Have you ever received a message saying you've won a $1000, and all you need to get the money is just sending your bank details? Or maybe you got an email saying someone is trying to enter your Facebook account, and to prove your identity, you must send back a picture of your passport? If so, you've already been halfway in the world of online scams.
With the spread of the Internet, online scams can be called a plague of the 21st century. Please get acquainted with the top 10 online scams you won't fall for after reading this article.
Everyone loves getting something for free, and nowadays, there are tons of giveaways from different bloggers and brands, repost-to-wins, and so on. However, not all of them are genuine. Phishing is a mass mailing of emails and notifications on behalf of well-known brands, banks, payment systems, and social networks.
These emails usually contain a logo, message, and a direct link to a site that looks indistinguishable from the real one. When you click on the link to the service's website, you enter your confidential data in the appropriate forms under various pretexts. As a result, fraudsters gain access to users' accounts and bank accounts.
The first phishing attacks appeared at the end of the last century, and now, according to Google, about 12.4 million users become victims of phishing in the world every year.
2. The Nigerian Scam
Nigerian spam as a type of Internet fraud appeared in the 1980s. Its name refers to the place of origin. Nigerian scams involve an attacker trying to extort money from a user or gain access to their Bank account. The spammer sends a message to the user, asking them to forward a certain amount of money to get access to a vast amount.
According to the spammer's legend, millions of dollars were obtained not quite legally and are also stored illegally. The author of the message promises that the user will receive part of this fabulous sum as a reward for their "labors." Of course, the outcome of such Nigerian emails is obvious: the user, as a rule, loses all their funds if the spammer eventually gets access to the bank account of the "victim."
3. Software Scam
Imagine: you receive on your email a message from a worldwide famous software brand saying you receive a free version of a program. Let's say its Adobe Photoshop, which usually costs about $120 a year. And now you, a lucky one, will save this money!
You click the link, download a program, start the installation, but instead of having a free copy of the software, you get a program that steals all your data, passwords and damages your computer. Congratulations – you became a victim of a software scam. To prevent this from happening, be sure to enhance your online protection with a reliable antivirus program.
4. Hitman Scam
Hitman scams are one of the most serious ones from this list. These scams use threats designed to frighten you into handing over your money and can even include threats to your life. The FBI even monitors some of them.
Hitman scams may differ, but they have only one goal: to scare you unless you give in to their demands and pay thousands of dollars to be spared. Some scammers claim that they hacked your computer, recorded a video while you were visiting porn sites, and will send it to all contacts if you refuse to pay.
Others may even say they know a person who wants to kill you, and after receiving an award, they will tell the name and give proofs. If you received these kinds of messages, the FBI advises not to be pressured by a threatening letter, and to delete unopened unsolicited SPAM email.
5. Social Profile Hacked
You may forget a password from your Facebook or Instagram account someday. What you usually do is click "forgot password," reset an old password, and create a new one. Easy-breezy. However, sometimes you need to have more complicated operations. For example, Facebook and VK can ask to take a picture of your passport to prove your identity. Rarely, but it happens.
Those who don't want to lose their profiles, send the copies of their documents to the tech support. Unfortunately, you can face the scammers even there. If you get an email saying someone is trying to get access to your account, and you need to send your data, contact tech support of the website at first. If they confirm this, apply the required documents. If they don't, ignore this message and put it into spam.
6. Travel Scam
Airlines are launching new flights at the peak of the tourist season, train tickets are selling like hotcakes, and scammers are trying to deceive trusting holidaymakers with double activity by creating clone sites that offer fabulous discounts on flights and package tours. In anticipation of a holiday, an unsuspecting user orders a ticket and tour through such a website, but after payment, nothing happens: no tickets, no money, no holiday.
Fraudsters invest large amounts of money in advertising, thus ending up in the top lines of output. There is only one way to find yourself on a scam site: carefully check up the name of the website and make sure it's an official one.
7. Bitcoin Scam
Bitcoin scam is entirely new, comparing to other scams on the list. However, its newness doesn't interrupt its spread. Numerous fake sites of cryptocurrency exchanges and bitcoin exchange services are one of the proven ways for hackers to get rich. By changing one letter in the URL, they create fake clones of Internet resources where you can store or exchange bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
The goal of phishers is to steal registration information or force the user to make transactions with cryptocurrency, which will eventually end up in the wallets of fraudsters. Another type of fraud is the pyramid method when you are promised a big profit with minimal investments in the project on your part. It is the general principle of the classic money pyramid: investors profit from the investments of new people. Naturally, the most significant profit is made by those who organized it, and when the flow of investors runs out, the pyramid ceases to exist.
8. Forex Scam
Forex scammers will exist as long as the Forex market exists. When the fraud scheme is revealed, scammers find new loopholes. The most important sign of a Forex fraudster is to guarantee unusually large profits with little or no financial risk. First of all, there is no such thing as a 100% guarantee. And if there were, traders would not share the secret with other market players.
Shameless dealers lure customers with low spreads and offer super-large margins. At the same time, the minimum investment is required, in some cases – from $10. Just think critically, if you could make millions with a capital of $ 10, why haven't all people become rich so far? Forex consultants are in second place in terms of their popularity. They disguise themselves as venerable traders and offer clients to invest money in the currency market. At the same time, they promise a minimum commission for services and quick cash.
Unlike Scam brokers, these scammers target large clients who can immediately invest several thousand dollars. From a legal point of view, the fraud scheme is incredibly simple and clear: you give money to someone who is not clear on their word of honor. Therefore, no one should return them to you, especially with interest.
9. Fake Shopping Website
We all have tempting to buy things cheaper than they cost in official shops – for example, an iPhone. In a dealers shop, you find a new iPhone 11 for $999. However, on various websites, sellers offer the same phone twice, three times cheaper, arguing it with buying right from the factory or any other reasons. So before making a decision, be sure to check if the sellers are trusty and check the reviews. However, our advice is not to trust re-sellers and go to an official store.
If you want to buy something on the Internet, be sure that you are on the correct website. As we told already, sometimes scammers create a complete copy of the required site, and the only difference is in the name, for example, writing not asos.com but as0s.com. And truth to be told, not everyone notices this difference! Some customers choose clothes, put them in their cart, give card details, and that's it. You're scammed and try to prove something now!
10. B2B Scam
Most scams aim at consumers. However, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), B2B fraud is becoming more common, and business owners must pay close attention to their billing practices if they want to avoid becoming victims. The FTC has noticed a spike in fake invoices with yellow pages.
The scam company sends the target company a listing invoice and requires payment. However, the target company has never ordered a listing, and there is no listing at all. Before your A/P Department accepts an invoice, your employees must verify its origin. A quick look at the company's purchase history can help with this process. Your staff should alert suspicious accounts for closer attention from management.
However, b2b scams don’t limit itself here: one more way of b2b scam is that reliable Internet resources, often reviewers accurately post negative reviews of large companies to extort money from companies in return for positive ratings.