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Internet Scams Catalogue


Unexpected money scams


These scams are based on informing victim that he has won or inherited a large unexpected amount of money. Attacker asks for help in the transfer of that money to victim because he is due to various reasons unable to do that himself (legal restrictions, corrupt local government, disease, etc.). The notice is usually received through electronic or regular mail, and in recent years through social networks. The story of a dying billionaire who wants to pass his fortune to charity, or claim that...



Business & investment scams


This category of scams includes various types of scams related to business and investment. Attacker can approach victim in different ways: through websites with fake job offers and ads with extremely affordable job deals or by offering tips for “easy money” via e-mail and social networks. The first type of scams is based on the offer for a dream job in a foreign country or offers to work from home with an excellent salary. Attacker lures victims to fill in a form and thus reveal their...



Fake charities scams


This category of scams aims at compassion of people who are willing to help victims of some tragedy. In a typical scenario, a potential scam victim receives via e-mail a request to make a donation to victims of some natural disaster or to help pay operation of a sick child. Received e-mail message already has a link to web page through which funds can be donated. By opening the link, victim gets directed to a fake website of electronic payment services which requires entering personal login...



Buying or selling scams


All scams in this category of scams are based on persuading the victim to participate in apparently legal transactions. In the first type of scam in this category of scams, victim is assured that after paying for the product he will get it, though this usually does not happen. An example would be the fake websites for online shopping of electronics, automobiles, housing, etc. In the second type of scam focus is on false advertising to convince victim that this product is excellent and that it...



False representation scams


All scams in this category are based on a false representation of the attacker and an attempt to gain victim’s trust. The most common medium for the implementation of these scams are social networks or specialized websites for online dating. The attacker attempts to create the illusion that he has a sincere and real relationship with the victim. He is trying to gradually win victim’s trust and then moves to more concrete attempts for money extraction. A typical example is the request for...



Personal data theft scams


Although theft of data appears as a result of scams in other scam categories, this category includes various types of scams whose primary goal is stealing victim’s personal data. First type of scams includes those based on the installation of malware (adware, spyware, etc.). Victim is via a link on the webpage, e-mail or social network profile offered to install application that allows an attacker access to the victim’s computer, e-mail mailbox or social networking profile. More...



Pyramidal scams


Pyramidal scams are based on continuous inclusion of new members whose participation funds previously included members of the “pyramid”. Although goal of each member of the pyramid is to bring as many new members as possible, it is certain that sooner or later the pyramid hierarchy crumbles. In other words, newly included victims of the scam will no longer be able to support the accumulated senior membership. Famous example in this scam category is a Ponzi scam. It is an investment scam in...



Telephony scams


Scams via telephony include all types of scams via mobile or fixed phone. Their goal may be theft of personal data, extraction of money, false representation, etc. First type of scam in this category of scams is missed call scam that functions according to the following scenario: attacker calls potential victim on his fixed or mobile phone, but immediately hangs up so the victim does not have time to answer. After that, victim usually without much thought calls back that number to find out who...



Threat & extortion scams


This category of scams includes various types of scams related to threats and extortion. First type of scam is ransomware. Attacker in this scam takes control of the victim’s computer, encrypts all files and blocks access to them without possessing a special key. Attacker requests monetary compensation (ransom) from the victim and in return promises key to decrypt the files and return control of the hijacked computer. Another type of scam in this category of scams is fake hitman scam....