Scam, cons, rip-offs, stings, and outright theft, not to mention the fiendish swine that perpetrate them, have been with us since man first learned to speak – and likely before that. But in the veil of anonymity that is the Internet, conmen and swindlers have a powerful new ally that shields them like never before and lends a certain air of authority and credibility to their nasty plans. If you can honestly say you’ve never been duped, even temporarily, by an official-looking yet oddly-worded email or a bogus website, or have never felt that wave of nausea when you suspect someone, somewhere, has gained access to your personal information, you’re either a liar or an extreme rarity.
It is with this in mind that we offer the following crash course on online scamming, fraud, and personal attacks. We’ll look at some of today’s sleaziest, most popular modus operandi and suggest a variety of actions you can take to prevent becoming another casualty.