With the dramatic growth of Internet use by millions of users, many con artists who used to use telemarketing, infomercials, newspapers, magazines and the mail to attract consumers are now going on-line to promote their scams. Beware of promotions for bogus stock offerings, credit repair services, and exotic or high-tech investment opportunities. Approach such offerings with the same skepticism you would use if such offers were presented through any other medium. Never make an investment or major purchase decision based on information from one source. Some of the characteristics of such fraudulent schemes include overstated claims of product effectiveness such as a "hot" investment opportunity, exaggerated claims of potential earnings or profit, claims of "inside" information, and "pump and dump" promotions of cheap stocks promising high returns and promotions for exotic investments. You also should beware of "disguised advertising" where seemingly harmless comments on bulletin boards or in chat rooms about the quality or performance of products or services may be ads in disguise. What may appear to be an open discussion could be a sales pitch in disguise. Read all ads and "conversations" with a healthy dose of skepticism.