MOST DANGEROUS INTERNET SCAMS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
Ever found yourself regretting after ignorantly letting a scammer into your private information or gadget be it through sms or email, or even social media handles? No one ever knows they are being scammed until it happens. Scammers are the sweetest persons ever. They come with very seductive messages of help, panic or even solutions to what are believed to be online problems. These are the various scams the internet world has faced especially in this era and time.
Most times you receive an email from a seemingly familiar enterprise that you deem legitimate, such as your bank, university, or retailer you frequent. The message directs you to a site—usually to verify personal information such as email addresses and passwords—that then steals your information and exposes your computer to attack by scammers.
. Phishing attempts may:
* Say they’ve noticed suspicious activity or log-in attempts on your account
* Claim there’s a problem with your account or payment information
* Say you need to confirm or update personal information
* Include a fake invoice
* Ask you to click on a link to make a payment
* Claim you’re eligible to sign up for a government refund
* Offer a coupon for free goods or services.
Phishing emails are often rife with typos and grammatical errors. This is an intentional strategy scammers use to weed out people who would be unlikely to fall for the scam.
Never click the links provided in emails you can’t independently confirm. Doing so will make your computer and personal information vulnerable to viruses and malware. Although the sender may seem legitimate, which is exactly what the scammer wants you to believe, no reputable institution will ask for your password or other key personal information online.
2) TECH SUPPORT SCAMS
With this scam, you receive a phone call, email, or pop-up warning indicating your computer is infected. The scammer then:
* Prompts you to download an application that allows them to control your computer remotely
* Downloads an actual virus or otherwise makes you believe that something is wrong
* Tells you they can fix the problem for a fee
Another way to reach you is through search results: Tech support scammers work hard to get their websites to show up in online search results or they run their own ads. These scammers often ask you to pay using a bank wire, gift card, or money transfer app.
Ask yourself: How would they know anything about your computer? But if you happened to give a scammer remote access to your computer, immediately update your security software, run a thorough scan, and delete anything it identifies as a problem. And, if you shared your username and password, change those right away, too.
3) FAKE ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE
Fake antivirus software ads and pop-ups try to make you believe your computer is infected with a virus (or dozens of them) — and that you can fix the problem by downloading their software. These ads are also called scareware. These scammers get you two ways:
* They gain access to your credit card information.
* They gain access to your computer. When you click the download link, you get a virus, malware, or ransomware instead of antivirus software.
Always be wary of ads and pop-ups that prompt you to take immediate action or ones that are hard to close. Be sure to install, update, and use real antivirus software to reduce the risk of scareware.
4) 419 FRAUD – ADVANCE FEE SCAMS
This type of scam is also known as the Nigerian letter scam, the 419 fraud is one of the most common scams on the internet. This is one you’ve likely seen in your own inbox.
The advance fee scheme takes its name after the section of the Nigerian criminal code that outlaws fraud.
The scammer usually claims to be a member of a wealthy Nigerian or another West African family, reaching out to you personally after the death of a loved one. They seek to relocate a large fortune out of the country for safekeeping purposes and into your bank account. The catch? You must submit small payments for fees in return for a large chunk of their cash cache.
You should never respond to these requests or volunteer your bank details. Any correspondence should be sent to the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, or the FTC.
5) FAKE SHOPPING WEBSITES AND FORMJACKING
Thousands of fake websites offer great deals on well-known brands. These websites typically have URLs similar to the brands they try to mimic, such as AmazOn.net. If you buy something from one of these websites, chances are you’ll receive a counterfeit item in the mail or nothing at all.
Formjacking is another retail scam. This happens when a legitimate retail website is hacked, and shoppers get redirected to a fraudulent payment page where the scammer steals your personal and credit card information.
To avoid this scam, double-check that the URL on the payment page is the same as the website where you were shopping. Cybercriminals may change the URL very slightly. They may do this by adding or omitting a single letter from the URL. Be sure to take a close look at the URL before you enter your payment details.
6) TRAVEL SCAMS
mostly they involve social media. Scammers post enticing photos on sites like Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram to dupe even the savviest of travelers. Upon clicking the image, which lures clicks through the promise of a free trip or plane tickets, you will be prompted to either complete a survey rife with personal information or open your computer up to secretly malicious software.
Scammers started selling phony COVID-19 travel insurance policies when travel became difficult. These policies claimed to cover losses for any reason, at no extra charge. Buyers found out the hard way that these policies didn’t provide the protection they expected. In general, claims due to “known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories or fear of travel” are not covered by travel insurance policies.
7) PRE APPROVED NOTICE
Lets say you receive a letter or an email declaring that you have been pre-approved for either a credit card or a bank loan. Those experiencing financial strain may fall victim to this scam, which promises instant approval and appealing credit limits. The catch? You must pay an upfront fee when you sign up. While credit card companies do charge annual fees, they will never ask you to pay them when you apply.
Be wary of any offer that has a 100% guarantee, requires any upfront fees, or requests payments in cash, money transfers, or gift cards.
8) DEBT RELIEF AND CREDIT REPAIR SCAMS
Individuals who are down on their luck can easily fall for an email claiming to relieve their debt or repair bad credit. This scam makes the false promise to negotiate with creditors to either consolidate or settle debts or to remove negative information from your credit report.
According to the FTC, “These operations often charge cash-strapped consumers a large up-front fee, but then fail to help them settle or lower their debts — if they provide any service at all.”
Steer clear of any debt relief company that asks for fees in advance, before it settles any debt. Likewise, avoid any company that guarantees it can eliminate or reduce your debt by Y amount by Y date. Research any debt relief or credit repair service you are considering. It’s a good idea to check with your state’s attorney general and consumer protection agency to learn about the company’s reputation.
