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5 Internet Scams and Viruses to Watch Out For

There's been a lot of news recently about Internet scams and viruses, some of which target social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, while others just want to sucker you into giving them your email passwords in exchange for a gadget. I don't need to tell you how important it is to be vigilant — scammers and hackers are becoming increasingly sneaky, and it's a pain in the rear to gain control of your accounts again — so get a quick overview of some of the latest scams and virus warnings to hit the Internet after the break.

  • Downloading docs for Facebook: A tricky hacker sends you an email stating that your password has been changed, and to download an attachment to get your new log in information. You should always be wary of downloading attachments from people you don't know anyway, but this one in particular is a proven virus!
  • Cheating and stealing: There are a few fake toolbars which offer up cheats on the most popular Zynga games (Farmville, Café World, etc.), but actually send you to a false Facebook page to steal your login info. As they say, cheaters never prosper!
  • Hackers among friends: This Twitter spamming scam gains access to your account by using your friends who have already been hacked. Like a gross game of Twitter telephone spam, you click on a link in a direct message from a "friend" only to be asked to sign into Twitter again. Don't do it! You're giving away your password to spammers who will then use your account as a spamming drone.
  • Twitter-fueled hype for brides-to-be: This con artist set up a phony Twitter account and began hyping their "bridal expo," which had an entry fee of $15. Unbeknownst to the brides who pre-registered for the event, there was no bridal expo, and thieves made off with a boatload of cash. Always do your research before sending anyone money!
  • Test it and Keep It: Claiming to be "beta" testing the iPad, this scam wants to gain access to your email account to use as a spamming bot. Don't fall for it — you shouldn't be required to enter your email password in order to test any sort of product.

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