Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Take A Bite Out Of Cyber CrimeStopping Online FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. Is Everyone’s Responsibility!

If You Allow The Scammers To Get Away With It, You Are Helping Them Win!

It is all of our responsibility to report frauds, and expose scammers.  Only in this way can we help stop this online scourge.

You Can Report Fraud Easily Here:

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Fraudulent activities should always be reported to your local law enforcement office.  It does not need to be a major thing, just go down to your local police and file a report.  Yes it will take an hour of your time, but the more reports there are, the more authorities nationally and internationally will respond.

The following is additional information on how specific types of fraud complaints or cases of suspected fraud can be submitted to federal agencies.

What Do You Want To Report:

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.IC3.gov) is the primary government agency to receive, develop, and refer complaints regarding the rapidly expanding area of cyber crime. The IC3 complaint process provides victims of cyber crimes a convenient, easily accessible, online reporting mechanism to alert law enforcement of suspected criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. and civil violations.  For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international levels, IC3 is the central clearinghouse for complaints on internet related crimes.

See the “File a Complaint” section of the IC3 Web Site for information and direction on how to submit a complaint to IC3.  IC3 handles complaints on the following types of frauds and scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.:

  • Auction Fraud/Auction Fraud – Romania

    Auction fraud involves fraud attributable to the misrepresentation of a product advertised for sale through an Internet auction site or the non-delivery of products purchased through an Internet auction site

  • Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Frauds

    The counterfeit cashier’s check scheme targets individuals that use Internet classified advertisements to sell merchandise. Typically, an interested party located outside the United States contacts a seller, and the seller is told that the buyer has an associate in the United States that owes him money. As such, the buyer will have the associate send the seller a cashier’s check for the amount owed to the buyer, but the check is actually counterfeit.

  • Credit Card FraudCard Fraud Card Fraud is one of the most commonly referenced fraud definitions. It occurs when a fraudster uses a card (debit or credit) to make a purchase without the authorization of the cardholder. Card fraud can occur in-person or through digital channels.

    Credit card fraud is the unauthorized use of a credit/debit card, or card number, to fraudulently obtain money or property.

  • Debt Elimination Frauds

    Debt elimination schemes generally involve websites advertising a legal way to dispose of mortgage loans and credit card debts. After obtaining information from the participant, the fraudsterFraudster A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. will issues bonds and promissory notes to the lenders that purport to legally satisfy the debts of the participant. In exchange, the participant is then required to pay a certain percentage of the value of the satisfied debts to the subject.

  • Parcel Courier Email Scheme

    The Parcel Courier Email Scheme involves the supposed use of various National and International level parcel providers such as DHL, UPS, FedEx and the USPS.

  • Employment/Business Opportunities

    Employment/business opportunity schemes involve bogus foreign-based companies that recruit citizens in the United States on several employment-search websites for work-at-home employment opportunities. These positions often involve reselling or reshipping merchandise to destinations outside the United States.

  • Escrow Services Fraud

    In an effort to persuade a wary Internet auction participant, the perpetrator will propose the use of a third-party escrow service to facilitate the exchange of money and merchandise. The victim is unaware the perpetrator has compromised a true escrow site and, in actuality, created one that closely resembles a legitimate escrow service. The victim sends payment to the phony escrow and receives nothing in return. Or, the victim sends merchandise to the subject and waits for his/her payment through the escrow site which is never received because it is not a legitimate service.

  • Identity TheftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources. & Online ImpersonationImpersonation An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors. *

    Identity theft occurs when someone appropriates another’s personal information in order to commit theft or fraud.

  • Internet Extortion & Fraud

    Internet Extortion involves hacking into and controlling various industry databases, promising to release control back to the company if funds are received, or the subjects are given web administrator jobs. Similarly, the subject will threaten to compromise information about consumers in the industry database unless funds are received.

