The rise of the Internet has also given rise to new schemes to deceive people. Hoaxes on the Internet may be designed to trick people into sending money, credit card information, personal data, and more. Computer users need to be wary of the email they receive, especially when it asks for personal information or passwords and money. Below are some tips for protecting yourself against Internet hoaxes:
Last year, Nigerian Letter Scams constituted the third biggest consumer fraud on the Internet, trailing auctions and the sale of merchandise, according to the National Consumer League. They typically claim to need your distant involvement in some illegal, money-laundering proposal. They will want to get the money out of Nigeria or other West African country by using you as a middleman "who will benefit greatly from your assistance and cooperation". Upon receipt of the requested documents, you are asked to transfer money to pay for newly-discovered transfer taxes and contract fees demanded by the Central Bank of Nigeria and fees for the attorneys acting on your behalf, if you choose not to come there in person. Either initially or eventually you must provide further fees and payments, usually by wire transfer, for various taxes and expenses to compete the deal. The are increasing reports of individuals being held for ransom after first being lured overseas with the promise of culminating these exceptional business transactions.