Although we genuinely hope that the Internet is a safe place where you can avoid becoming a victim of any form of online fraud, it’s always a good idea to “reality check” before moving on. Unsavory characters aiming to steal our most valuable personal information may make us into simple targets. Nowadays, criminals have more access to our private lives, offices, and homes. We can’t really change anything about it either.
Attack strategies and tools range from conventional attack vectors, which rely on malicious software and flaws in almost all programmes and apps (even in the widely used Windows operating systems), to cunning phishing schemes launched from remote locations where the law cannot easily be enforced to apprehend the eventual offenders. As alarming as it may sound, millennials are more susceptible to internet scams than older people are, according to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) survey. According to the study, “40% of persons aged 20 to 29 who reported fraud ultimately lost money in a fraud case.” We therefore need to be aware of the common methods that bad actors employ to get unauthorised access to our personal information and financial data. We must remember that they always have our money as their ultimate goal, and they will stop at nothing to get it read the complete blog to learn about Top Online Scams and How to Avoid Internet Scams.
Top Online Scams and How to Avoid Internet Scams
1. Fraudulent job offers Scams
The coronavirus epidemic caused an increase in job offer scams. In this scam, a job is offered to you via an unsolicited email that is often not in your field of expertise and is frequently for a position as a mystery shopper or a like one. When you accept, you are compensated with a check or money order for more than what your “company” initially proposed. The original check or money order was false, therefore you are out of the money you gave to your fictitious employer after being asked to send back the difference.
Unsolicited job offers are popular due to the extensive use of professional networking sites like LinkedIn, thus anyone looking for work must learn how to distinguish between genuine offers and fraud.
2. Lottery Scam
Congratulations! You won a lot of money in the lottery or some other way! You have not, however. This fraudulent email claims that you have won big and only need to pay a processing fee or get in touch with someone who can handle processing your rewards. It appears out of nowhere. Typically, it makes international sweepstakes claim.
If you haven’t participated in an actual lottery, you probably haven’t won the grand prize. When you win the lottery, the shop contacts you rather than the other way around.
3. Fake Check or Money Transfer
After you put something on an auction-style website, the winning bidder offers to pay you more than the offered purchase price by cashier’s, corporate, or personal check. After receiving the fraudulent check from the con artist, you are misled into sending the difference back via bank wire. You are required to fully reimburse the bank when the fake cheque bounces. Never agree to pay more than the item is worth for anything. You should select a safe e-payment option like PayPal or Google Wallet to prevent scams.
4. Online dating scams
There is an increase in romance fraud. It can feel genuine when you first meet someone through a dating app or website and begin to get to know them. You never know who is on the other side of the screen, though. The person you’ve met online is a fraudster if they start requesting money from you or asking you to divert stuff they send you while you’re engaged in an online connection.
The term “catfishers” refers to those who pose as real people in order to appear genuine and give accurate information. To hide their trails, they are sending phoney images and contact details. There are a few essential elements to romance scams and dating site frauds.
The powerful emotional expression is shown in a moment.A swift transition into private channels from dating websites or apps. Requests for financial assistance are made due to personal hardship, such as a sick relative or a bankrupt business.
5. Fraudulent charity schemes
Scammers are aware of this desire to lend a hand after significant natural disasters or other high-profile public tragedies and take advantage of it. In order to raise money that never gets to the victims, they create fictitious donation sites and accounts and then compose an emotional email pitch. Because they prey on empathy, many frauds are effective, but you should always conduct your research. Verify the affiliation of any donation sites with the causes they claim to support by fact-checking them.
6. Online shopping scams
Using stolen logos and duplicated designs, scammers create phony merchant websites that mimic real internet retailers using cutting-edge technology. Many of these websites sell well-known clothes, jewelry, and electronic device brands at discount prices. You might occasionally get what you paid for, but it doesn’t happen very often. A more recent variation of the scam entails creating a social network store, which typically vanishes after some time before reappearing in a different form. Read our article on Online Shopping Safety for additional details.
7. Pre-Approved Notice
You receive notification by letter or email that you have been pre-approved for a credit card or bank loan. This scam can be intended for those who are having financial difficulties because it promises quick approval and alluring credit limits. The issue? It costs money up front to sign up. Credit card firms do charge yearly fees, but you will never be asked to pay them when you apply.
In general, stay away from offers that demand upfront payment, make a “100% guarantee,” or demand gift cards, cash, or money transfers as payment.
8. Fake News Scam
Several pictures of former US President Donald Trump in the Andy Warhol aesthetic On social media, fake news is prevalent, and too many users view it and share it with others in the mistaken belief that it is accurate, despite the fact that it is made up of misreported assertions, manipulated images, and distorted facts. By sharing these posts, you contribute to the issue by assisting in the spread of misleading information.
The posters might be political activists or even paid workers in a “troll factory,” which employs people for the purpose of disseminating rumours or propaganda. They want to propagate the false information in order to sway public opinion or even just to create confusion among the public about what is real and what is not.
9. Social Media Scams
The word “social” is seen in the image, along with several different social media logos. Messaging apps like Facebook and WhatsApp are equally popular with scammers as they are with regular users.
One popular strategy is to provide discounts or coupons in exchange for visiting a link or completing a survey. Malware may be installed by fraudulent software downloads, or personal information, such as your first pet, home address, or date of birth, may be collected through the use of a seemingly innocent quiz. When you consider that the identical details are frequently used in security questions for banking and other financial institutions, this might not seem essential at first.
10. Email Spoofing
Actually, email spoofing is a type of email phishing scam. Still, there is a significant difference: in order to make the email appear to be from a genuine person or organisation, the sender’s identity and email address are faked. Although the concept and goals are essentially the same, you are more inclined to accept them if they appear to come directly from the company or a person you know.
Top 5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Online Scams
Scammers are resourceful, audacious, and tenacious. Daily, new scams are reported. But you may become more alert and learn how to react, which frequently entails doing nothing at all. If a text, email, or other electronic message instructs or tempts you to send money, take the following five actions.
● Pause for a gut check: Criminals frequently imply urgency and authority to arouse fear and encourage swift action. Consider if the IRS or U.S. Customs, two such “authorities” who may be contacting you, would actually require something done so urgently. Utilize your instincts.
● Do a quick Google search: Add the word “scam” to a brief description of the circumstance. You have saved yourself a lot of trouble if you find 40 entries with similar stories.
● Use a second avenue of verification: Verify the email’s authenticity over the phone if you receive it from someone or anything that appears to be a reliable source. Simply avoid calling the number listed in the email’s footer as fraudsters might have replaced it with their own. Hang up the phone and call the number on the back of your card if you receive a call that appears to be from your bank.
● Don’t leave a trusted app to pay: Don’t switch to a different app or website to send money if you’re already using a tried-and-true app that accepts credit cards. Your money can end up falling into a black hole.
● Report the incident: Criminals rely on their victims’ embarrassment or reluctance to disclose scams. However, it’s crucial to report the scam to the police, the Federal Trade Commission, or the attorney general of your state.