There are a lot of ways to get scammed in the real world, and even more in the online realm. Everyone must have heard of the ‘Nigerian Prince’ scam that first appeared in the 1990s and grossed millions of dollars for the fraudsters so far. If you haven’t heard about it, just remember that it is highly unlikely that a Nigerian Prince would contact YOU out of all people to help him move his illegally accumulated wealth.
However, since the 1990s, online fraudsters have perfected their techniques and now use much more sophisticated methods. They target victims using basic human emotions such as sympathy, greed, fear, and even love.
To make sure that you are safe online and you do not become another victim, read our list of the most common online scams to be wary of.
Phishing is the most common and perhaps the most dangerous online scam out there. Its power lies in the fact that it is easy to make it look credible, so the victim feels there is no need to double-check any information.
Phishing entails collecting private information from victims by using professionally created emails or websites. You might receive an email in which your bank informs you that your account is threatened by a third-party and that they need your account info in order to check things and make sure that everything is fine.
A lot of businesses in Australia use IT support Perth services offered by professional companies to perform false attacks and teach their employees how to recognize a threat.
2. Greeting Card Scams
Before the age of the Internet, we used to receive greeting cards in paper form, delivered by a postman to our door. Thanks to technology, we can now receive them in electronic form as well. But greeting card scams are an old technique fraudsters use to infect your PC with malicious software.
For example, you might receive an email informing you that your close friend or family member has sent you an e-card and that you need to download a special app in order to see it. Sometimes, you might be required to download the latest version of Flash Player to be able to open it. However, when you do that, you will actually be downloading a virus that will then infect your PC and perform malicious actions.
3. Social Engineering
Social engineering is a relatively new scam, but a very powerful one nonetheless. It first appeared when social media platforms gained traction and people started sharing a lot of information about themselves on social media platforms.
Everything a fraudster needs to do is browse through your posts and pictures and obtain as much information about you as they can. After that, they can create a credible story and approach you with it, which will make sense because of the real info they collected from your SM pages.
Therefore, don’t be surprised if you are contacted by a childhood friend or a long-lost family member who are in a lot of trouble and need urgent financial help from you.
4. Lottery Scam
Lottery scams are one of the oldest ones in the book. Who wouldn’t like to win millions of dollars and solve all of their financial problems immediately? Everybody would, and fraudsters know that.
A lottery scam is done through an email in which you are informed about a massive lottery prize you have won and can collect straight away. To claim your prize, all you need to do is pay a small fee and share your bank information, so that the money can be transferred to your bank account.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
5. Hitman Scam
This is another scam closely related to social engineering. Have you ever shared the names of your children online, as well as their pictures? Did you maybe disclose where they go to school or what leisure activities they enjoy?
If you have, you might receive an email in which you are threatened that your children or other family members will be kidnapped and killed unless you pay a substantial amount of money.
This scam is credible because fraudsters will share details about your family that they collected from your social media profiles, so it will appear as if they were following you and watching you closely.