By John Clark
With today's troubled economy, many people are looking for new opportunities to earn more money.
Advances in technology have made it possible to search for employment, whether it is a second job or new primary employment, anywhere in the country or even the world, by using the Internet.
While there are many good opportunities out there, and many that are advertised on the Internet, there are also people out there using the fact that people are searching for jobs to their advantage. It is true, scammers are everywhere and very abundant on the Internet.
In some cases scams can be easily spotted as deals that are simply too good to be true.
However, scammers have become more sophisticated and can now con even experienced Internet users.
Not only do people need to guard all of their personal information from hackers and identity thieves, now care must be taken not to actively place hard earned cash into the hands of thieves who disguise themselves as legitimate business people.
NBC News recently reported a story of a woman who thought she had found the perfect job opportunity on the Internet, only to be robbed of hundreds of dollars and left with nothing.
Courtni Klosloski posted her resume on Monster.com and was directed to a website for "WACT, Action 25 News" which purported to be a cable news channel operating in Macon, Georgia.
The Web site was professional enough. It offered local weather updates and what was called an "award winning news team." Klosloski also saw a column by a consumer reporter, which claimed to have information about how to earn $84,000 per year while working from home.
There was a catch, and perhaps Klosloski should have noticed that something wasn't right when she was asked to pay approximately $300 for a set of job training DVDs. She used her credit card to purchase the job training materials and then realized that it was all a scam.
There was no job, and in fact there was no WACT, Action 25 News station.
Klosloski learned an expensive lesson. She, and no telling how many others, became excited by a number - $84,000 - and failed to see past it.
So many people are desperate for their lives to change that they become victimized by schemes that prey on them. Klosloski is not an idiot; she simply failed to research the company and the mystery opportunity before she forked over the money.
Unfortunately, her story is not unusual.
By now most people have heard of the e-mail scams that are often orchestrated in Nigeria and offer opportunities to take part in moving massive amounts of money and be compensated generously for their help.
These scams are designed to drain the bank accounts of people who may either be desperate or greedy. As widespread as the reports of these scams have been, the e-mails from Nigeria keep coming and that can only mean one thing - they are still working.
Obviously not everyone has heard that these e-mails are from criminals.
Likewise, not everyone knows that when they receive an e-mail saying that they have won a lottery that they did not enter, that there was no lottery and there are no winnings.
There are countless scams out there, all designed by criminals with one purpose in mind - to rob naive people.