The computer revolution, like all revolutions, has brought as much bad as it has good, but it’s here to stay. Therefore, as painful as it may be, it’s necessary to wise up to the fact that many nefarious people are using the internet to con you.
So here are 25 of the most common internet scams, designed to fool you into handing over your money or private details.
Fortunately, simply being aware of these scams, and the modus operandi of these modern criminals is enough to fortify and protect yourself from them.
The natural disaster scam:
Some scammers take advantage of high-profile disasters they have seen on the news. They will often set up a fake website, or email you with a request for a charitable donation to the cause, pulling on your heartstrings.
Always check to see if the charity is real. Don’t take their word for it.
The ‘your friends were robbed’ scam:
Frequently people have received messages from friends’ email addresses saying they have been robbed. The friend asks for money because they are all alone in a strange country with nothing.
The email account has been hacked by malware, though. If you send any money it won’t be going to your friend. Ask your friend to call you so you can hear their voice.
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The Craigslist scam:
A common scam used on popular website Craigslist involves a buyer offers you triple the price of the item you put up for sale. They send you a check and ask you to use it to cover the delivery costs on your end.
Unfortunately, after you send the item, the check bounces and you are left with nothing.
The ‘please click on this greeting card’ scam:
During holiday season some scammers post fake greeting cards all over the internet, but not with a spirit of goodwill. If you click on the link it will tell you to update your media player.
This update is actually a virus. Don’t accept software updates from emails.
Take our survey:
A lot of surveys on the internet are genuine marketing tools. Some, however, are designed in order to steal your internet passwords, bank details, and internet history.
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Watch out for this. If you don’t want to take a survey, try to close the window on your browser.
Hacked Facebook accounts of people you trust:
Just like emails, Facebook accounts can be hacked. So you may receive a message from someone you know requesting money or something like that. Always call the person on the telephone – not via the Facebook account – to verify the request.
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Fake bank SMS message:
This is known as smishing, when a fake text message will appear in your inbox, purporting to be from your bank, they may claim you are required to enter your details. If you do, some criminal has just got them.
Do not respond to a message from a bank. Call the number on the back of your bank card and speak to them directly to see if there is a problem with your account.
The fake antivirus:
This scam takes advantage of our awareness that viruses are everywhere online, and plays on your fears. It offers you a free scan and tells you to purchase or download their antivirus program.
It could be theft or simply a clever virus, either way, avoid it. If you are in the market for a good antivirus program, do some research.
Work from home set-up scam:
This is all over the internet at the moment. You will see what seems to be testimony from someone on social media, or as a comment on an article. The person will claim it’s easy to make money working from home.
They will want you to pay a large fee and they will promise to provide you with all you need to start up your home business. It’s just a con.
Phishing-the most common internet scam of them all:
Phishing is a scam that pretends that your bank account or online shopping account has been compromised. They will ask you to confirm your details and to unfreeze your account on an official-looking website, which is totally fake.
Once you have given your password and account number they are happy, but you won’t be. Be very careful with internet banking.
If you have doubts, close the window and go to the bank’s website directly. Check the information you have from the bank and take the URL from there.
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