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Internet scams have been around nearly as long as the internet itself, and many of them have roots in scams that existed well before the internet but have been adapted to the new medium.

Scams have become more advanced, more deceptive, and more common, and even venerable scams from the early days still snag people.

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The moment the bad guy cashes your money order, you lose.

Usually, by the time you realize you have been suckered by a con artist, they are long gone with your money.

You will never see any of the promised money because there isn’t any.

This scam is not even new; its variant dates back to 1920s when it was known as "The Spanish Prisoner" con.

The emails frighten or entice you into clicking on a link that delivers you to the phony web page, where you can enter your ID and password.

A common ruse is an urgent need to "confirm your identity." The message will even offer you a story of how your account has been attacked by hackers to trick you into divulging your confidential information. Check a link's legitimacy by checking that the URL address of the link is sending you to a secure site — you'll know this because the link address will begin with https:// (note the "s" after http). If still in doubt, make a phone call to the financial institution to verify if the email is real.

This is known as the Nigerian scam, and also as the "4-1-9" (which refers to the section of Nigerian Criminal Code that deals with fraud) and the "Advance Fee Scam."In every variation, the scammer is promising obscenely large payments for small unskilled tasks.

This scam, like most scams, is too good to be true, yet people still fall for this money transfer con game.

In the meantime, if an email seems suspicious to you, do not trust it. Being skeptical could save you a lot of money, time, and hassle.

Most of you have received an email from a member of a Nigerian family with wealth.

Email programs have improved by adding ways of recognizing bogus emails and flagging them before they get to you, but they're not perfect.

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