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A Brief History of Internet Scams

People have been scamming people since the dawn of time, relying on the vulnerability of good natured folks…and now, those same types of scams have made their way to the Internet.

It all started with the lonely girl scams. Remember those? They were spam from some supposed girl (probably really some scary, hairy dude named Louie) who needed money to get out of a jam…bus fare or something like that.

Then came the Internet scams that impersonated charities, asking people to give money to a “good” cause. In the 2000s, there were get rich quick, real estate and weight loss scams. Once you downloaded a file or went to a site, you were toast!

Now there is fake news and worse. There are fake anti-virus scams. They are pop-ups that tell you that your computer is infected with a virus. They try to charge you for software or service to fix it, or they try to get you to give them your personal information.

There are lottery scams that tell you that you won big and you just need to contact the claims representative, who asks you to pay a “processing” fee.

There is a Facebook phishing scam that uses your social media account to scam everyone in your contact list. It may appear to come from a friend and say something like, “What are you doing in this video?” Click that link and infect your computer.

Greeting card scams are greeting cards appearing to be from someone you know, but instead they contain malicious software.

Phishing email scams and clone websites are the same deal – someone posing as a legitimate enterprise, like your bank. They may say that they have some important information about your account and advise you to click here. Don’t click there!

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