Have you ever been scammed on the internet or you have heard you friends been scammed? Today I am going to show you the techniques used by scammers on the internet and will also show you some useful security tips you will use to avoid been scammed.
The internet offers a wide world of benefits. It makes sending and receiving information easier than ever before, also making business and financial transactions more accessible.
But like most things in life, it is not perfect. Thieves use the internet to try to steal your information. Often this involves scams. Online scammers are on the rise
Scammer use various techniques on the internet to try to defraud ignorant and vulnerable people. They can do so either by directly stealing your valuable information and using it to access your bank account, or by tricking you into indulging in a fake trade deal or money transfer with them.
Either way, there are ways you can detect a scammer and protect yourself against being their victim.
1. Advance Fee Fraud
This is when a scammer requests fees upfront or personal informations from individuals, businesses in return for goods, services, money, or rewards of greater value. But ultimately, they never supply .
Scammers invent convincing and seemingly genuine reasons for requesting payment, such as to cover fees or taxes. It can come informally, For e.g, they can trick you into thinking that you’re among any selected winners to receive huge prizes. You’ll then be encouraged to pay certain taxes, shifting bills or give some private details to receive the goods. After those things are given, you’ll never receive any of those promised items.
They often ask for payment by international wire transfer.
These scams are commonly mass-marketed with scammers sending them out to thousands of people all over the world at the same time, usually by mail or email.
- First and foremost, if the opportunity appears too good to be true, it probably is.
- Know who you are dealing with – If you have not met the person or Company you’ll be dealing with, be very careful with any given transactions your doing.
- Make sure you fully understand any agreement you enter into – If the agreement is too complex, have a professional review it for you.
- Be wary of businesses that operate only online, no known physical location attached to the business.
- Be suspicious of anyone who does not have a direct telephone line and who is not around when you call, but promises to return your call later.
2. Computer Hacking
Computer hacking can come in different ways. The most popular ways are phishing and cookie hijacking. The primary objective of these hackings is to steal useful and private informations from your computer like website passwords (e.g online shopping websites), bank details, company credentials, and other data.
Phishing links are commonly used by scammers to trick you into giving them access to your computer.
They ‘fish’ for your personal details by encouraging you to click on a link or an attachment file maybe from an email, a social media page or from a website. Two things may result from if you click;
- Once the link is clicked, you will be redirected to the fake login webpage, crafted to look just like the real one. You will be required once again to login with your credentials. When you provide your user ID and password to the phony page, those credentials are captured by the hacker and used to access your accounts. Worse yet if you use the same password for other accounts.
- If you click on any suspicious download link or attachments file, malicious software will be automatically installed on your device and the hacker will use it to gain access to files and information stored on your computer.
A phishing email often appears to come from an organisation that you know and trust, like a bank or financial institution, asking you to enter your account password on a fake copy of the site’s login page.
If you provide your account details, the scammer can hack into your account and take control of your profile.
Another hacking techniques is cookie hijacking (also called session hijacking). When you sign-up on a new site, your browser offers to save the website ID and password so you won’t have to input them again before you login. These save data are stored on your browser in form of cookies or caches. Hackers can use special methods to hijack these cookies from your browser and get access to those login informations.
- Always ensure to clear all cookies and caches on your device browsers. Make sure no bank account details, or card details are stored on the browser cache.
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments ( especially ones sent to you from an unknown source)
- Install good antivirus protection softwares on your respective devices to block or alert you against malicious sites.
- Avoid pornographic websites as the they’re mostly use by hackers to install malicious softwares and viruses.
3. Banking, credit card and online account scams
Scammers send emails or text messages that appear to be from your bank, a financial institution or an online payment service.
They usually claim that there is a problem with your account and request that you verify your details on a fake but convincing copy of the bank’s website.
Card skimming is the copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit card or automatic teller machine (ATM) card.
Scammers skim your card by putting a discreet attachment on an ATM or EFTPOS machine. They may even install a camera to capture your pin.
Once your card is skimmed, scammers can create copies and make charges to your account.
- Stay alert and stay logical while purchasing both online or offline, don’t get lured by the seller. Always remember to investigate about the product if its new to you and never forget to double check even if you are familiar with the product.
- Avoid giving personal details to the scam sites – Whether you are a buyer or a seller, if you find something fishy that asks for your information, avoid divulging them as it can be subjected to misuse.
4. Small Business Scam
If you own a small business you can be targeted by scams such as the issuing of fake bills for unwanted or unauthorised listings, advertisements, products or services.
A well-known example is where you receive a bill for a listing in a supposedly well-known business directory.
Scammers trick you to sign up by disguising the offer as an outstanding invoice or a free entry, but with a hidden subscription agreement in the fine print.
Scammers can also call your business pretending that a service or product has already been ordered and ask for payment over the phone.
5. Charity and medical scams
Scammers are unscrupulous and take advantage of people who want to donate to a good cause or find an answer to a health problem.
