5 Ways To Avoid Online scam In 2021
Cybercriminals can be inventive when it comes to defrauding people out of their money. They will use various methods to target their victims, ranging from identity theft to sending phishing emails. They have proven to be very pliable to global trends, tailoring their example various hot topics, an example is in the United Kingdom, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has revealed a plot where people are sent a text message pretending to be from the NHD which notifies the recipient that, ‘we have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine.” The message ends with a link to a spoofed website mocked up to look like a valid NHS platform. The website requests personal details that the NHS will never ask for like bank details.
So as the year is running with different social and economic events unravelling, we look at fraud trends and how you can protect yourself against one in the year ahead.
- Phishing / Spoofing – 5 Ways To Avoid Online scam
Phishing is a type of swindling action where scammers attempt to scam innocent individuals by sending out emails to unknown individuals pretending to be from a real firm like Samsung, Apple, Hulu, Netflix, Jumia and many others. The scammers will make up different cases about the users’ account been suspended, halted or cancelled asking for action to be taken on the account to be able to continue using the service. In this email, a spoofed website link will be attached for the victim to enter its credentials, like passwords and credit card info. A spoofed website is a fake website created by scammers to look like a legit website from the organization. If any sensitive information is imputed into a spoofed website, the information is going straight into the scammer’s hand.
To detect and avoid phishing scams, here are few things to look out for:
- Watch out for grammatical errors in the body of the email.
- Most phishing emails won’t address you by your name because the scammer is sending the same email to a lot of other recipients. Most phishing emails will address you with “Dear Customer”
- Double-check URL sent through emails. Better still, don’t access websites through links sent via emails.
- Investment Scam -5 Ways To Avoid Online scam
Investment scams are usually known for promises of high and quick returns, or “verified” hush-hush tips that will make you a tremendous amount of money. Although they have different schemes varying on how rich you will get and how high your return on investment (ROI) is, the major message will remain the same – augment your investment quickly and easily. Different methods are used in scamming people under investment scams, we have Ponzi schemes, pump and dumps and others.
Whichever method the criminal tries to pull, it usually starts by creating a line of communication, through social media ads, email or SMS. For the Ponzi scheme, most of the time the conman uses social media to create awareness about the program using various methods to trick people into trusting them. One thing always stands out in all investment scams, the promise of fast and easy money.
It’s prudent to know that there is no assured investment method that will make you easy money. If at all there is a method that seems easy and piques your interest, you should review it by looking into the proposal and the company connected with it.
- Lottery and Prize-Winning Scam
Lottery and prize-winning scams usually start with the potential victim receiving an unsolicited phone call, text message or email claiming that they won a huge sum of money or a luxury item, say iPhone 12. The message will include pressure tactics telling the victim how limited the offer is and there is a limited time to respond and claim the prize. Here is where the scamming comes in, to claim your prize be it money or cash, the victim will be required to pay a fee that covers shipping costs or taxes or other deceptive charges. Since the competition is a sham, the victim won’t get any of these “winnings” after paying the faux fees.
To avoid losing your money to such scams, you can equip a spam filter, which should prevent most scammy emails from making it to your inbox. If any of these emails eventually makes it to your inbox and you know you didn’t sign up for any lottery contest, just ignore the email. If you are interested in reading through them, you should look out for any form of deceptive charges to claim your prize. You can also research the company in charge of the contest, if it is fake you will find little or no information about them online or better still you will see complaints from people that have fall victim to the scheme.
- Online Shopping Scam -5 Ways To Avoid Online scam
Scammers also target innocent victims through shipping scams. During the pandemic, there has been a surge of these scams chiefly due to the lack of certain goods, such as face masks and hand sanitiser. The fraudsters will create a fake website (spoofed) of a reputable retail store and offer luxury products from popular brands for absurdly low prices.
However, once you make a request, you will either receive a counterfeit product or nothing at all. It could get worst if you shared your credit card info, the scammers could use your card to make other payments.
To lower the probability of losing money to an online shopping scam, you should always do due diligence and research the vendor you are buying from by reading online feedbacks and going through their term of service and return policy. If you’re planning on buying from a website you have never used before, run the URL through Google’s Safe Browsing tool to check for security checks. Perhaps the safest advice would be just to buy the product from a prominent merchant with a proven track record.
- Identity Theft
Identity fraud is sophisticated, nearly new and is the fastest-growing financial crime in the United States, according to management consultancy firm McKinsey.
It sees criminals creating entirely fictional persona using a blend of personal data like Nation Identity Number or SSN, stolen from genuine people and invented details to fill out the gaps.
This kind of fraud is difficult for businesses to detect and block, but you can limit the chances of your identity been stolen by utilising strong passwords and biometrics and be careful not to put your personal information on a spoofed website.
Are you a victim of online scam? Contact TheHackersPro now !