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The 'Scammiest' Words on the Internet

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Spend enough time surfing the Internet, and you just might develop a sixth sense for scams.

Sometimes it's a matter of a Web page that just doesn't look right or an offer that sounds too good to be true, but often it's just a matter of spotting the words and phrases that tend to be pop up with great frequency on scam Web sites. And we're not just referring to obvious buzzwords like the spam-filter-evading "v1agra," but also such seemingly innocuous words as "congratulations" and "free."

There are a few words that should set off your Internet scam detector.

Indeed, detecting such keywords in context became the basis of a tool developed by online security firm PC Tools to flag suspicious sites. The company gave us a look at some of the keywords that set off its software's alarm bells. Here are a few.

"Congratulations"
Remember when hearing the word "congratulations" used to mean that something good was about to happen to you? Well, the Internet ruined that for all of us. Most of us have seen (and perhaps heard) a garish banner ad declaring "congratulations, you won!" And most of us have figured out by now that we didn't win anything.

Here's the thing: There's no such thing as a free lunch on the Internet. That Web site telling you that you can get a free iPad is probably just going to steal your information. And whatever the banner ad says, you're not actually the 1 millionth visitor to the site, and you're not actually entitled to riches and free merchandise.

"Acai"
Acai berry has been popping up in everything from energy drinks to colon cleansers lately. And if you're like us, it's also been popping up in your inbox and Web searches, too.

It's marketed as an all-natural miracle drug capable of promoting weight loss, virility and countless other health benefits, and these wild claims have started to catch the attention of government regulators. The Federal Trade Commission began cracking down on companies promoting the stuff back in 2010, shutting down a number of firms who made false health claims or otherwise tried to scam consumers into buying the supplement. And we've seen scammy-looking sites try to cash in on the controversy by offering the "truth" about acai berry.

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