A Quick Look at the Common Types of Online Scams
Internet scams refer to various types of fraud carried out by cybercriminals. In today’s era, internet scams can occur in several different ways, such as via social media, phishing emails, text messages on your smartphone, fake tech support calls, scareware, and many more.
Regardless of what the method is, the main goal of any scam will be to exploit the private data of the victim. This may be in the form of credit card theft, password credentials for social profiles, capturing user login details, identity theft, etc. Below is a quick look at some of the most common types of online scams, which will help you stay vigilant and avoid them with the best practices.
Phishing is the most widespread online scams today. Cybercriminals send phishing emails to unsuspecting users to hack their systems and take advantage of their data. The emails will be designed to trick the users into believing that they have logged into a genuine website that they can do business with. This may be a banking site, a social media platform, an online shopping portal, cloud storage, or a shipping company. This way, cybercriminals can access your login details and password as soon as you interact with the email.
The 419 scam or Nigerian Prince is another common type of phishing scam. In these emails, the hacker will ask you to help with bringing a large amount of money into your country, cash in a fake money order, or send/receive money via wire transfer. The cybercriminal will offer a good percentage of the sum for your services. You will be asked just to pay a “small fee” to get the funds released, such as processing fees, wire transfer fees, or some other phony story.
Fake security software is another common online scam, which is also known as scareware. These start as popup warnings on your browser, notifying you that your computer is infected by malware or virus. The notification makes you believe that clicking on the link in the popup window will help clean the virus from your computer. Generally, cybercriminals will mask this as “free antivirus” to cheat users into clicking the link, which will implant adware or malware on the user’s device.
Social Media Scams
Social media scams refer to different posts that you see in your newsfeed. They will try to lure you into clicking on a link that will be hosting a virus or malware to steal your data.
Mobile scams can be of many different forms. However, the most widespread ones among those are phishing apps. These applications are designed to appear like genuine apps, but actually pass malware onto the mobile device of the user. They work just as phishing emails do; only the mode of infecting the device is different here.
Social Engineering Scams
Social engineering is another method that cybercriminals use to exploit the sensitive information of users. The online scam uses human-to-human interaction and is based on the emotional reactions and nature of the users. This means that there can be countless ways, in which cybercriminals can try to trick you.