People are increasingly adopting technology to work, shop, and engage socially, with more people at home and online than ever before. This new digital world, on the other hand, gives fraudsters additional ways to target you. As skilled crooks strive to profit from our changing circumstances, scams are on the rise. Fortunately, learning about scams and how to prevent them can help you secure your money and personal information.
Internet scams are a variety of sorts of fraud that are carried out using the Internet. Phishing emails, social media, text messages on your phone, fraudulent tech support calls, scareware, and other scams are just a few examples. The theft of credit cards, collecting customer login and password information, and even identity theft are all common objectives of these frauds.
Many scammers use similar strategies to attain their goals, regardless of the sort of scam. They frequently employ high-pressure sales tactics in order to persuade you to make a quick decision. As part of this strategy, many scammers would pitch an opportunity as a limited-time offer. This almost usually sounds too good to be true. They promise big sums of money and benefits with little to no risk – something that does not exist in real life.
In the vast majority of frauds, money transfers, whether by check or wire transfer, are used. Some frauds, such as Craigslist scams, may send you a phony PayPal email in order to convince you to give money. Another key red flag is a lack of precise contact information or information that is conflicting. A fraudster who doesn’t want to be caught will end up with a blurry, partial picture in either circumstance.
Types of Scams
While this list isn’t complete, it does cover some of the more common types of online fraud and scams to be cautious of. These are the five most prevalent scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Phishing scams use deceptive email or text communications to deceive you into disclosing personal information so that passwords and account numbers can be stolen. To obtain access, these scams may install malware on your devices. Fake invoices or spoofs of well-known companies are examples of phishing tactics. An email may inform you that your account has been compromised, request that you click on a link to validate information or inform you that you have been a victim of fraud.
False emails and SMS are the most prevalent way for hackers to get unauthorized access to accounts and commit banking fraud and other types of fraud. In only one year, victims of phishing operations lost $57 million, according to the FBI.
Scams Involving fictitious Government Agencies.
People claim to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when they call or text (IRS). If you don’t pay an outstanding tax bill, they may ask for your social security number to verify your identification, threaten you with arrest, or ask for your social security number to prove your identity. Gift cards are frequently requested as payment.
Don’t get taken in by it. The Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service never ask for personal information over the phone, and the IRS also never demands immediate payment over the phone. Any formal correspondence will be sent through a letter.
Scams in Tech Support
Tech support fraud is another common scam that is circulating. You may receive a pop-up on your computer, an email, or a phone call claiming that your machine has been infected with malware or a virus. They may pretend to be from Microsoft or Apple and offer to fix your computer for a cost. They’ll want remote access to your machine from you.
Online Stores that are Fake
Cybercriminals can simply put up bogus web storefronts selling what appears to be genuine goods. Scammers will quickly run up your bill if you supply your credit card or payment information by charging you substantially higher prices for things or making extra purchases with your information.
Scams on the phone
People lose a lot of money as a result of phone scams, often their entire life savings. Scammers have devised a plethora of methods for defrauding you of your funds over the phone. They appear nice and helpful in some scams. Others may threaten you or try to terrify you. You can bet on a phone scammer attempting to obtain your money or personal information in order to commit identity theft. Don’t hand it over to them.
If a corporation wants to call you with a robocall, it must first get your written authorization. You shouldn’t get live sales calls from companies you haven’t done business with before if you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry. Those calls are against the law. There’s a significant possibility it’s a scam if someone is already breaking the law by calling you. It’s a corporation you don’t want to do business with, at the very least.