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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Alarming Statistics
May 12, 2010

Alarming Statistics

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Alarming Statistics

• 79% of all email in the US is spam. However the nation is only number 7 in the spam league. Britain comes top with 94%, then China (90%), Hong Kong (89%), Australia (88%), Japan (86%), and Germany (83%). The Netherlands is 8th (78%) followed by Canada (77%).

• The scam ratio for work-at-home jobs posted online is 59:1. which means out of every 60 advertised jobs, only one is genuine.

• On average, 3,500 new sites harboring malware are set up every day. Online security experts McAfee believe there are now more than 1.2 million different types of Internet malware.

• Almost two-thirds of people incorrectly believe a check is valid if a bank pays out funds on it. (That is incorrect, and if the check subsequently bounces, the account holder is responsible for repaying any money they withdrew.)

• A scan of 22 million PCs by security firm Panda Labs in the second quarter of 2009 showed that just short of 12 million of them were infected. If the same proportion applies elsewhere, that means over half of PCs worldwide could be infected with viruses, Trojans, spyware and other malware. The biggest single category of infection is by banking Trojans and password stealers.

• Scammers are known to profile their victims -- they know who makes the best target. For instance, a woman aged 70-plus is the most common target for a lottery scam, while a man in the 55-61 age range is the most common investment fraud victim. The age group that attracts the most scams is the 30-39 year olds.

• The typical victim of a lottery money scam loses around $3,000, usually for supposed tax, administration or Customs fees, while those who fall for advance fee scams lose on average, up to $4,000. The average identity theft victim gets taken for $5,000.

Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:

•Do not respond to unsolicited [spam] e-mail

•Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail

•Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Virus scan the attachments if possible

•Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information

•Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they actually match and will lead you to a legitimate site

•Log on directly to the official Web site for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of "linking" to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information

•Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if the e-mail is genuine

If you have been a victim of internet crime, you should notify the IC3 via Remember - always watch for scams!


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