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Weekend Open Forum: Have you, or someone you know, ever been victim of Internet scams?

By Jos · 24 replies
Feb 10, 2012
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  1. Although most Internet users have probably wised up -- or so we'd hope -- to old scams involving some wealthy foreigner who's supposedly being cheated out of millions of dollars…

    Read the whole story
  2. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Yeah my best friend who is computer smart was thinking with the wrong head apparently. He was looking for a third renter/roommate for a house he had bought. He turned to Craigslist and actually believed he was talking to a girl from France who was going to move in. She mailed something crazy like $3500, we went to the bank together and the bank teller told him it was a valid money order. Then she needed the money back for some emergency relating to her grandfather. Lets just say his account was very upside down a few days later.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,487   +3,481

    Purchased a PC once...Then a Mac. Swindled twice!
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,487   +3,481

    As for seriously being scammed... Nope. I've been on the web since the 90s so I've learned the scent of a good scam. I've heard stories of people who've been victim, though. Bogus URLs phishing for account data, doing business with unsecured online retailers, etc. Typically it seems to happen with people who are extremely behind the tech curve or those with more credit cards than sense.
  5. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 647   +58

    If you count horrible online business practices and their terrible customer service then YES!
  6. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Yup my father...old codger that he is, fell for a fishing email. It ended up costing him over 50 grand. He lost his house. He lost all his savings. This was way back in the days when scamming wasnt as prevelent as it is now. Back when Identity theft wasnt recognized as a serious crime. He still cant get a loan, an instore credit card, or any compassion from any financial institute. The person who did the scamming was found useing my fathers info, but he hightailed it out of state before the cops could get him.
    Point of the story.......It can get bad so protect yourself. Ask questions. And most important of all....If it looks too good to be true, it prolly isnt.
  7. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,119   +121

    I've never been scammed over the internet, but I've had my credit card stolen via a shady atm. Someone tried buying an $1800 Dell laptop with my credit card after a trip to New Orleans, and they were in Chicago. Thankfully my bank caught it right away, and changed my cc# for me.

    NTAPRO TS Evangelist Posts: 809   +102

    Those emails...
    You Have Been Invited By One Of Our Members "Terry WetWet" For A Discreet Sexual Encounter

    I lol'd
  9. your forgetting cold call scams from those pretending they are m$ support or affiliates and have you
    give up remote control of your PC. so they can fix your computer
    in the mean time they steal info from computer - install software on -thus compromising your system

    however NO - I have not been scammed - don't fall for it ever
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,487   +3,481

    @guest This has to be one of the most common types of scams friends of mine have run into. "Warning, your computer is infected!!" with a Windows UI mockup on some random website. Three weeks later they're buying a new computer because theirs was trashed by malware & adware.
  11. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,631   +688

    My brother - who in general is a relatively bright guy - printed off one of those "you have won the Irish lottery!" e-mails and took it to his attorney to see how he should handle his winnings. I found out about it 2-3 years after the fact from another brother because he was so embarrassed to admit he fell for it. He didn't lose any money, but just the fact that he ran to an attorney thinking he'd won millions from a spam e-mail was enough to shame him for life. :p
  12. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Guru Posts: 365   +81


    Anyway, I've never fallen for any kind of scam, but my parents constantly install toolbars and all kinds of adware on their PCs. Most people that keep up-to-date with technology won't get scammed too easily.
  13. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +95

    A couple of my friends got their email accounts hacked (although they got them back in the end), anyway, only damage was 'spam' emails claiming that both of these gentlemen were 'grave financial distress in some foreign country' and needed some 'money loaned' to them so they can at least reach homes. I suspect they must have visited some 'pron' sites before these hacking incidents :rolleyes:
  14. Mindwraith

    Mindwraith TS Enthusiast Posts: 186

    One of my friends actually fell for the old trick "an estranged foreign relative died and left his estate to you, we just need some details to forward your inheritance onto you".
  15. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +12

    Yes, I had a friend who got his steam account stolen and he started linking me to the phishing site. He never linked me crap out of nowhere so I knew something was up.
  16. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 465   +77