9) LOTTERY SCAMS
Congratulations! You’ve won the lottery or some other large amount of money! Except you haven’t. This bogus email comes to you out of the blue, sually claiming to be a part of an international sweepstakes, stressing that you’ve won big and that you just need to send over a processing fee or get in touch with someone who can process your winnings.
Unless you have entered some legitimate lottery, chances are you haven’t won the jackpot. When you win the lottery, you contact the appropriate retailer—not the other way around.
10) FAKE CHECK OR MONEY TRANSFER SCAMS
You list something on an auction-based website, and the winning bidder offers to pay you more than the offered purchase price via cashier’s, corporate, or personal check. Upon receiving the scammer’s counterfeit check, you are conned into sending the difference back through bank wire. Then you have to pay the bank back in full once the fake check bounces.
How to Avoid Them: Never accept payment for more than your selling price. Additionally, you should opt for a secure form of e-payment, such as PayPal or Google Wallet, to ward off scammers.
11) DISASTER RELIEF SCAMS
When disaster strikes so do fraudsters, whether it’s a pandemic or weather-related. Hiding behind the guise of an actual aid organization, scammers typically use a tragedy or natural disaster to con you out of your money. By thinking you’re donating to an emergency relief fund, you unwittingly provide credit card or other e-payment information.
Only give to established, legitimate organizations. Give to local, known organizations such as your United Way. Contribute through you church’s denominations disaster response and recovery mission.
Visit GuideStar or Charity Navigator to verify the validity of any charitable organization you are considering supporting before you donate.
These below tips will help you avoid internet scammers and their scams
* 1) Never give out your personal information to anyone you don’t know. If you’re unsure, ask questions and get details about the person’s identity. No one from a bank or government agency will ever ask you for your personal or financial information over the phone or online.
*2) Keep your phone, computer, and digital tools secure. This includes using strong passwords that are difficult to guess. Never allow anyone remote access if you don’t know them.
*3) Update and change your passwords regularly.
* 4) Arm yourself with virus protection from a legitimate source.
* 5)Do not click on links in emails or text messages, especially those that are unsolicited. Emails sent by scammers may look and seem legitimate, but look at them with a careful eye. They may contain grammatical errors and/or typos. The email address may also seem suspicious.
*6) If it’s too good to be true, then it generally is. Giveaways, lotteries, and promises of free money are scams.
*7) If you receive a phone call from someone, don’t engage with the caller and hang up.
*8)If you believe you received a scam email or phone call, or if you think you’ve been scammed, contact your local authorities.
THE DOS AND DONTS OF INTERNET FRAUD
1)CHECK THE EMAIL ADRESS
While there are many telltale signs that someone is trying to pull one over on you, the best way to avoid being duped is to verify that you’re communicating with a human being. Scammers often use Yahoo!, Google and Hotmail because they don’t require users to verify their email addresses. Do a fast Google search for the email address in question; if it does not appear in the top results, it is likely not genuine. If you follow these rules, you won’t fall for tricks or schemes and won’t have to deal with the embarrassment and stress that come with them.
2)DONT TRUST EMAILS FROM UNKNOWN SENDERS
It can be tempting to answer an email you didn’t expect, especially if the sender looks like someone you know. Conspirators send out many messages at once, hoping that some of the people who get them will be interested enough to click on their links or download their files. Perhaps you’re concerned about an acquaintance or family member and believe they’ve been compromised, or you want to see what’s up with them. Only react to an email once you have confirmed that it came from a trusted source; if the sender is not someone with whom you typically communicate, look for a return address or phone number in the message body.
3) DONT CLICK ON LINKS IN EMAILS FROM UNKNOWN SENDERS
It’s easy to get carried away in today’s digital age and click on every link you come across, even if it’s in an email from someone you don’t know. Please don’t! When someone gives you an email that you didn’t ask for and contains a link, it’s probably a fraud. Scams can take many forms, such as those that ask you to contact a phone number and provide “tech support,” those that ask for your bank account information in the hopes of helping you win the lotto, and those that promise to provide “career training” or “new furnishings” in exchange for a payment.
4) USE ANTIVIRUSSOFTWARE AND KEEP ITVUP-TO-DATE
The best way to protect your system from malicious software like ransomware is always to use the most recent security upgrades. To be completely ready, though, you should take extra steps to make sure you don’t fall for hacking schemes. To be completely ready, though, you should take extra steps to make sure you don’t fall for hacking schemes. In phishing attacks, hackers pretend to be trustworthy organizations, like banks, to get people to visit malicious websites or download malicious software. To avoid this, you should be extra careful about the websites you visit and check their URLs twice.
5) DON’T OPEN ATTACHMENTS OR CLICK ON LINKS IN UNSOLICITED EMAILS
For the most part, we can all relate to getting an email or social media post that seemed too fantastic to be true. It could be an offer of a free trip, a promise of getting rich overnight, or a request for help from a friend or acquaintance. We shouldn’t be shocked; people have fallen for schemes and forgeries since the beginning. Email, texting, Twitter, and Facebook are just a few of the modern forms of communication that present us with more chances than ever to make errors and fall prey to con artists. The good news is that there are many measures you can take to protect yourself while using the Internet, and there are almost no excuses for you to fall prey to cybercrime.
6) BE WARY OF JOB OFFERS THAT SOUND TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
A victim of fraud might be inclined to view all job seekers with suspicion. Even though it may seem at first like hoaxes are very common, this is far from the truth. Many people are serious about getting a job and want to show how good they are by working hard and getting better at their jobs. Remember, as a boss, that finding the perfect individual for the position can be time-consuming.