Top Online Scams

Figure 1-1: Top Online Scams

The invention of the internet has provided us with a great way to learn about new subjects, stay in touch with loved ones, and even access our preferred goods and services.

Because the internet plays such a significant role in our daily lives, it can be easy to forget that only some we interact with online have our best interests in mind.

Cybercriminals and hackers work hard to stay one step ahead of internet users, making internet scams an ongoing threat.

Additionally, these scams have increased by almost70%in recent years. In light of this, it is essential to become familiar with the most common online scams, how they operate, and the warning signs and recommended precautions for avoiding them.

Here is a list of the top six online scams and how to avoid falling victim to them.

  1. Fake shopping websites

Figure 1-2: Fake Shopping Website

Cybercriminals may also design and publish phony shopping websites that mimic real retailer websites or look authentic. They frequently have offers that seem too good to be true, finding expensive electronics and well-known clothing brands for meagre prices. Hackers use these deals to trick you into purchasing counterfeit goods while capturing your banking information for their use.

Hackers also use from jacking to target online shoppers. They’ll try to hack into a legitimate retail business’ website and lead customers to a phony payment page. To steal your credit card number and personal information, they might use the fake forms that were made. A morerecent versionof the scam involves creating a social media store, which usually vanishes after a while, only reappearing in a different guise.

Online scam red flags:

  • A redirect that takes you to a page with the URL “http://.”
  • Prices are too reasonable to believe.

Here is a tip: Install reputable antivirus software to detect potentially unsafe websites.

  1. Tech Support Scams

Figure 2-1: Tech Support Scam

Fraudsters promote phoney software services and run tech support scams using urgent pop-up messages or fake online ads. These online con artists may claim that you have a significant computer issue and offer tech support services, which you don’t need (since the problem doesn’t exist) to fix. Once you’re hooked, they may try installing malware on your devices using thephoneysoftware they offer.

Online scams red flags:

  • Unexpected pop-up notifications
  • The “tech support” requests payment via money transfer.

What you can do to prevent this: You can install trusted antivirus software to protect your devices.

  1. One-time password (OTP) bot scam

Figure 2-2: OTP Bot Scam

Experian, a credit reporting company, warns that scammers use automated bots to trick people into sharing two-factor authentication codes sent to them via text or email from financial institutions (or companies like Amazon).

If the transaction isn’t yours, the bot will make a robocall or send you a text that appears to be from a bank, asking you toauthorizea charge, and then it will ask you to enter the authentication code you just received. It is the bot attempting to log into your bank account, and it requires the code that the bank sent you as a precaution to gain access.

How to stay safe: Never provide authentication codes or other information in response to an unsolicited phone call or text.

  1. Online dating scams

Figure 3-1: Online Dating Scam

Romance scams are becoming more common. You meet someone on a dating app or website, you begin to get to know each other, and it can feel genuine. However, you never know who is on the other end of your screen.

When someone you meet online starts to solicit money from you or requests that you redirect items they send you, they are a scammer. In 2020, more than35,000 peoplewere victims of romance scams alone.

Here’s how the online scam works:

When someone you meet online starts to solicit money from you or requests that you redirect items they send you, they are a scammer. In 2020, more than35,000 peoplewere victims of romance scams alone.

  1. The fraudster typically finds their victim on an online dating site, with whom they start a virtual relationship.
  2. Once the victim trusts the cybercriminal, they always find excuses for not meeting in person.
  3. The cyber thief requests money or information about the victim’s financial situation.

Romance scams can leave you vulnerable to having your private information or money stolen by someone you believe to be your lover. But don’t worry; there are warning signs to keep you alert.

Online scam red flags:

  • Their profile looks too good.
  • They live in another state.
  • The relationship moves quickly.
  • They demand cash or ask for personal data.

How to stay safe: If you start dating someone online, keep yourself safe by asking lots of questions, going slowly, and never disclosing personal information.

  1. Charity fraud scams

Figure 3-2: Charity Fraud Scam

Scammers know that after large-scale natural disasters or other high-profile public tragedies, you want to help in any way you can. They set up fake accounts and donation sites, then craft a persuasive email to ask for money that never actually reaches the victims.

These scams are successful because they prey on people’s emotions but always do your research. Check any donation sites for accuracy and affiliation with the issues they claim to represent.

Online scam red flags:

  • An email from a charity or government agency that differs from the one on their official website
  • websites with minimal or no contact details

What you can do to prevent this: Don’t donate to suspicious sites to avoid a charity web scam. Any legitimate charity will have a well-designed website with a mission statement and tax-exempt documentation. To determine whether a charity is genuine, look it up in a public database such as Charity Check, CharityWatch, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, or Charity Navigator.

  1. Money transfer scams

Figure 4-1: Money Transfer Scam

People are caught off guard by money transfers or fake check scams when they feel excited. It can happen when someone believes they have sold one of their possessions online successfully. The purchaser can send more money than was initially agreed upon via cashier’s check, personal check, or wire transfer.

When you accept their payment, they might attempt toconyou into wiring them the difference between the initial sum you both agreed to pay and stealing your personal information when you politely send them their money back.

Online scam red flags:

  • The buyer requests funds via wire transfer.
  • Offers where you have to pay to access your earnings

Here is a tip to prevent this: Only send money to verified accounts using encrypted payment services.

Final Words

It’s safe to assume you’re being scammed if anyone asks for your bank or personal information. Do not give your personal information to anyone who contacts you online. Make sure to use a secure server and a reputable website whenever you need to conduct a financial transaction online.

If you suspect you’ve been duped, change your passwords immediately, delete any malicious software you downloaded, and contact your credit card company if necessary. Report the scam to your local law enforcement and get assistance with the next steps. Additionally, you can inform the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Trade Commission, and your state’s attorney general’s office about the scam. earn to control your symptoms and thrive if you receive the proper care and treatment. Stay safe and learn more from #1 AAA CE Trainings continuing education training,