    In my opinion, I haven't but it's not like they did not try!
  17. my friends have iq more than 50 no scam till now :p
    but still no scam
  18. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,027   +197

    I have never fallen for a scam but my bros shared(with me) wow account got hacked, blizzard restored a lot of stuff but not everything. I believe thats because we tried out a bot. It was odd they took over after the game license ran out bought more time and used it to farm gold.
  19. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TS Guru Posts: 451   +32

    knew a friend once who got ripped off for a dvd player.
  20. I know some friends that were scamed,... one ordered a TV, the other a car and they both payed in advance. My dad constantly fills his desktop with toolbars and other crap. Once he had a piece of malware that told him that he has other malware on it and that he needs to pay for removal (and the software prevented using firefox or uninstalling), I basicly searched for a licence key for the malware and the problem was solved.

    I think the biggest problem for none techy people is that most scam messages copy the design of windows messages pretty well - one can only tell by the mouse curser. So they click on the little x in the top corner, but dont know that it doesn't matter where you click and the next junk is installed.

    Once I ordered a notebook in the US from a online shop in Page AZ, the PC didn't arrive for 6 weeks and I already felt riped off, however they sent me a cash check and aborted the credit card payment too,... so I got 1300$ for being 6 weeks without a PC - fair enough.
  21. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,362   +67

    I get 5 to 10 "lottery winning" emails a day at my isp (att) email. I once opened a po box (which I needed anyway) and gave one of them that address when it first started. According to them, I won $1 million but had to send them a $300 "processing fee". I never did, but do get lots of emails like that to this day. I figured it was less risky than actual gambling. I little old lady in California I knew (she wasn't from Pasadena), her name was Kim, fell for such a scheme by mail. I think she sent them $500.
  22. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,027   +197

    "Greetings, friends. Do you wish to look as happy as me? Well, you've got the power inside you right now. So use it and send one dollar to Happy Dude, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield. Don't delay. Eternal happiness is just a dollar away."
    'Happy Dude'

    "Hello, this is Homer Simpson aka Happy Dude! The court has ordered me to call every person in town to apologize for my telemarketing scam. I'm sorry. If you can find it in your heart to forgive me, send one dollar to : Sorry Dude, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield. You have the power!
    'Sorry Dude'
  23. I am not sure this scam is related to the internet, but I can only imagine my grandparents fell for something that leaked their personal information. But it was back in 2009 when phone call scams about peoples children being hurt in Mexico while on vacation and then needed money to sent him to the USA for medical treatment.

    Well, my grandparents received a phone call from someone pretending to be me and had basic info about me such as my name and age. But they called my grandparents saying that I was going to Niagara falls when a cop pulled me and some friends over and then found drugs on one of my friends. The person pretending to be me was begging and pleading for my grandparents not to tell my parents and swore up and down the drugs weren't mine and I needed them to send me $1000 for bail. So my grandparents tried for 3 days to get the money but did have it so they finally called my dad. At the time I had a blackberry storm on its last leg that couldn't receive phone calls and he couldn't get a hold of me. I went into work that after noon with emergency voices from my dad and bestfriends trying to locate me and find out if I was really in new York lol.

    Scammers made a lot of noise for me but didn't get any money. I am now frequently getting emails label New York Police Department sending me photoradar tickets. Funny I've never been there...
  24. Jos

    Jos TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 3,073   +97

    An acquaintance once told me about this site that was selling brand name laptops and other electronics at about half their retail price and kept going on that people were dumb to pay full retail. The site was highly recommended to him by a "friend", or so he claimed, then he showed me were he actually got the link: one of those spam messages that start with "Hey friend, check out these amazing deals! I bought a new MacBook for $400" or something along those lines.

    It was so obvious it was a scam. I just adviced him not to buy anything from them, and to disregard any other 'offers' that arrive on his inbox from people he doesn't actually know.
  25. I have cleaned up some computers that people installed fake anti-virus and such. I have had a 2 or 3 friends had their email taken over for a while. I have been called with phishing scams and have seen my share of email scams though I have never fallen for them. I did have someone make a charge on my credit card however the bank caught it before it became an issue. Looks like someone got the credit card info while I was on a vacation trip.

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