According to E-Victims, the total number of Internet scammers offering illicit cheap credit, together with phony online retailers using classified advertisements to cheat bargain seekers into parting from their money, is expected to escalate particularly high. E-Victims provides advice and support to people becoming victims of cyber-crime.
The company said that in 2009, 'phishing and identity theft' would be the topmost scam group as the underground market trading in financial data is well rooted. Criminals attempt to steal users' personal data with various techniques like hacking, phishing and abuse of social networks.
Further, spyware and virus threats that are everywhere would form the second most prevalent scam and users would virtually not be able to know whether or not they are accessing a malware-infected website.
At number three, according to E-Victims would be lottery or advance fee or Nigerian scams that have been here for years, and are still flourishing.
Moreover, job and work in residence scams would be the fourth biggest online scams that too have been around for years. However, growing unemployment would mean that more scams would take place that would attack vulnerable job hunters.
In addition, spoofed/fake websites would increase, with domain hijacking, phishing and forum postings being the criminals' techniques to draw users onto their bogus sites. These fake online sellers offer big deals, or items that are virtually impossible to find to draw in victims. The company named these threats as the fifth most common scam.
Debt consolidation and loan scams that had been growing throughout 2008 are likely to continue in 2009 and would be spammers' sixth favorite technique to extort money.
Besides, auction and classified ad scams, holiday themed scams, as well as ticket scams would be the seventh, eighth and ninth most prevalent scams respectively. Thus, to catch new victims, scammers would continue using Internet classified ads, or the topic of credit-crunch biting on holiday expenses. These are the ways in which some too-good-to-be-true deals are advertised. Criminals would also present fake tickets for events like festivals, concerts, football games etc.
Finally, scams with social networks would be the tenth top scam in 2009.