Scam Emails Archive : Generic

Subject: Scamdex, Internet Scambusters Newsletter #314, 12-17-08

From: "Scambusters Editors" <>

This email with the subject "Scamdex, Internet Scambusters Newsletter #314, 12-17-08" was received in one of Scamdex's honeypot email accounts on Wed, 17 Dec 2008 01:06:49 -0800 and has been classified as a Generic Scam.

The sender was "Scambusters Editors" <>, although it may have been spoofed.


Internet Scambusters (tm)
The #1 Publication on Internet Fraud

By Scambusters Audri, Jim and Keith
Issue #314  December 17, 2008


Note 1: Easily change your subscription information by
clicking the link at the very bottom of this newsletter.

Note 2: Please share this newsletter with 3 or 4 of your
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Hi Scamdex,

In our annual review of the Top 10 Internet scams, we explore
the outturn for 2008 compared with our forecasts for the year.
Hint: We came pretty close!

And as always, we make our predictions for 2009, with identity
theft expected to stay in the #1 slot.

The downturn in the economy, which has certainly made itself
felt in 2008, is expected to have even more serious
repercussions in 2009, as our chart for the Top 10 Internet
scams next year shows.

We also analyze the current trends and explain the most
important things you need to know to keep you and your family

However, before we begin, we encourage you to take a
look at this week's most popular articles from our other sites:

Answers to 7 of the Biggest Questions About the Lensbaby: 
An Interview With Kathleen Clemons

Is Holiday Shopping Putting You at Risk of Identity Theft?

Keeping Your Budget, Sanity and Safety Intact During the Holiday Shopping Season

Holiday articles:

The Hottest Christmas Decorations of 2008

3 High Tech-Gift Ideas The Geek In Everyone Will Love

Snow Globe Christmas Ornament Ideas

Let's get started...

The Top 10 Internet Scams of 2008 and 2009

When we predicted our list of the Top 10 Internet scams of
2008, we left our final #10 slot open for what we confidently
said would be a "new category." Without wishing to sound
boastful, that turned out to be a perceptive move.

Looking back now, it's no surprise, given the turn of events.
However, we're sad to report it all the same: a whole
collection of scams relating to our weakening economy burst in
in position #10.

As you'll see later, this new category of scams is predicted
to significantly zip up the 2009 charts. As more and more of
us struggle with the effects of the downturn, so the scammers
seize the chance to beat us with tricks that promise to make
all our troubles go away.

How Did We Do in Predicting the Top Scams for 2008?

In fact, our predictions for 2008 hit the mark quite accurately.

We base our results -- and forecasts -- on the feedback we get
from the millions of Scambusters subscribers and visitors,
official surveys and on the regular news reports we summarize
in our Scamlines series.

This is not a scientific analysis. However, together, we
believe these are a fairly accurate barometer of what's
happening in the world of scamming and, by taking note, our
lists hopefully will help our worldwide subscribers to cut the
risk of being tricked.

You may want to take a quick look back at the Top 10 Internet
scams article we published this time last year that includes
our predictions for 2008.

Here Are The Results for 2008:

10. Economy-related scams. This is the 'new category' we
predicted and takes in a range of con tricks perpetrated over
the Internet, by phone and mail. It includes bogus
fix-your-credit-rating offers, foreclosure scams and phony
advance fee business loans.

9. Pump and dump share-tip scams (Predicted as #9).

8. Online dating scams (Predicted as #8).

7. Spyware threats (Predicted as #7).

6. Overpayment scams (Predicted as #6).

5. Viruses, worms and Trojans (Predicted as #5)

=3. Lottery scams (Predicted as #3). Tied with Nigerian scams.

=3. Nigerian scams (Predicted as #4). We suggested there would
be lots of new twists to the Nigerian scams and we were right,
as shown by our special article in issue #309.

2. Phishing scams (Predicted as #2).

1. Identity theft scams (Predicted as #1).

It's no surprise that identity theft scams occupy the #1 slot
as they always have, and they probably will continue to do so
well into the future. This crime is way ahead of the other
categories, both in terms of actual numbers and the heavy cost
to individual victims and business, which now runs into many
billions of dollars every year.

Phishing scams are still way up there too but one encouraging
sign of the past year has been a greater awareness of this
(thanks, in a very small part to Scambusters!) and the
inclusion of phishing spotters in many of the main Internet
security packages.

And because the two scams are closely connected -- identity
theft is often the inevitable consequence of successful
phishing -- we're going to combine these into a single category
for our 2009 predictions.

We also expect to see yet more variations of the Nigerian
scams, which as we reported in Scamlines just a couple of
weeks ago, robbed a single victim of $400,000 with the lure of
a promised (but non-existent) fortune of $26 million.

Changes for 2009

We're making some changes to the way we compile our 2009 list.
Many of the scams we regularly report are perpetrated not just
on the Internet but over the phone and even face-to-face.

In view of this blurring of the lines between how these crimes
are carried out, we've introduced some new categories into our
predictions. So, although our list of Top 10 scams for 2009
still focuses on Internet scams, you should continue to be on
the alert for them to be delivered by these other routes too.

Predictions for the Top 10 Internet Scams of 2009

10. Travel and vacation scams. Travel scams have always been
around. But this year we expect to see more Internet-based
ruses like bogus offers of cheap airfare and event tickets.
The huge Olympic Games Internet tickets scam of 2008 was just
the start.

9. Phony auction and classified sales. Yes, eBay, Craigslist,
etc. scammers continue to reel in the victims. Despite
attempts by the sites themselves to clamp down on the con
artists, we expect the tricksters to re-double their deception

8. Investment and pump and dump scams. We've broadened this
category after reporting on a number of failed or phony
investment schemes that have cost victims tens of millions of

7. Work at home and job scams. With unemployment on the rise
and the growing popularity of working from home, we think this
scam will become more prevalent in 2009.

6. Grandparent, family tragedy and death threat scams. These
are extremely common scams where people ask for money by
claiming a relative is in trouble or that a murder contract
has been taken out. Mostly, they come by phone but
increasingly are seen in emails.

5. Viruses and spyware.

4. Nigerian scams, again with lots more new twists.

3. Lottery scams. You've won! New ones are appearing from
Canada, the Caribbean, inside the US and from the Far East.

2. Economy related scams. We predict huge growth in loan- and
credit-related scams, but foreclosure scams may ease slightly
as pressure eases on banks. We'll see.

1. Identity theft and phishing. Despite tougher
counter-measures, this scam is still way too easy for the

Because of what's happening in the economy right now, we
expect to see a significant rise in scams in all the above
categories, with many clever variations on even the most
well-worn tricks.

Over the past 14 years, since Scambusters began keeping
subscribers up to date with those tricks, we've seen a sharp
shift from small-time crooks conning individuals to organized
crime, scamming whole sections of the population on a large

Seniors have been particular targets because they're either
more trusting or are more easily confused and misled.

Fortunately, the fight back is equally determined. Yes, it
often feels like a drop in the bucket. But who knows what the
scale of these despicable crimes would be without this

What to Do...

That's why we call on all our subscribers not only to follow
our reports closely but also to do two other vital things:

- Look out for those who are most at risk. If you have friends
and relatives in this category, try to keep tabs on their
activities and never lose an opportunity to warn them of the

- Pass on the word about Scambusters to the people you care
about. Tell them where to find us on the Internet and invite
them to join our mailing list.

The more we can help each other, the more we hamper the
scammers. It's going to be tough but let's try to make 2009
the year we turn the tide!

Time to conclude for today -- have a great week!

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