Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “cybercrime”

Internet Fraud Schemes

Internet Fraud Schemes – http://www.ic3.gov/crimeschemes.aspx

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What are some signs of auction fraud?
  • How does a parcel courier scheme work?
  • Why is shipping items to a third country almost always a bad idea?


There are a number of agencies with jurisdiction over internet fraud, for example the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission, just to name two. The Internet Fraud Complaint Center is a partnership of federal agencies working together on e-fraud issues. This page provides information on different fraud schemes, including:

  • Auction Fraud
  • Auction Fraud — Romania
  • Counterfeit Cashier’s Check
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Debt Elimination
  • Parcel Courier Email Scheme
  • Employment/Business Opportunities
  • Escrow Services Fraud
  • Internet Extortion
  • Lotteries
  • Nigerian Letter or “419”
  • Phishing/Spoofing
  • Reshipping
  • Third Party Receiver of Funds

This site might be helpful in deciding which schemes a con-artist character might become involved in or provide details about how a specific scheme might work. It can also provide a way for honest characters to get ensnared in crime.


FBI Internet Fraud

FBI Internet Fraud – http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How can you tell if that e-mail from the FBI is a fake?
  • How would a character report an internet scam?
  • What is ransomware?
  • What are ways that smartphones could be compromised?


News stories and alerts of common internet scams such as:

  • Smartphone Users Should be Aware of Malware Targeting Mobile Devices and Safety Measures to Help Avoid Compromise
  • E-Mails Containing Malware Sent to Businesses Concerning Their Online Job Postings
  • Fraudulent Notification Deceives Consumers Out of Thousands of Dollars
  • Involvement in Criminal Activity Through Work-From-Home Scams
  • Claims of Being Stranded Swindle Consumers Out of Thousands of Dollars
  • New Twist on Counterfeit Check Schemes Targeting U.S. Law Firms
  • Mystery/Secret Shopper Schemes

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