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Blog Posting Assignment #3 (Due at the beginning of Class 7, June 16, 2009)

Read the article "Web Self-defense: How to protect Yourself Against Internet Scams" written by David Schardt and published in Nutrition Action Healthletter in April 2009. The article can be found here http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/fraud_alert_-_internet_scams.pdf.

Write a paragraph-long opinion about the issues of the Internet fraud, covered in this article. Make sure to address the following issues:

1. As a consumer, have you ever been a victim or know somebody who has been a victim of such an Internet scam as described in this article?

2. What needs to be done in order to better protect consumers on the Internet?

3. Can information literacy help with consumer protection and if yes, how? To answer this question you should remember that, according to the Association of College and research Libraries, information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

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1. As a consumer, I haven’t been a victim yet, Thanks God. As describing in this article; Debbie, L Tedder, and Noch Toeuy they are victim as an internet scam.

2. We should be suspicious about “free Trial”, watch out for bogus blogs, ignore endorsement, forget most product reviews, and stop by the better business bureau to be a better protect consumer on the internet, as describing in this article.

3. Of course, information literacy can help with consumer protection. By the knowledge of information literacy we can understand how the information is organized, identify the best source of information which one is needed, locate and evaluate the sources; which are authoritative, current and reliable. As a consumer to protect ourselves, we should use information literacy not only for our academic purposes but all purposes in our daily life.

In today’s society the internet is a way that we can access products and services without actually going to the stores. You don’t have to drive or travel to find out the price of a product or even purchase something , everything is available with the click of a button. Personally I have never been a victim of an Internet scam as the one described in the article. There are a few tips that can protect consumers while on the Internet: use a virtual credit card with a specific dollar amount, get a pre-paid visa /master card, you should be suspicious of free trials, watch out for bogus blogs, ignore endorsements and check out better business bureau. Information Literacy can help with consumer protection. It is helpful because with that knowledge you have the ability to decipher and make informed decisions on what you should ignore and how to evaluate the information on the internet.

I personally have not been a victim, nor know of anyone personally that has been a victim of Internet fraud or scams. My only experiences with such scams are the pop-up advertisements for similar items promising similar results, and the warnings on the news stations. In order to better protect consumers on the Internet, consumers may create a virtual credit number that has a set dollar limit, which will reject anything that is charged over the limit. Another thing that consumers can do in order to protect themselves is to use a prepaid credit card which sets a limit to what may be charged. Information literacy can definitely help protect consumers. If consumers know what to look for and are aware of scams and fraud, and the ways to prevent them, they will be safer. With the ability to locate information and to evaluate a source, consumers will be less likely to become victims of such fraud. With information literacy, consumers would not be so ready to accept blogs and endorsements at face value and become victims.

As an active consumer in the online community, I have yet to find anyone that has been scammed, nor have I been scammed. Often times I usually check the reliability of the site and see if any other customers purchased from there. If the website does not meet any of those requirements, I automatically rule it out. In order to protect consumers who aren’t aware of these types of website, it might be a good idea to advertise it on television to the older generation and younger generation that these types of websites exist. Implicating awareness of this kind of fraud in the educational system may also help the younger generation understand more so these mistakes aren’t made. Information Literacy would help a great deal because if you know what you are looking for when you are browsing on the internet, you would know which websites and which advertisements look credible or not.

1. As a consumer, have you ever been a victim or know somebody who has been a victim of such an Internet scam as described in this article?
I haven’t been a victim of internet scam but I have received many fishing e-mails which try to get any personal information to commit an identity theft. Nowadays, when anyone can publish and create web site on the web , we should be more careful which websites we open and to whom we give our personal information or credit cards’ numbers.
2. What needs to be done in order to better protect consumers on the Internet?
There are anti-virus programs or anti spywares that we can install to protect our computers from hacking. This article is great because it gives us another solution to protect ourselves as consumers , whenever we have any doubts about a website and company we can check its credibility on us.bbb.org and click on “Check Out a Business or Charity” and enter any information we have: company name, name and city, phone number, Web site address.
3. Can information literacy help with consumer protection and if yes, how? To answer this question you should remember that, according to the Association of College and research Libraries, information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."
I think that it can definitely help us. Being able to differentiate web site by their suffixes .edu, .com, .org or .net is something that give us a hint about the reliability of the site. What is more, we know that we should always check out the publisher, author and look for review for the site to make sure that we can rely on the information published or submit any personal information. The author of the article advices us as well to search the many complaint Web sites where unhappy consumers post their tales of woe or try complaintsboard.com, complaints.com, and ripoffreport.com. We can also Google the company or product name and look for links to complaints.


