This is where you receive an email stating you won the lottery. Usually the lottery they say you won could be the British Lottery, a African Lottery, etc. The con artists will require you to give them personal information (Name, Address, Phone Number, Banking Information, etc). They will usually try to set up a meeting with you to build your confidence and trust. Then when the "winner" provides them everything, the con artist then takes the victim for whatever they can.
This scam has been going on for many years. This is where someone either mails you a check or approaches you and asks for you to cash a check for them. The checks WILL look like real checks. They will usually offer you a percentage of the money and tell you that they want the other part of the money (i.e.: $1000 check, you get $200 and they get $800). Many victim's have actually cashed these checks and then been arrested later for Fraud/Forgery, while the con artists gets away "Scott Free".
Internet can be a great way to shop, sell items, pay bills, and for entertainment. However, as previous incidents have shown, it can be a very dangerous environment in many ways. For many years, there have been people taking advantage of innocent users of the internet. Some of the following are but a few examples:
1. EBAY and Pay Pal - Innocent victim's would receive emails "claiming" to be from EBAY and Pay Pal and that your account will be suspended/cancelled if you don't click the link in the email to update your information; or, it may show a buyer/seller attempting to contact you about a bad transaction (item not received, damaged, etc). The victim clicks the link in the email and does their normal login; however, that is done on a fake Ebay/Pay Pal site. Now that con artist has your username and password and can get all your financial information. If you receive these emails, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Do not click any links in the email, rather open a new internet window and type the website address so that you know you are on the real website.
2. E-Commerce scams - This is when the con artist sends you emails regarding some excellent STOCK prices for a company, or that you have been guaranteed "X" amount of dollars. Again, you usually will have to give them your information and then they will have all the information they need to obtain credit in your name or drain your bank account.
3. Email Inheritance Scams - These are those emails everyone is seeing where someone from England or some African Country emails you and tells you their family member died leaving them millions. They will go on to say that they are looking for a trustworthy individual who can help them invest their money in the USA. They will tell you that you will also be handsomely rewarded with a nice percentage. NOTE: There have been many people arrested as they entered the US for running this type of scam. Click the following button for an article on one such arrest.