The world is becoming increasingly digital, which means Scams are also becoming more digital and more predatory. You can no longer trust strangers when it comes to your personal information or financial details. Fortunately, the surge in digitalization has opened up a whole new world of online security and anonymity for Internet users. The downside is that this has created a whole new breed of internet-native criminals who are adapting their methods in order to continue getting their hands on our money and personal information.
The first stage for any online scammer is to intercept your emails, IMs, and voicemails. This is called phishing, and it’s done by sending fake emails that look realistic enough to trick you into giving away your login details. The most common method of phishing is to pose as a trustworthy entity, such as your bank or an online retailer. The email will tell you that there has been an issue with your account and that you need to respond to the email with your account information. It’s critical to note that emails aren’t the only way that scammers intercept your information. Phishers also send fake messages on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Once you provide the information that they need, they can access your account and steal your money or other valuable information.
Fake News and Lock-Screens
One major way that scammers try to trick people is by creating fake news articles and posting them on legitimate news sites. This is done so that when a person clicks on the link, it takes them to a fake website that imitates the look and feel of the original website but does not actually host any of the content. This is how a scammer can get you to install malware on your device. When you first open these fake news sites, they prompt you to log in with your credentials to prove that you are who you say you are. This is how scammers get into your account, which is why it’s critical to never log into any website with your personal information, especially if the website looks suspicious.
Touting and Advance-fee fraud
Touting is when a scammer tries to get you to hand over your money by setting up a convincing-looking deal. The hallmark of a touting scam is that once you pay, they never show up to complete the deal and you are left with stolen money. Advance-fee fraud is when a scammer promises you a large sum of money in exchange for your personal information, such as your bank account information. The best way to avoid this type of scam is by not handing over any information to anyone. Asking a friend to help you with a project or posting a request online are some legitimate ways to get funding from people you know. If someone asks you for your personal information, you should report the request.
Con-artist and Romance scams
The most common con-artistry scams involve impersonating law enforcement or financial authorities in order to get people to disclose their information or pay a fine. This is a common scam in Africa and India. The scammer will claim to have tracked you down and threaten to arrest you unless you pay a fine by handing over your information or money. You should be wary of anyone who threatens to report you to the police for any reason and be especially careful if the person claims to be from the IRS. Another scam that mimics romance is where someone pretends to be your friend and asks for your help in setting them up with someone. The way this scam works is that the con-artist creates a fake online profile for the person they want to set up and gives you fake information about him/her so that you can set them up.
The internet is an incredible resource for finding out information, researching companies or people, and networking with people. However, it can also be a dangerous place if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are many cyber criminals who will do just about anything to get your information. They might offer you a job, a free gift, or try to sell you something. They might even send you fake love letters or ask for help getting out of an abusive relationship. The best way to stay safe is to stay alert and don’t give out any information that you wouldn’t want your family or friends to see. You can also use these tips to protect your computer from viruses, spyware, and other threats.