What Are the 5 Most Popular Scams?

What Are the 5 Most Popular Scams?

Internet scams and business-related scams, in general, have been around from day one, and unfortunately, countless people have fallen victim to scammers who have tricked them out of their time and money. Some scams cause little more than a dent in one’s credibility as they forward unreliable information to their friends and associates via email, while other victims of more serious scams experience financial devastation. Though the number of scams circulating the internet at any given time is numerous, here is a list of the 5 most common types of internet scams to date:

Lottery Scams

Lottery scams are common and often come with an urgent, “Act now!” message in which the recipient is alerted that they may have won millions of dollars in an unfamiliar lottery. All the email recipient has to do in order to claim their millions of dollars is pay a small processing fee of a couple grand, which wouldn’t seem like much compared to millions, right? Once the money is sent, it disappears for good and you will never hear from the sender again, nor will you see any of your supposed winnings.

Fake Anti-Virus Warnings

Nearly everyone has had an experience where a pop-up comes out of nowhere warning you that your computer has become infected and you must quickly download the attached program in order to rid your computer of the virus. To download the “anti-virus” program that the scam pop-up suggests, you’ll have to pay and in doing so, share your credit card information with thieves.


eBay Scams

eBay is hugely popular which makes it a prime spot for internet scammers to take advantage of others. A common scam involves a dishonest buyer who buys a fully-functional, like-new product on eBay which is the same as another product they already own which happens to be broken or malfunctioning. They then make a claim to eBay that the product they purchased arrived broken during shipping and eBay (which usually favors buyers) refunds the buyer’s money leaving the seller high and dry.

The “Nigerian Prince” Scam

There are many variations of this scam, all with similar traits. It starts with an email from an unknown stranger, sometimes a “Nigerian Prince,” who sends a desperate request for help. In return for your help, you’ll be rewarded with a large sum of money. In order to receive the money, however, you’ll need to provide details to your bank account and before you know it, you’ll find your bank account has been completely drained of funds.

Fake Banking Sites

Beware of emails that seem to be from your bank or credit card provider that state that your account has been hacked and they need you to log on to your account by clicking the provided link in order to verify some information. Once you’ve logged on via the link provided, you’ve given away your banking account information to a scammer.

Though these scams are common in their efforts to take money from unsuspecting victims, there are other efforts that are sometimes reported as scams which aren’t at all. The “ACN scam” is one such “fake scam” which holds no validation. Many of the supposed scams are actually real companies and businesses striving to improve the lives of others through new opportunities and hopes for financial freedom.

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