Fast Money - Is it possible??
Top Web Scams
In recent years the Internet has proved fertile breeding ground for websites targeting mankind’s seemingly innate desire to make fast money. Unfortunately such saccharine promises tend to be hollow and the only people to get rich quick are the webmasters themselves. Cyberspace has become notorious for imaginative scams that rely on people’s greed and gullibility, so if you see something that looks too good to be true; it probably is. To avoid being ‘dot conned’ we’ve outlined some of the web’s top scams:
The Make Money Fast (MMF) chain letter: This one has been around for some time and promises to make you piles of money provided if you send off a small sum of to five people, who then continue the ‘chain’ by sending out yet more cash. While this one is unlikely to leave you bankrupt; it is still illegal in the USA. The chain will inevitably collapse at some point and thousands of people will be left out of pocket. Another concern is that electronic chain letters accelerate the spread of computer viruses (often containing ‘hidden’ code).
419’ers: This scam is named after the article in the Nigerian Penal Code that punishes perpetrators of the eponymous scam. The process is disarmingly simple; you receive an email purporting to be from someone working in a bank who wants to get a large amount of money out of the country. They ask for your bank account details and promise you a cut of the released funds, which often run into millions of dollars. They also ask for ID to support the transaction. Soon money will go missing from your account and to make matters worse your ID may well be used for further fraud. Law enforcement officials estimate that these conmen have made $1.5 billion with this scam across the globe.
‘Get rich’ schemes: There are countless varieties of this scam, but basically you are promised vast riches for very little investment. If someone approaches you with a ‘foolproof’ business venture, but they are vague on details; the alarm bells should already be ringing. Normally all you have to do is register with a website and pay a ‘one-off’ fee to gain access to the ‘amazing’ opportunity. Alternatively you could just chuck your billfold down the drain.
Work-at-home schemes: Such schemes typically promise steady money (after a small outlay) without breaking sweat. For example: you could earn $2 every time you fold a brochure and stuff it into an envelope or assemble a simple toy/ model. Of course there’s little chance of any financial gain as promoters typically refuse to buy your work; claiming it doesn’t meet various ‘quality’ standards.