What is Internet fraud?
Generally, any type of fraud scheme that uses one or more components of the Internet – such as chat rooms, email, message boards or Web sites – to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme.
What are the major types of online Internet fraud?
- Auctions and retail schemes, online auctions being the number one avenue for Internet fraud
- Business opportunity/”work-at-home” schemes
- Identity theft and fraud
- Investment schemes
- Credit card offers
- Credit repair
- Vacation prize promotions
- Nigerian money offers – This scheme involves someone claiming to be a Nigerian official, who promises big profits in exchange for help moving large sums of money out of their country
- Advance fee loans
- Internet access services
- Health and diet scams
- Free goods, like long distance phone cards, computers, electronics, etc.
- Cable descrambler kits
Filing a Complaint About Internet Fraud
You can file complaints about specific types of fraud with the following agencies:
- Commodities Fraud: Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
- Securities Fraud: SEC Enforcement Division Complaint Center or your state securities regulators
If you think that you’ve been the victim of a fraud scheme that involved the Internet, you can also file a complaint online with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, a joint project of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
Government Web sites
- U.S. Department of Justice
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Securities and Exchange Commission