Top Online Scams People Still Get Fooled By

An online scam, also known as Internet fraud, is a way of misleading a person through use of Internet services or software with Internet access. Stealing personal information or simply money from bank account, which might lead to great discomfort and problems for users of Internet, are one of them. There are numerous types of scam, and here we’ll list some of them.

1. Phishing – The word is a derived from “fishing” due to the similarity of using a bait in an attempt to catch a victim. Phishing is an attempt to obtain sensitive or personal information.

Usually victims receive an email supposedly from banks, Amazon, PayPal and etc., which claims there is a “problem” with the account and encourages users to click the link which “will” fix the problem.

The link sends the victim to a fake version of the “company’s” Web site. Logging in actually means providing rogues with personal information, which in result might even lead to identity theft.

Mostly it is easy to identify such fake emails. Those can be full of misspellings, typos or can be written in an unprofessional way. It is important to note that nowadays companies state in their privacy policy that they never ask for user’s private data in any way.

2. The Advance-Fee or Nigerian scam – this type of scam is quite old, but still is the most popular scamming scheme. Generally, the scammer promises huge money or shares in exchange for some fees.

Common way is to send an emotional email letter to the victim. It can allegedly be from government members, a businessman or a member of a very wealthy family who asks you to provide financial help. After receiving payment the scammer might demand even more or simply disappear.

3. Perfect Girlfriend scam mostly appears on dating sites, but unlike every other scams this works for a long time before disappearing from victims’ lives.

The scammer starts messaging them in a flirtatious way and may, dependent on the circumstances, ask for money so she or he can travel the victim’s city, promising an unforgettable experience. Yup, quite unforgettable. After her or his “wonderful” deed the victim is left dumbfounded without a “beautiful” partner.

4. The “mugged on vacation” scam – this one is especially confusing, because it is sent form one of victim’s friends or relatives. Needless to say, this is a fraud made by infecting friend’s computer and sending messages. If you suspect something is not right, try to ask them some personal questions (not birthdays, addresses or other easily discoverable information), which only you and your friend would know the answer to.

5. The false “infection detected” scam – such scams appear as pop-ups which state that the computer those are on is infected with a virus. The pop-up tells users to click on a button which will gladly scan the computer for them.

Alas, it does completely the opposite and makes the computer into a bot continuing its job or worse, steals private information. This mostly happens on sites without “secure” status given by the web browser. So if the site’s web address starts with https://, it should be safe as it uses secure communication protocols. Be careful as the pop-up can block access to the browser or computer itself.

6. The work-at-home scam – the email offers the victim an amazing work-at-home job with a great salary. All it asks is to buy some equipment or give private information on a Web site.

7. A charity scam – another classic fraud which hinges on “emotions” or “kindness”. They inform you about losses from a hurricane, earthquake or someone in need of an immediate operation. Needless to say, such kind of messages probably are fake.

8. An E-Card scam involves fake postcard or greeting card sent via email which seem to be from victim’s friend. As he opens such an email and clicks on the link, he ends up with malicious software that is being downloaded to the computer. Those hide in the operating system and launch annoying pop-ups with ads or even unexpected windows all over the screen.

9. Lottery scam – a classic scam which relentlessly fools people. In this case a person receives an email informing him about winning a lottery, and to obtain the prize he has to pay a small fee.

10. In case of Hitman scam a cyber-criminal sends an email or a message with demands of money to the victim, otherwise threatening to kidnap a family member. To create a realistic danger, the message is filled with details from the victim’s life collected from the Internet. So be careful when you put sensitive or private information on any social sites.

11. Gift card scam – This scam offers a gift card to a product after filling in personal information. The mechanics of this kind is interesting, because it does not ask for a fee, but asks questions, which might as well lead to identity theft.

So don’t trust everything you see, because the “it’s too good to be true” might be true. Pay attention to the sites you visit, even little details can save you from a hustle.


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