Online scammers like you and me for two reasons: They know we love the Web, and they know we trust people.
Firefox® Enhancement! Firefox is a great open-source browser recommended by a lot of consumer types—free and fast. They've just released a wicked new version, too—for free. But scammers in Russia and China are trying to sell the new version, and as a bonus, when you pay for what should be free, the scammers download a virus on your computer. Thanks for nothing! So, what do you do? Download Firefox from only one site: www.mozilla.com.
Help! Send money! You get an email from one of your best friends: “I'm stuck in California, and my wallet was stolen! Can you send some money?” Hey, it's your pal, and the email came from their email address. You send the bucks. Scammed! What happened? Scammers broke into your friend's email account, changed the password, and emailed everybody there. What to do? Don't respond without getting independent confirmation. Try calling the friend (using a free VoIP program, of course).
Earn money emailing young people! Okay, you're a little tight this month on the money front. And, bingo, you see an online ad for the perfect part-time job: "Be our youth rep in your community! We provide you the lists; you just email them about our products and services!" Oh yeah, to get started you have to buy their "starter" kit. You send the money. Bingo, you're scammed. What's the giveaway? Stay away from moneymaking pitches that require you to front your own money.
iPhones, only $100! You see, this guy in Nigeria was able to get the government's surplus supply, and he wants to sell you one. Just wire the money! To Nigeria! Who's dumb enough to fall for that? Thousands of people, especially college students. What to do: Hey, if you'd fall for that, you nearly deserve to be scammed! But here's the giveaway: Never wire money to strangers.
Enough said? Don't be a fool. Think before you act online.