With the latest advancements in technology, people have the best intentions of using it for good. But there are some people who are using technology to take advantage of others.
As time passes, scammers are getting more sophisticated in their goal to extract money from people or personal details that they can use to scam others. They will do anything just to get ahead of other people.
Scammers target people from different backgrounds, economical level, and ages. You and your family can be a victim of a scam because your exposure to the internet makes you vulnerable.
Learn the top 10 common online scams to avoid to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Phishing is a type of online scam in which the victim is being contacted by email, phone or text message pretending to be someone from a legitimate institution such as a bank, to get the victim to provide personal, sensitive information like a bank account, credit card details and password.
These messages are posing as lucrative offers and attention-grabbing headlines to lure people in providing their contact details. For example, the message says you won an iPhone or you won a 5-day stay at an expensive hotel and you have to click a link to get your prize. Be careful when you receive these types of messages, do not click on any of these suspicious emails.
- Fake Antivirus Software
You are scared to have your computer being attacked by viruses, spam, malware, and other internet threats. Cybercriminals are banking on this idea of fear and use it to trick people into downloading fake antivirus software that is created to put your computer in danger.
These types of scams often pop out on your browser while you surf the internet and pose as it offers the solution to your problem. And once you click the link, you will be redirected to a page that sells the antivirus software. It comes with a message to scare you like “We have detected a virus on your computer”.
When you agree to purchase the fake antivirus, these cybercriminals will be able to acquire your loan or credit card information and other sensitive information and you will get malware in return.
To avoid this, do not ever click on a pop-up window. If you see a pop-up message, just click X to close it. If you worry that your computer may be infected with a virus, use legitimate security software to scan your computer.
- Online Romance of Dating Scam
More people these days are trying out the unconventional ways to find love such as online dating.
The cyberspace is full of scammers these days to take advantage of lonely people looking for love. Here’s how it works: You create your profile and the website comes up with a possible match who is good-looking with a pleasing personality. So you chat with him/her, start getting to know each other and your potential love interest claims to be from another country.
As you grow closer through a series of chat messages, your new love says that he/she had an emergency, or someone died in the family and asks for your help to wire money and promises to pay you back, but in reality has no intentions to.
Avoid feeling a false sense of security from a person you just met online and watch out for these red flags:
- Your new love interest sends you a picture looking like a model from a magazine more than an ordinary selfie.
- He or she asks you to leave the dating website and continue chatting on instant messaging platforms
- He or she promises to meet you in person but always has an excuse that’s why it is not happening.
- Free WiFi scams
If you are a frequent traveler and use free WiFi hotspots at the airport or malls, be careful in connecting your laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Scammers are clever in using fake-free WiFi hotspots to gain access to your device and steal your personal information.
Here’s how it works:
In a coffee shop, hotel, airport or in other public spaces, you start searching for available WiFi connections. If you see a “Free Public Wi-Fi, this may look safe but don’t connect. It is a scam. Once you connect with this the hacker can now access your account and purchase using your financial information and passwords.
To avoid this, be sure to verify the name of the network before joining. Also, consider using a VPN to encrypt traffic between your computer and the internet and protect you from unsecured networks. In addition, use an antivirus or turn on your firewall.
Always be alert
These days scammers are very smart in tricking you to get personal information. Always take extra measures to protect yourself especially when dealing with uninvited contacts. If you encounter this, consider the possibility of a scam. Cybercriminals will never run out of strategies to attack and deceive you, so keep yourself safe at all times.