Computer Crime Research Center


Top Internet scams

Date: May 21, 2007

Some investment scams prey on charity and some prey on greed, but they all rely on deception, according to the Alabama Securities Commission, which last week released its annual list of the 10 biggest investor traps.

ASC Director Joseph Borg said the list reflects the investment scams that cost Alabama residents the most each year.

He said his office does not estimate how much money scams take each year, but he said national estimates put the cost at $40 billion annually.

The most popular scams in Alabama prey on the victims' religion, he said.

Those rip-offs, called affinity frauds, often being when the scam artists befriends a church leader such as a preacher or deacon. Once the leader invests and recommends the investment, other church members are likely to follow.

Borg said these frauds are particularly effective when the victims think part of the profit will benefit the church.
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