Two of the most common types of Internet fraud include scam artists asking for money or personal details and sellers on Internet sites who fail to deliver products as promised. Perpetrators of Internet fraud often use email to attempt to trick or coerce victims into cooperating with them.
Perhaps the most famous type of Internet fraud is an email asking for money. This type of fraud takes many forms, including the stereotypical "Nigerian prince" scam in which the perpetrator asks for the recipient of the email to forward him money, usually under the pretense of needing cash for bank fees, with the promise of compensating the victim with a large sum of money in the future. Other fraudulent emails may ask for money for a nonexistent charity or may attempt to trick the recipient into revealing personal details to enable the perpetrator to steal the recipient's identity.
Emails looking for personal data are often known as "phishing" emails, and they frequently come with links to official-looking websites for banks or government institutions that are, in fact, run by the scammer. These sites exist solely to steal the information that victims enter into them, including Social Security numbers and credit card numbers.