Report Scams

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I think there is a special place, where the devil lives, for scammers. They prey upon the elderly, the weak, and the naive. They follow news disasters like an ambulance chaser and trick people out of their money when they are least able to protect themselves. These cyber criminals take advantage of the trusting nature of people and use it against them. Scammers make up any story in the world that will get victims not only to believe them, but to send their hard earned money to the scammer. And then the scammer will disappear. They do not give a second thought to the victim or what that loss of money and embarrassment means to someone. It can be devastating.

Like so many cockroaches, I do not think we can ever eradicate scammers. I wish we could, but I don't see it happening. The business of scamming people is just too easy a livelihood. The Internet has increased the victim pool for criminals. More victims can be reached for practically no upfront costs. There is no financial investment to become a scammer. There are no educational requirements. They have very little on-going costs and yet the pay-offs are high. We are never going to get rid of scammers. We can spray them with bug spray, throw bug bombs at them - get an exterminator in, but the cockroaches will always come back. They always do. They are notorious survivors. We take great pleasure in squishing one single cockroach with the our shoe, all the while knowing killing one doesn't do a darn thing to stem the tide of more cockroaches. But still we enjoy our moment. And we go on to fight another day. Oh... right, I'm talking about scammers. I almost got lost in my metaphor.

I've been involved with computers since the early 1980's, and involved with the Internet since it began in the early 1990's. I've seen how this wave of scammers have been attracted to the Internet like moths to a flame. And in the beginning, I'd help friends and colleagues squish one scammer email after another. But as time passed, my email in-box began to fill with people requesting me to verify if something they had received was a scam. I realized I had to do more than just reply to their questions.

Being aware that these slime-bags are well-versed in how to evade authorities (and really many of them just stay under the radar of what authorities have the resources to even pursue), it occurred to me that I could use the Internet the same way they do. They use the Internet to find new victims. Bingo. I could use the Internet to bring their cockroach lives out of the shadows and into the light. Cockroaches scurry when the light is turned on. So do scammers. I realized the Internet was a great tool in how we can warn each other and make it a LOT harder for a scammer to successfully steal money from people. We can't stop all scammers, but we can make it a lot harder. Every single individual person who has been warned off a scam is a win to me. I love those emails from people saying, "I received this email, it seemed a little weird, I searched online and you confirmed it was a scam. Thanks!" I love those emails. They are like vitamin pills to me.

And if you are beginning to think that maybe I have some kind of weird savior complex, I suppose you are not that far off from the truth. Warrior complex might be a closer description. It feels like a battle. A battle where the odds are against me. And yet I race to the front lines anyway. I want to spread the word and warn as many people as I can about how to avoid these Internet scams. I've got blogs on the topic, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, books, and more. I'll throw everything at it. Even my shoes, if that would help.

In my series of books about Internet scams, called Internet Scams Revealed, I continue to expose what internet scams look like and how to protect yourself online.

In Volume 1, I explained the Top 10 Email Scams (ISBN: 978-1-938831-00-3) in use today - how they work, what red flag clues to look for, and what you can do to protect yourself. It covers such email scams as the Nigerian 419 scam, credit card fee scam, lottery scam, advanced purchase scam, phishing email scams, and more. Many actual examples are provided as illustrations of what these scam emails may look like. I also cover what to do about Identity Theft. Read a free excerpt. This volume paperback or ebook can be purchased on Amazon.

In Volume 2, Social Media Scams (ISBN: 978-1-938831-02-7), I provide a background for how all the social media sites got started and then I explore scams on the largest social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Craigslist, Linkedin, Pinterest, as well as dating sites. I look at the most common scams on each platform as well as provide lots of advice for how to detect and avoid these scams. Read a free excerpt. This volume paperback or ebook can be purchased on Amazon.

This supplemental ebook resource guide, "Report Scams", is an add-on to the whole Internet Scams series. I wanted to pulled together an annotated list of resources for reporting and getting more information on scams into one place. Internet links frequently change and more resources are popping up all the time. I know it is hard to keep a list like this with links that still all work. I will do my best to put out periodic new editions of this supplement. I want it to be useful and save you time finding these resources yourself.

I hope you become one of the anti-scam warriors who no longer tolerate online scams and use the Internet to help warn others before they lose money or valuable personal information to a scammer.

- Kathleen, Anti-Scam Samurai