Avoiding Online Cons

What Is A Ponzi Scheme?

When 48 Hours "Deadly Deception" first aired in 1991, the Web did not yet exist. Since then it has exploded in growth. So have online scams, now a serious problem. To learn more about them and avoid being a victim, check out these sites.

The National Fraud Information Center: This site is a good place to start learning about scams, both online and offline.

Cagey Consumer: The motto of this site gives you a good idea of what it does: "Angering More Scammers Every Day." Find out about all kinds of shady deals: online gambling scams, questionable credit card offers and Ponzi schemes. (To learn more about the original Ponzi scam, see below.)

Cyberspace Fraud and Abuse: The North American Securities Administrators Association has put together a guide to avoiding online scams. Although it was written several years ago, much of the advice still holds true.

Internet Fraud Watch: The National Consumers' League created this site to help Web surfers keep their money out of the hands of oily operators.

Federal Trade Commission Internet Fraud Alert: This site has information on different types of online scams and an online complaint form to use for alerting its investigators if you feel you've been had.

Charles K. Ponzi Website: In the 1920s Charles Ponzi crafted an infamous fraud scheme that took in hundreds; ever since, similar scams have been known as Ponzi schemes. This site tells his story.

Written by David Kohn;