As the internet provides us with enormous benefits and conveniences, it’s also becoming a platform for scammers and fraudsters to do illicit activities. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that these Online scams are as ancient as the world wide web!
Did you know that in the USA, one out of every ten adults falls victim to an online scam? Moreover, 1.3 million children lose their identity every year to online fraud. And again, the worst part is that you are more likely to become a victim of identity fraud by having your wallet snatched than you are via online fraud, according to a recent study.
Common Online Scams
There are many different types of online frauds and scams recorded. Here are some common ones, as told to us by marketing expert Faisal Abidi:
Advance Fees Frauds
Here scammers try to steal your money by giving you fake promises. They convince you into believing that if you pay them some amount of advance money, they will give huge returns on that or provide you with physical products. Sometimes, they may come up with ‘too good to be true’ giveaways.
Tech Service Scams
You may have observed that we receive pop-ups on the screen that say, “protect your system from anti-virus.” These are nothing but scams. They tell you that your computer has been infected with a virus and to remove it quickly you have to give a call to a number. In addition, they will ask for your personal details and bank account information.
These scams are very old, common, and very simple to identify. Any company, or individual, out of nowhere, asking for your personal information through emails, SMS, calls, or social media is a scam.
Here, people will call you and claim to be your relative or a friend. They have their scripts ready and try to make you emotional by depicting false emotional stories. They steal your personal information and bank data and block you from everywhere. Thousands of people have fallen victim to this scam.
International Money Exchange Scams
In such types of scams, an individual or fake organization sends you motivational, emotional, or convincing messages to ask you a small number of fees for some help. In return, they promise to give back more money. Moreover, they ask for more and more money in the name of legal matters and transfer costs and make us believe that we will get huge returns, which never happens.
Employment Offers Scams
We have seen these types of scams everywhere in the world. An anonymous person calls you and offers you a job or business opportunity. Usually, they ask you to give some token amount or advanced one-time fee before getting started on the job; they won’t even take any interviews. They always hesitate to share the complete profile of their company.
Debts And Loan Scams
You will receive calls, emails, and messages from a company or an individual to pay your pending debt or loan you have never heard of. They even send threatening messages that your account and phone number will be blocked if you don’t complete your pending debt today.
Credit Card Scams
We receive hundreds of email which sounds “too good to be true.” They provide us with bank loans, ask us for our personal information, and whatnot! Just think for yourself, how can any company offer you a loan or a credit card, no questions asked, without knowing anything about you, over an email?
There are thousands of companies offering to repair your credit score. This is an easy way for thieves to make money off gullible consumers and is one of the most common scams online. Beware any business that asks you to pay for credit repair services—they almost always end up stealing your money. Instead, work with an accredited, legitimate credit repair service that gives you value for your money. Otherwise, be wary; you could lose more than just money by handing over personal information to scam artists.
Online Dating Frauds
Thousands of people globally fall victim to these kinds of scams. Online dating scams are sometimes complicated to identify. Here, spammers use emotional or romantic messages to make friends online to steal their personal information and money. Youngsters are more vulnerable to these frauds, mostly on social networking platforms like Facebook or Instagram and on dating apps such as Bumble and Tinder.
Government Schemes Scams
You will receive a fake call, email, or message from someone claiming to be a member of the government. They usually ask you to pay your debt or loans and give you warnings if you disagree with them.
Fake E-commerce Website Scams
With the increase in online shopping, many scammers are using this opportunity to steal people’s money. Surprisingly, there are more fake online shopping websites than authentic ones. These fake websites take orders from people, ask them to make advance payments, and promise them shipping. Unfortunately, all promises are fake as they disappear as soon as they get their hands on your money.
Hijacked Social Media Account Scams
Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc., are great for communicating and building networks. But when it comes to scams, many illicit activities happen on these platforms. One such activity is the ‘hijack profile scam.’
Here, your social media profile gets hacked by a cybercriminal, and later it gets used against you. The hacker gains all access to your friend list and sends messages to your relatives and friends asking for money. They send emotional messages and convince the victim to send money. These scams are very common yet subtle to identify. Therefore, do not accept any friend requests from anyone whom you do not know on social media.
The people behind these scams are so well-organized and equipped with enough knowledge and technological facilities that they can do fraudulent activities anywhere. No one is immune to scams; only the ones who are well-informed and aware of common scams can protect themselves from any mishappenings.