A lot of perks come with the omnipresence of the Web. It is possible to check your e-mail while on a plane, discover more about fascinating subjects, and have a fresh wardrobe with a few clicks of a mouse. But, with this efficiency comes a drawback. In an era where it is possible to never leave your home with the help out of the World Wide Web, safety is an issue. Scam artists have mastered their craft and can easily access all of your private information. You would imagine web surfers have started to wise up to Online rip-offs. But you’d be mistaken. How far is too far when handling your finances?

After years of trying to improve from the dot-com hangover, the Web is booming again. Forrester Research predicts that online retail sales in the U.S. will be nearly $250 billion in 2014, up from $155 billion in 2009. Last year, online retail sales were up 11%. You know what else is on the rise? Web crime. From January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008, the Internet Crime Complaint Center website received 275,284 complaint submissions. This is a 33.1% increase compared to 2007.

Nearly three-quarters of all complaints with the Internet Crime Complaint Center are online auction fraud accounts. There are countless variations of this eBay-like deception, but the most widespread is when you send in money and get nothing but grief in return. 1 scammer accepted bids meant for Louis Vuitton bags that she didn't possess, and then scoured the Internet in search of cheap knockoffs that cost less than the winning offer. She managed to gather a minimum of $18,000 from bidders before she was outed.

A different online scam deceives you through your inbox. You receive an e-mail that appears like it’s from your bank, cautioning you of identity theft and asking you to log in and confirm your account information. Even though the e-mail may seem authentic with logos and links, it is as false as that Louis Vuitton bag. The data you enter on the bogus site can be sold to criminals who will use it to ruin your credit and drain your account.

“Congratulations, You’ve received an iPhone!” is a message numerous of us have received in our inboxes. The message says all you have to do is go to an online site and provide them with your credit card information to cover the shipping and handling expenses. Two or three months later, unexplained costs begin showing up on your bank statement, but your free iPhone never arrives. The only thing that gets shipped and handled is your identity.

You will find hundreds of Internet thefts. So remember to say ‘scram’ to scam and think logically before providing anyone your private information.

Author's Bio: 

Jaime Jones is a writer for American Income Life Insurance Company. Take a look at one of our State General Agents video websites at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49HNng5Zu1s We are currently hiring!