Charity scams involve scammers collecting money by pretending to work for a legitimate cause or charity, or a fictitious one they have created.
Often scammers will exploit a recent natural disaster or crisis that has been in the news.
They may also play on your emotions by claiming to collect for a cause that will secure your sympathy, for example to help sick children.
Medical scams offer a range of products and services that can appear to be legitimate alternative medicines, usually promising quick and effective remedies for serious medical conditions.
The treatments are often promoted using false testimonies from people who have been cured.
6. Cryptocurrency Scam
One of the most prominent cryptocurrency scams still remain investment and mining scams, every now and then, you might see an advert flying across your social media or perhaps a phone call, a very friendly customer representative, most likely the opposite sex telling you about a newly discovered alt-coin or perhaps bitcoin with an astronomical ROI, sounds too good to be true, makes you super excited, you have finally found a way to complete that mortgage or repay your students loan. I’m sorry to announce this to you, these are usually scams wanting to take every of your hard earned income, it will take you something magical or perhaps experts like E-Assets Retrieval LLC to retrieve your money.
There’re some crypto scams when scammers present a new cryptocurrency, which is also the “fake crypto”. They may aim at investors who are late to buy Bitcoin, and invest in these “Bitcoin alternatives”. Scammers will then turn the money you invest into their own bank account.
- Find and select a trustful platform for your cryptocurrency trading. There are popular ones like bitcoin, eutherum.
- Check for if the cryptocurrency you want to invest in are transparent in their policies
- Check for online reviews and ratings of users who had experiences with that cryptocurrency. Could be from blogs, social media pages etc. This will give you enough confidence to go for it and trust the results.
- If their website does it have an active feedback or customer complaints section then it likely fake.
- Browse for their company’s location,
- If the cryptocurrency website does not have a small lock icon next to the URL, it might be a scam, and you will lose money. The small lock icon indicates that the site is protected, which means that your transactions and data will remain private and secure. So, the site without this is a big no-no.
- Research. You should not buy any cryptocurrency without research. You need to know its history, plans, current status, etc., before buying it. This is why research is important. Without researching properly by yourself, you are very likely to just face losses. There’s no easy way out of this.
7. Online Romance Scam
A romance scam, also known as an online dating scam, is when a person is tricked into believing they’re in a romantic relationship with someone they met online. When in fact, it’s actually a scammer with a fake user identity trying to rob the victim of his/her money.
Scammers typically fake profiles with stolen photographs, often mimicking army officers, and frequently create a story of tragic or desperate circumstances. Armed force identities are common, as it easily explains their inability to meet in person.
The victim might be approached through social media or a dating site. The victim is groomed over time and the suspect expresses romantic interest. The suspect often provides excuses about why they can’t meet in person. Afterwards, the suspects ask for financial assistance due to an “emergency.” This is not limited to emergencies, money to relocate, buy food, get fuel, for birthday presents, etc.
The suspects might even ask the victim to invest in a cryptocurrency which it own by him or his family member to gain the victim’s trust.
- Always a sad story just a few days after chatting with you. Or a big emergency! It a sign of a big scam. Block the person immediately.
- Watch how they write and how they “speak”. If you think an American in the USA would not talk like this——you are probably right!! It is a scammer!
- Read and take heed of the instructions on dating websites. Most have clear guidelines of how to avoid online fraud, such as being suspicious about early declarations of love, requesting or receiving money.
8. Investment Scam/ Ponzi schemes
In this scheme, a fraudster contacts a victim, usually through social media. The suspect develops a friendship with the victim and grooms the victim over a period of time. The suspect proposes a cryptocurrency investment through a fake cryptocurrency company. When the victim invests their money, the victim may see returns, but—unbeknownst to the victim—have been fabricated. When the victim tries to withdraw their money, they discover that they’re unable to do so and the suspect ends all communication.
Anyone who may be suspicious about personal money transfers to someone they met online to call their local police department.
- Where is the company located? If it you can’t note its physical address (and phone number) on its site, consider that a red flag.
- If an address is posted, search for it on Google Earth. If it’s a parking lot, a motel or even a private home, that’s a red flag. There should also be a sign in front of the property identifying it as the headquarters of the business in question.
- Check in advance what other people write about the company on respected review sites, like those of the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot.
- If the company in question claims to be dealing in any type of investment, check with your country’s financial regulator to make sure it is properly licensed. If not, that’s not just a red flag. They’re breaking the law.
Don’t be greedy. Follow the philosophy of believing there are no free meals. Also, keep a healthy level of skepticism. Question why a complete stranger is offering you such a good deal. Never give out personal or financial information to a stranger.
Scam is rapidly evolving and these scammers are not relenting, always try to double-check every action you want to take. If you don’t feel sure about it and technology has brought about recovery firms like Martin Global Tech which has been helping countless numbers of scam victims in recovering their lost funds, you can easily check them out on your search engine and file a report with them to know what your chances are of getting back whatever you’ve lost to con artists.