Internet scams are now becoming the most notorious and sophisticated form of identity, information, and financial fraud. Losses from online scams are much greater than those offline ones. And with this alarming increase in online scam incidents, it is mandatory that everyone should be aware and be vigilant when it comes to putting their information online.

Here are some common Internet scams you might encounter and how to protect yourself against them.

The Impersonation Scam


In this form of internet scam, the scammer poses as a longtime acquaintance/family and requests to get to you. They contact you on social media or telephone with an air of familiarity. Then next comes the barrage of excuses why they are stuck in a remote location and can’t get out.

One of the favorite reasons they give is that they got mugged. Another is that they lost some essential possession and needed urgent help. Then, they go on to ask for some form of financial aid from you. The moment you grant it, these fraudsters got you.

Always scrutinize “familiar” contacts before granting any requests. A person impersonating your high school buddy should know what your buddy knows, such as where you both hung out and played football. If they don’t, end the communication.

Extortion and Blackmail Scams


This form of online scam involves the scammer threatening you with some leverage. This leverage may be real or imagined. Fraudsters can use private sexual media content of their victim to blackmail them. These criminals may threaten to upload the content online if the victim fails to comply. To comply usually means paying outrageous sums of money.

The terrible nature of this scam is that it is the long-term. It could go on for as long as the fraudster desires, and payment often does not solve the problem.

To avoid getting into this form of trouble, always lock your private devices. Never share sensitive content with untrustworthy people. Talk to a qualified reputation management attorney. You may report to your local authorities immediately if someone tries this stunt on you.

Charity and Relief Internet Scams


Scammers have no honor, so don’t expect them to play by the same ethical mores as you. The relief and charity scam is one of the most effective scams in recent times. The format is simple; the scammer pulls up a sad photo of a child, people, etc. in a terrible situation. They then spend a bit of time exaggerating their story about these people. After the story, they proceed to ask that you donate some money to this cause.

The reason why this internet scam is efficient is that it plays on your emotions.

To stay away from this fraud, always ensure you verify the source of the charity. If possible, request to see some form of documentation before you donate. Most times, a little research online is all that you need to expose these fraudsters.

Phishing Internet Scams


This type of scam involves some level of intelligence. The scammer sends you an email containing some vital information. They design the email to resemble a legitimate email from big brands.

The content of the email will request that you do some form of verification. There is always some form of urgency attached to the email. The scammers put a link for you to conduct your verification in the email. That verification link leads to web application designed to steal your private information.

To avoid being a victim, always inspect the sender email with carefulness. The email may be a good copy but can never match the exact address of the original brand they are impersonating. Also, if you are unsure of your next step at any point, contact the company support immediately.

The Email Attachment Scam


The email attachment scam is another intelligent form of fraud. It works on the curiosity of the victims. The scammer sends an email to their victim with an attachment. The curious victim proceeds to open the email and view the attachment. This action installs malware or spyware on the victim’s PC. This malware steals their private information for the scammer.

Never open an email attachment if you don’t recognize the sender.

Survey Scam


The Internet scams involving surveys work like the email attachment scam. The victim receives a link asking that they take part in a survey. Some of these polls promise some form of reward upon completion. As soon as the victim clicks the link, a dangerous malware installs on their PC.

This malware steals and sends their information to the scammer. Always avoid visiting suspicious websites. Also, never open links sent to you from strangers.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 6:27:02 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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