The E-Victims Organisation, a non-for-profit UK community interest company set up to benefit Internet users by assisting the victims of e-crime after the event, has released a top 10 Internet Scams of 2009 predictions list. Indeed, E-Victims.Org goes as far as to suggest that with new scams appearing almost daily, 2009 could reach new lows with numbers of scams reaching new highs. "We’ve seen honest traders go rogue due to financial pressures and we’ve seen desperate consumers taking more risks." says managing director Jennifer Perry, continuing "Rising unemployment and a global recession means we expect to see a huge increase in e- victims this year.”
This is, to be honest, not that great a feat of prediction. After all, we have already seen phishing scams rise dramatically towards the end of 2008. What's more, we know that spam penetration levels finished the year in excess of 80 percent by volume of all mail.
But anyway, here is that top 10 scams prediction list for the coming year in full, with E-Victims Organisation comments in brackets:
1 - Identity theft and phishing.
(Don’t share unnecessary personal data with websites. If they insist on your date of birth, post code - don’t use your real ones.)
2 - Viruses and spyware.
(It is impossible to know if you are visiting an infected website" warns E-Victims.)
3 - Advance fee scams
(Nigerian and lottery scams have also been around for years, but they still work.)
4 - Work at home and job scams.
(These scams have been around for years, but rising unemployment will mean that we expect more scams targeting vulnerable job seekers.)
5 - Fake or spoofed websites.
(These bogus online retailers offer a great deal, or impossible to find items, to attract victims. They set up a site for a short time, then shut it down only to set up a new site and do it all over again.)
6 - Economy related scams.
(Loan and debt consolidation scams have been increasing throughout 2008. There will be new ones look out for, including repossession assistance and unemployment insurance.)
7 - Classified ads and auction scams.
(Scammers use local online classified ads, CraigsList etc. to find new victims. Then they contact sellers with fraud cheque scams, offering to buy something or rent a room. They send a cheque for more money than agreed, with an excuse as why you should send the extra money back to them or their friend. The cheque is a fake and they hope you wire the money before you find out.)
8 - Holiday Scams.
(The scammers know the credit crunch has hit the holiday budget. So, they are advertising some incredible deals. Unfortunately, the deals aren’t real.)
9 - Ticket Scams.
(Criminals are producing counterfeit tickets for concerts, festivals, football games and other events.)
10 - Social Networking.
(A hot scam is sending messages that tell someone they are in a You Tube video or mentioned on Twitter. When they follow the link their computer gets compromised.)