  • Online Investment Fraud

    Investment fraud is an offer using false or fraudulent claims to solicit investments or loans, or providing for the purchase, use, or trade of forged or counterfeit securities.

  • Online & Spam Lotteries Fraud

    The lottery scheme deals with persons randomly contacting email addresses advising them they have been selected as the winner of an International lottery.

  • Nigerian Letter or “419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam.

    Named for the violation of Section 419 of the Nigerian Criminal Code, the 419 scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. involves communication from individuals representing themselves as Nigerian or foreign government officials, offering the recipient the “opportunity” to share in a percentage of millions of dollars, and soliciting for help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts. Payment of taxes, bribes to government officials, and legal fees are often described in great detail with the promise that all expenses will be reimbursed as soon as the funds are out of the country. The recipient is encouraged to send information to the author, such as blank letterhead stationery, bank name and account numbers, and other identifying information using a facsimile number provided in the letter. The scheme relies on convincing a willing victim to send money to the author of the letter in several installments of increasing amounts for a variety of reasons.

  • Email & Online Phishing/SpoofingSpoofing Spoofing occurs when a caller maliciously transmits false caller ID information to increase the likelihood that you'll answer. Scammers often spoof local numbers, private companies, government agencies and other institutions. It can also apply to pretending to be an email address, or through other media. Frauds

    Phishing and spoofing refer to forged or faked electronic documents. Spoofing generally refers to the dissemination of email which is forged to appear as though it was sent by someone other than the actual source. Phishing, often utilized in conjunction with a spoofed email, is the act of sending an email falsely claiming to be an established legitimate business in an attempt to dupe the unsuspecting recipient into divulging personal, sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account information after directing the user to visit a specified website. The website, however, is not genuine and was set up only as an attempt to steal the user’s information.

  • PonziPonzi A Ponzi Scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from legitimate business activity (e.g., product sales or successful investments), and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds. A Ponzi scheme can maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as new investors contribute new funds, and as long as most of the investors do not demand full repayment and still believe in the non-existent assets they are purported to own./Pyramid Scheme Fraud

    Ponzi or pyramid schemesPyramid Schemes Pyramid schemes are scams that need a constant flow of new participants to keep them going. They are marketed as multi-level marketing programs or other types of legitimate businesses. They use new recruits’ "investments" to pay “profits” to those participating longer. Pyramid schemes collapse when they can't recruit enough new participants to pay earlier investors. These scams always fail—it’s mathematically guaranteed. are investment scamsInvestment Scams When a caller claims to have a promising investment opportunity that will help you get rich quick, it's likely a scam. in which investors are promised abnormally high profits on their investments. No investment is actually made. Early investors are paid returns with the investment money received from the later investors. The system usually collapses. The later investors do not receive dividends and lose their initial investment.

  • Reshipping Fraud

    The “reshipping” scheme requires individuals in the United States to receive packages at their residence and subsequently repackage the merchandise for shipment, usually abroad. The reshipping scheme helps facilitate the transfer of goods purchased online by fraudulent means.

  • Spam Emails & Email Fraud

    With improved technology and world-wide Internet access, spam, or unsolicited bulk email, is now a widely used medium for committing traditional white collar crimes including financial institution fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft, among others.

  • Third Party Receiver of Funds Fraud

    The subjects, usually foreign, post work-at-home job offers on popular Internet employment sites, soliciting assistance from United States citizens. The subjects allegedly are posting Internet auctions, but cannot receive the proceeds from these auctions directly because their locations outside the United States makes receiving these funds difficult. The seller asks the United States citizen to act as a third party receiver of funds from victims who have purchased products from the subject via the Internet. The United States citizen, receiving the funds from the victims, then wires the money to the subject.

* RomanceScamsNow is a part of The Campaign To End Online Impersonation™  

We are helping to build an organization that will support global efforts to reduce and end impersonation in online social media and online dating websites around the world.

The Campaign To End Online Impersonation - Stop Online Fraud!

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