Protecting yourself from online fraud:
A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) survey, "Consumer Fraud in the United States," (August 2004) found that "nearly 25 million adults in the U.S. -- 11.2 percent of the adult population -- were victims of one or more of the consumer frauds covered by the survey during the previous year." Fourteen percent of fraud victims first learned about the scam through e-mail or a Web site.
Fraud is getting harder to detect. No surprise there, the scum who want to scam you consider tricking you to be their job. For most of us, shopping or other online activities that can lead to us becoming victims of fraud are not our jobs. (Although if someone knows where I can get a job shopping online, please let me know. This would come in a close second to my first choice of jobs - taking naps. I haven't found anyone willing to pay me for that yet either.)
I've been using the Internet for at least 15 years now and haven't fallen victim to these scams yet but I'm not going to assume that means there isn't a chance it can happen. The best way to stay safe is to stay current on scams.
Check out Anti-Phishing Working Group too.
About 67% of American adults use the internet. That translates into approximately 135 million people.
The percentage of people with Internet access do the following activities:
Send e-mail - 91%
Buy a product - 67%
Read someone else’s web log or “blog” - 23%
Create content for the internet - 19%
Create a web log or “blog” - 9%