seller" fraudulently ordered from the merchant. In the meantime, the "seller" may have transferred his fraudulent proceeds to bank accounts beyond the effective reach of either the merchant or the consumer.

    CONTINUED TO NEXT POST.......
    Amir Ali Tayyab
    e-Marketer, Writer since 1987

    Cell: (92-303) 6407086 or (92-333) 4779799
    E-Mail: aatayyab@yahoo.com
    Website: http://softwarepk.com
    Chat: Yahoo/MSN/AOL/Skype/Forums: "aatayyab"

  2. #2
    Full Member aatayyab is on a distinguished road
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    Exclamation how to REPORT e-commerce fraud? PART 2

    There are many initiatives towards making web and internet safe, but unfortunately all have miserably failed and none of those initiatives seem to work in real-life protecting legal rights of global buyers, sellers, individuals, and/or organizations online via internet. You can report the cyber crime to the following links;

    * FBI local office http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm
    * U.S. Secret Service (Financial Crimes Division) http://www.treas.gov/usss/financial_crimes.shtml
    * Cyber Thread or Network Incident, US Secret Service, http://www.treas.gov/usss/net_intrusion_forms.shtml
    * Federal Trade Commission (online complaint) http://www.ftc.gov
    * if securities fraud or investment-related SPAM e-mails, Securities and Exchange Commission, http://www.sec.gov
    * The Internet Fraud Complaint Center, http://www1.ifccfbi.gov
    * Computer Crime, Department of Justic, http://www.cybercrime.gov
    * Spamcop to report SPAM e-mails, http://www.spamcop.net/
    * International Fraud Complaint for 19 countries, http://www.econsumer.gov
    * National Fraud Information Center, 1-800-876-7060, http://www.fraud.org or http://68.166.162.20/repoform.htm
    * Phone Busters, http://www.phonebusters.com
    * Reporting Economic Crime Online, http://www.recol.ca
    * Identity Theft, http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/index.html
    * Better Business Bureau, http://www.bbbonline.org
    * Internet Fraud Watch, http://www.fraud.org
    * Report Spam Abuse, http://spam.abuse.net/spam
    * For victims of UK, South Africa or other countries, we have a short list of e-mail addresses to report your case i.e. victim@spring39.demon.co.uk, 419@spring39.demon.co.uk, fraud.alert@met.police.uk, euroteam@oft.gsi.gov.uk, voorlichting@klpd.politie.nl, hq.commercial@saps.org.za, scamreport@commercialbranch.com, consumerhelp@state.sd.us

    In addition to above, please ensure that you report your case to organizations like your local police, the state or provincial police, the RCMP, the FBI, the Secret Service, the post office, the phone company, the local paper and television station, the BBB, your credit card company, your bank, your Attorney General, the local and state/provincial/federal Department of Consumer Affairs, the SEC, or any and all other relevant securities administrators and regulatory agencies for each state and province, and country.

    From my own experience, I know even the “smartest” consumer can be “conned” by the criminal websites and individuals into thinking about them as legally trustworthy to part with their hard-earned money or products and/or services. This is being done on a colossal scale in the whole world with the increased popularity of internet usage. Not only governments, but NGOs, United Nations, Companies or Individuals like yourself are all equally responsible to ensure safety of internet which is an ever-increasingly becoming a fraudulent place for deceiving law-abiding citizens of the whole world. We must all join hands to combat this mass-deception by a few criminals using internet as a tool.

    Hoping for a better and safe future of internet usage.
    Amir Ali Tayyab
    e-Marketer, Writer since 1987

    Cell: (92-303) 6407086 or (92-333) 4779799
    E-Mail: aatayyab@yahoo.com
    Website: http://softwarepk.com
    Chat: Yahoo/MSN/AOL/Skype/Forums: "aatayyab"

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