1. As a consumer, have you ever been a victim or know somebody who has been a victim of such an Internet scam as described in this article?

As a consumer I have been the victim of a scam like the one describe in this article. I ordered a "free trial" of a product online and then after a month my credit card was charged $80.

2. What needs to be done in order to better protect consumers on the Internet?

Luckily, in my case, I had used an American Express card to order the product. One service that American Express offers is to "protest" a charge. You can go online and put a hold on a charge and explain to American Express why you do not think you should have to pay for this charge. American Express then researches the situation and determines whether or not you do in fact need to pay the charge. This is exactly what I did and my card was never charged again. This is an extremeley valuable tool and other card companies could offer a similar service which would help consumers to avoid these charges during the time they are trying to contact the company and cancel the subscription. In addition, I think laws could be put in place placing harsher punishments on people who run these scams and requiring that they inform the consumer better than just listing it in the "fine print".

3. Can information literacy help with consumer protection and if yes, how? To answer this question you should remember that, according to the Association of College and research Libraries, information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

Information literacy can absolutely help with this problem. For example, something as simple as reading this article has informed me about the Better Business Bureau. Being aware of this kind of information can protect a consumer from unknowingly enter into a situation like this.

Online scams are the order of this age for con artists who employ nimble tactics on shoppers. Fortunately, I have not been a victim of this neither does anyone I know. Consumers ought to be vigilant of how these scams work, attention needs to be paid to “free” trials, and celebrity endorsed or recommended products and cautious of most product reviews. The use of virtual numbers on credit cards reduces the risk of charges being placed periodically. Consumers should check the credibility of websites and products by visiting the Better Business Bureau website at us.bbb.org and also read consumer complaint reports. Information literacy definitely provides consumers with overwhelming protection. An information literate consumer is knowledgeable about the various existing scams and how to research products and online sellers to verify reliability and compare prices for a good deal on products and services.

1. I have never fell victim to an internet scam. My skepticism toward the entire internet industry has led me to take steps to ensure the quality of the products I would buy or whatever information I was looking for.

2. To better protect customers on the internet, I believe the most beneficial action would be preventative education. The best way to stop the success of internet scams is by training consumers to spot them before they fall victim to them. This is better than government regulation because there is always a way to get around government regulations and policies.

3. As previously stated, (without even seeing this 3rd question), I believe information literacy is the key to protecting consumers online. Information literacy is being able to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." If consumers had the ability to spot information they need and want and are able to evaluate it effectively, then they would almost have to be able to recognize a fraudulent or scamming website. The ability to spot information they want as well as information they don't want is key for consumers to protect themselves in an online marketplace.

I dont know anyone who has been ripped off by this kind of diet scam, but my brother was once ripped off on Ebay. He was selling a PDA like thing and the buyer lived in another country (i dont remember which) and he paid for the item with Paypal but once the item was shipped he managed to remove the funds from my brothers account by some technicality, some loophole with Paypal and foreign countries, and got his money back and the PDA thing. So my bro got ripped off like 500bucks and it wasn't till years later when my brother got some of that money back from Paypal (after enough people complained about similar loopholes).

I dont know if there really is anything else that can be done to protect people from the internet. The old saying "buyers beware" explains the internet perfectly. People should just make sure they are buying things from a reputable site. The sites they listed off in this article are great, and the whole virtual credit card is a brilliant idea.

