Making Money from Your Information

Online Scams


People must protect themselves from scammers; those who steal information from innocent people to make money. They make money in several ways, from getting you to buy things to stealing and selling your information on the dark web. They send fake emails, making phone calls, and hacking computers. The ones that make money through spam email may make the most money.


The spammers use “phishing,” or finding ways to get your personal information so it can be sold. Spammers may work for legitimate companies; however, they must abide by the laws regarding sending spam emails. Emails must contain a link or instructions on how to be removed from their list. If telemarketers or scammers call you on the phone, you can opt out by signing up on the National Do Not Call list, along with blocking the phone number. Since scammers use many different numbers, the only way to stop the calls is by turning off the phone.

Making Bank

Email spammers make money in different ways. The spammers have a large list of emails to contact and use as targets. Some spammers send out more than a million emails or text messages per day. Spammers that make the most money often create scams that convince people to buy their products. The items rarely, if ever, arrive. Many people forget about small purchases, so the scammer keeps the money. The amount of mail sent to victims means that money adds up fast. The most infamous spammers have made many millions of dollars before they got caught.

Recent reports show that spammers and Internet thieves make more money than drug dealers since they have less chance of getting caught. Most use email services like Gmail and fake Internet phone numbers that can’t be traced. Spammers who use specialized systems, charge as much as $700 or more per hour.

Selling Information

Spammers also make money by selling personal information. Some spammers steal credit card numbers, bank account information and social security numbers by phishing. They pretend to work for a real company or a government agency, like the IRS. They send emails with links that ask for information such as your username, password or credit card information.

After you click on the link, your computer is automatically infected with spyware or a virus. The spyware or virus is almost impossible to detect, even with professional software. The system may have to be reset to its original state.

Protect Yourself

People still trust messages they receive, if they look remotely legitimate. You should act as if every phone call, text message or email you receive could be a scam. Never click on links or fill out forms from your email. Type information into your browser. If you receive any messages that seem like they might be fake, delete them immediately from your phone or computer. Don’t give out personal information to anyone you don’t know. Also, you should update your anti-virus, browser, spyware and malware programs on a routine basis.

Pamela M