Being uninformed and gullible can be dangerous.
This is certainly true in both the physical world and also in the virtual world of the internet.
Below are a couple of examples related to internet naivete.
CONGRATULATIONS!! LIVERWOOD AWARD Committee, HAS GRANTED A HUGE SUM OF £1.5 MILLION BRITISH POUNDS TO YOUR EMAIL; For claims,
If the "company" is contacted, you are then contacted by another "company" that states that you must first pay shipping, vat (value added tax), and insurance.
There are people gullible to fall for this. My research tells me this scam has been operating for a long time. Not all scams are so obvious, though--either in procedures or intent.
Some scams do not seek money but information. As a writer, I recently came across, through Google Alerts, the possibility that one of my e-books (or another publication that has the same title) was being offered as a free download by an overseas company. The only way to gain access to the free e-book was to sign up with the site: providing name and personal information.
Doing that, you can (from my research) download the e-book for free. However, the site now has your personal information. I searched for a contact address outside the "sign-up" box, but nothing was available. The site is a closed box unless you open it by providing personal information. Evidently, the site's main function is to gain information for identity theft. The fact that it actually provides a product disguises its real purpose.
The bottom line? Be sure to research a site before providing information. What is its reputation on the internet? What are others saying about the site or "company"?
You may save yourself a great deal of grief with a little caution and research.
Copyright 2012 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved