The internet has made our lives so much easier in a number of ways. We have access to any information anywhere anytime.
The way we do business has been revolutionized and taken to a whole new level. It offers us an endless amount of entertainment, as well as knowledge, and a lot of modern businesses wouldn’t be possible without it.
However, with the development of the internet came numerous frauds. Internet frauds mostly refer to financial crimes, and there are various scammers online who misuse the internet in order to get money from people illegally. In the vastness of frauds that can cost you a lot of money and even your job, how can you avoid getting scammed?
We’ll provide you with the list of some of the most typical internet scammers and internet frauds examples in order to raise your awareness and prevent any potential harm from happening to you or your business.
What you need to know about online scammers
For starters, what is the definition of a scammer? According to the dictionary, it is “someone who makes money using illegal methods, especially by tricking people”. Even though there are many distinctive cases of internet frauds, they are all essentially the same in the way that it is always someone offering you some products or services for nothing.
That is why you should always bear in mind that not everything on the web is trustworthy. Quite the opposite! Cyber-crime has been affecting many businesses and individuals since the advent of the internet. As we have an access to anything we can possibly imagine, scammers have the same way of accessing our personal and/or highly confidential business info as well.
There are many ways and tools to help you keep scammers away, such as different security products that offer two-factor authentication.
Let’s now focus on some of the most common scammers online which you may encounter while checking your email or visiting social networks.
1. Phishing email scammers
Phishing frauds are based on communication through social networks or email. Scammers will send you an email or a message trying to fool you into sharing your credentials such as your passwords, bank accounts or any other valuable personal data, which they can benefit from by taking your money.
Phishing scammers will send you emails that appear to be coming from a legitimate source, such as banks and other similar institutions, or a representative of social networks. That way they will try to trick you into clicking on the links to websites which look official, but are actually run by them. They will send you login pages that look legitimate, but are used to gather your info for their purposes instead.
They’ll have a whole story figured out to make you feel like it’s an urgent matter. For example, they can tell you your bank account is at risk and that you must log in as soon as possible in order to confirm and protect your identity.
2. Lottery scammers
When it comes to the classic lottery fraud, a scammer would send you an email stating that you have won a huge fortune and you need to pay some small fees in order to collect it. Even though you didn’t buy any lottery tickets, many would be drawn in by the idea of becoming rich, quitting their job and making their dreams come true.
Luckily, these are easy to see though, just keep in mind that something is not right when you never entered this lottery or bought any tickets, but you are asked to provide your personal info and the operator requires you to pay a fee before getting your prize.
3. The Nigerian email scammers
The Nigerian scam is probably the most common online fraud. It also goes by the name of “Nigerian 419” because 419 is the number from the section of Nigeria’s Criminal Code that bans this practice. When it comes to this fraud, a scammer will send you an email or a message, most frequently presenting himself as a government member.
These scammers will offer you great amounts of money provided you help them transfer it from their country. In exchange for that you will, you guessed it, need to pay some little additional fees. They will even provide you with fake documents to gain your trust. Additionally, they will keep asking for more and more until you find yourself broke and desperate.
4. Greeting cards scammers
In this one, you will receive an email which seems to be sent by your friend. You will naturally want to see its contents, so you won’t hesitate to click on the card you got. But, instead of best wishes, you’ll end up with some malicious software installed on your computer or cell phone.
The malicious software can be anything from annoying pop-ups to financial malware in the worst case scenario. If your device becomes infected, it will send private, most commonly finance-related information to a server that is controlled by scammers.
5. Antivirus scammers
Many were faced with the antivirus scam where they receive a message in the form of a warning, stating that your computer has been infected and you need to download a certain antivirus instantly. These messages are usually pop-ups that look like the legitimate ones you might get from your operating system.
By clicking on these messages, your device might get infected with a keylogger or a Trojan. The worst situation is if the message came from CryptoLocker which encrypts your whole system and then asks for a large sum of money to provide you with the decryption key. To be safe from these kinds of scammers, make sure you are using an appropriate high-quality security product.
To sum up, online scammers have mastered in developing the most sophisticated and creative ways to profit from deceiving you. The first step to protecting your personal and/or business data is to familiarize with their most common frauds and to be very cautious every time you receive a message or an email from an unknown source and double check even the senders that might seem familiar or trustworthy to you.
Even if you think some of these scams are ridiculous, be aware because they know how to be very convincing, even to the most computer-savvy people. The best way to avoid online scammers is to keep yourself well-informed about the latest and most common internet frauds and even skeptical in some cases.
As one of the best solutions out there, the LogMeOnce Password Manager can protect your passwords. With SSO (Single Sign-On), you can log in to the correct website, rather than clicking on a malicious hyperlink, which in turn enables the aforementioned keyloggers! Stay safe on the web.