Common Online Scams and How To Protect Yourself

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One of the main challenges when it comes to being in the online world is that you risk dealing with a variety of different scams. For the most part, your internet experience should be safe. However, there is always a high chance that you will be exposed to scams. Most search engines and browsers will inform you if a site is trustworthy or not. Therefore it’s easier to detect and avoid site scams than ever before, however, when it comes to other internet scams, it may still be a challenge for some.

Below, we have listed several common online scams that happen regularly which costs victims millions every month.

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Phishing emails

These are very common, and they usually trick you into clicking on maleficent links that emulate real websites merely to steal your information. These links are used to steal your login credentials and personal information that you would not share otherwise. You should always double check the sender and stay away from random emails that you did not ask for. As you may know, avoid opening any attachments from emails you from individuals you do not have any association with, as it might contain malicious malware.

Online dating scams

Online dating scams work because people are vulnerable when they are trying to find a partner. These scams appear on dating websites or social networks; they can also arise from emails. Criminals will ask for your personal info, or they will try to request some money from you so they can come and see you. If it seems too good to be true, then it most likely is a scam. During April of 2019, dating scams cost victims an astounding $6,016,389.

Tech support scams

These scams work because scammers call you on your phone and pretend to support representatives. They will require you to install apps that give remote access to the device such as TeamViewer. Obviously, they are bound to access info that you might not want to be shared, so getting random calls like this is a sign that something might be off. Most of the time, if they don’t get a payment from you, they would Syskey your machine which will then require a password they set to unlock. You can read more by Microsoft here as they are the main brand the scammers impersonate the most.

Gift card fraud

Fraudulent people will con you into buying gift cards for various websites, and they will require you to share the code via phone. Clearly, that’s a problem; they do entice you saying that you won something, so the best thing that you can do is to try and avoid such calls or not fall prey to such an attack. There was a recent example of this where a family were buying a puppy for £700 in which the scammer asked for them to pay in gift cards. They did just that, and the scammer vanished without a trace with the £700 in gift cards.

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What can you do to prevent this from happening?

  • Don’t believe everything you see, ask for proof and do some research. As we mentioned earlier, if it seems too good to be true, then it might not be true at all.

  • Avoid the pressure of acting right away. If they are pressuring you to act now, then something is definitely up, and you need to avoid that.

  • Double check to ensure that the transaction is secure, otherwise, avoid the situation.

  • Never send money to people that you’ve never met.

  • When you perform online transactions, make sure that these can be traced in some way.

  • Don’t open email attachments from people you never met.

  • Check the sender's email. It may say they’re from Amazon.com, but when you click the name on the email, it could be a completely different user. See the example below.

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That sums up our list of common scams in 2019. The best thing that you can do is to remember our tips and use your gut feeling as this can prevent yourself from being scammed. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s most likely a scam.

MyAgileTeam