Yea information literacy would be helpful. I guess it would give you the skills to look up to see if this site is reputable. You don't want to look on more scam sites. People need to just watch out for possible scammers all the time on the internet and double checking shady sites is the only thing that can help prevent getting scammed. I know i get a lot of fake emails for this game i play about people pretending to be the game company and they need to see my username and password. Everything almost looks legit except i know better than to just type in my username and password without looking this email up to see if its real...cause if it isn't, that's bad news bears.

in short: "THE INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS!" hahaha

I have not been a victim of an internet scam. I was always taught that when something says free it is not and stay away from flashy and bright advertisment,which those could be viruses. To protect costumers on the internet we need to be more educated and understand what is a scam and what is offical. Using a virtual credit card number so the company wont know your real number is a great idea. Also having a pre-paid visa which limits your spending options and going to the better business bureau website which allows you to find information on companies are all steps used to prevent internet scams. The internet is lovely, providing access and information but is also dangerous providing fraud, scam, and lack of privacy. Being literate about internet scams can only help better you. The more you know, the better choices you will make.

As a consumer, I have never been a victim of such an Internet scam as described in the article. I also have not met anyone who has been a victim of an Internet scam. To avoid ever becoming a victim, consumers can protect themselves on the Internet by not assuming all recommendations for products are factual. Research should be done on a company before purchasing it's product and checking out the Better Business Bureau can help in conducting a background check. Information literacy can help with consumer protection in that individuals will have the ability to evaluate websites and judge it's credibility by locating outside sources and comparing the website scam to the sources found.

I have not been victim to any type of internet scams. I dont know anyone who really has been a victim of it either. To better protect the consumers I feel there should be a better system as to paying on the internet. People hack into systems all the time to get credit card info and other importatnt identification stuff. I think a better education process about the internet needs to be put into place to help protect the new internet users and the elderly. Info literacy will help to protect people more becuase they will know where their information is going and be more aware of what to not put inter certain sites.

1. I've never had any experience with scams like the ones mentioned in the article, but recently I bought something through a third-party on amazon.com only to have the order never arrive. Luckily having purchased the item through Amazon (who the BBB gave an A+) I was able to have my money returned to my debit card.

2. Consumers should always take information that comes off the web with a grain of salt. If consumers are warned they will become more careful, they just need to hear the warnings and be better informed that sites like the Better Business Bureau and complaintsboard.com exist. Provided with the knowledge that they can take simple steps to protect themselves online, people will take those steps.

3. Information literacy is key in a consumer protecting themselves online. Knowledge sheds light on the world allowing a person to see things from a different perspective. If a consumer locates what product they are searching for and then continues to research the topic through sites such as the BBB, complaints, reviews, etc. they will be better aware and more sure of the quality of the product they intend on purchasing and the site they intend to purchase from.

1.) I have been a victim of an internet scam once before. I found a great deal on an expensive product, probably too good of a deal. I paid for the product and shipping, however, the product never arrived. I tried calling the business where I bought the product from, but the phone number had been disconnected. I really haven't bought anything online since.

2.I think there needs to be more regulations regarding internet sales. Anyone can solicit a product online which is a scam, but never be held accountable. I think the government needs to step up and make sure those who are receiving payment from people are legitimate and actually produce what they are promising in their sales pitch.

3. I think information literacy can definitely help a person in protecting them against internet scams. Once a person can decipher a good and accredited website from a fraudulent one, that person can become aware of potential internet scams.

I have not been a victim of internet scams nor has anyone I know. Honestly it feels like something that could never happen to me, but I know that is not the case. A few good ways to protect people that were talked about in the article were people using virtual or prepaid credit cards so that they don't get continually charged for merchandise they did not purchase. Information literacy will deffinitly help people because they will then have a better undrestanding of what websites are scams and when it is not a good idea to give out their personal information.

I personally have never been a victim of fraud in the ways which they described in the article. It's a terrifying thought to have to keep in your mind when shopping online, although I guess I try to maintain the idea that "there's no such thing as a free lunch". Nothing is ever free, and nobody's ever really just giving something away...even if it is just a "free trial". If someone is offfering a so-called "trial" and they require a credit card, I'm extremely wary of the site and subsequently the product in general. Consumers on the internet need to make sure they're protecting their bank accounts, and themselves. Checking into online stores through the BBB and really looking in depth to validate the websites one puts their personal information on are integral. Information literacy is really, I think, what it comes down to when shopping online. Being able to check the websites, to investigate and ensure that sites are valid and legitimate are the only way to protect one's self from fraud.

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