Online scams aren’t anything new in the digital environment. However, the number of victims of such fraudulent behavior constantly increases. One of the main reasons is the scammers’ ability to introduce something new. Then, people might be caught off guard by strategies they had never believed to be malicious.
Cybercriminals are constantly hunting for new victims and the latest tools for running their scams. Their methods are ever evolving and fueled by the unstoppable advancement of the latest technology.
Fortunately, there are many ways to protect yourself from online scams. The best way is to learn how to recognize potential fraud and stay away from it. With that in mind, here are some of the most common online scams and how to protect yourself against them.
Common online scams
You have probably received suspicious email letters or SMS messages. Unknown entities contacting you about postponed deliveries or tax evasion are most popular. In fact, anything relating to financial issues is a common strategy for scammers to take. Many banks issue warnings about detecting new fraudulent behavior. However, many people still struggle to cope, and we shall review some of the most common scams.
Lottery scams are probably the most common type of online scam. A lottery scam refers to a situation where a person receives a message congratulating the target of winning prizes. To claim the reward, they will be asked to send a small amount of cash to pay for the process of verifying and dispatching the winnings.
Verification almost always includes your details, and before you know it, someone has captured some important information about your identity. If you’ve received an email claiming to have won a huge cash payout, delete it immediately and block the sender. Do not open any links sent in the attachment.
Emails with quick or instant money transfers are also a pretty common type of online scam. A scammer sends you an email saying they need to transfer money as soon as possible.
In most cases, a scammer is a popular personality who is in a bit of a jam and needs your help to solve the problem. In return, they promise to share their wins with you. All they need is a small amount of money to get them fixed. If you see an email like this, delete it right away.
Online dating scams
There are many forms of romance scams. Taking the endless opportunities of meeting people online, it is no wonder that fraudulent individuals take advantage of this.
One of the most popular types of scams is catfishing. It refers to a person with a fake profile on an online dating site, using the identity of a real person to appear genuine and authentic.
They do this for many reasons, including trying to get their hands on your personal information, real identity, and intimate photos to blackmail you for money or ask you to do things for them, etc. If anyone asks for your personal information, financial details, or money on a dating site, they are most certainly scammers.
However, many novel scams move away from catfishing. Now, scammers meet their targets in person and establish relationships lasting months to years. Then, when the scammers gain their victims’ trust, they will act. It might involve asking for money or urging the victim to take out loans to pay for their emergencies.
Online casino scams
With the number of online casinos constantly rising, online casino scams have unfortunately become common. The more users sports betting websites and online casino sites gather the more cybercriminals are doing everything they can to take advantage of them.
The best way to stay safe while playing online casino games is to make sure the sites you use are top-rated and licensed. You can do some research on the safest, most secure online casino sites that offer the best user experience and the widest range of security research.
Read user reviews and visit the biggest online casino regulators’ websites to understand better what makes an online casino safe and secure.
Staying safe online
The internet is full of opportunities and like-minded people you will love to meet. However, it is also booming with scammers, malware, and hackers. Therefore, we include these valuable guidelines for protecting your identity and financial stability.
- Never transfer money to people you have met online. Regardless of your relationship with a person you met online, never send them money. You have no guarantees that they will pay you back. And in some cases, victims can end up in hefty loans after sending money to swindlers.
- Contact the authorities if you have sent scammers money. Also, find out the possibilities of getting your money back after you have been scammed. For instance, it is easier to retrieve your money if you paid by card or PayPal than with vouchers.
- Do not open links or files in unknown email or SMS messages. Smishing and phishing are common scams urging you to act. For instance, they could instruct you to pay money or private incredibly private information.
- Do not perform confidential actions on free public Wi-Fi. Such networks lack security, meaning that your activities could be exposed. If you need to use free Wi-Fi, connect to a Virtual Private Network beforehand. After deciding to download VPN, your data and identity will be defended on all networks. Thus, you won’t have to worry about your credentials or sensitive information leaking.
The internet is a fantastic place where you can find lots of great and interesting things, from entertainment to work. However, it’s also crawling with danger and cybercriminals who are just waiting for naive internet users to steal their information and money.
Make no mistake; even a simple personal detail can be valuable to scammers. Avoid oversharing your information on the web and limit the details you’ve shared on social media and other platforms.
“Pop culture advocate. Troublemaker. Friendly student. Proud problem solver.”