As we carry on with our daily lives, we rely heavily on the internet. However, we often do not consider the potential dangers that come with it. Fraudsters from all corners of the world have mastered the art of tricking people into revealing their money and private information. These scammers exploit our vulnerability and willingness to share by using tactics such as misinformation and deception to make us commit security mistakes or disclose sensitive details.
#1 Phishing scams
Phishing attacks have cost victims over $54 million in 2020 alone. It’s important to know how these scams work and how to protect yourself. Cybercriminals often disguise their emails as legitimate sources, such as banks or social media sites, and trick you into clicking on a malicious link. This allows the criminal to install malware and steal your personal information.
Beware of a recent Netflix scam where fake emails are sent asking users to update their billing information. Scammers are using Netflix branding to deceive users and threatening to suspend their accounts if they don’t renew their subscriptions with credit card details. Stay alert and don’t fall for this scam. Always carefully check the sites and senders of letters, if the addresses do not match at least a little – these are scammers.
#2 Scam: Online romance
Discover new relationships on dating websites, but watch out for fraudsters who use these platforms to swindle innocent victims. The FBI has identified these scams as the most costly internet-related crimes, with victims losing an average of $100,000. The con artist begins with a fake online romance and wins the victim’s trust before requesting money for personal emergencies or travel expenses. It’s crucial to remain alert and never give financial account access to anyone you meet on the internet.
As a senior citizen, it’s crucial to exercise caution while using online dating platforms since scammers often target older adults. Moreover, women are more vulnerable to such malicious activities. If you encounter a scammer, do not hesitate to sever ties and inform the dating website. These simple measures can safeguard you against being tricked.
Beware of cybercriminals who can infect your computer with ransomware, typically through phishing scams. They could encrypt your files and demand payment in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Ransomware losses are expected to skyrocket to $265 billion by 2031, so it’s crucial to know how to protect yourself. Watch out for attachments and files in suspicious emails. As a preventative measure, back up your data and download antivirus software that can alert you of potential infections.
One of the ways to protect data privacy and your own privacy is VPN. Using the VPN for Chrome extension, you can protect yourself from all attackers who intercept data to hack into your accounts. All you need is to use VPN free online all the time. After activating VeePN, all data is encrypted during transmission between the server and the client, so even intercepted data cannot be decrypted by third parties.
#4 Fake shopping websites
Watch out for cyberthieves who create phony shopping websites that look similar to legitimate retailers. These scams promise amazing deals on popular brands and luxury electronics, but in reality, they’re just a ploy to steal your personal and banking information. Additionally, hackers may use formjacking to redirect online shoppers to fake payment pages where they can steal credit card details and other sensitive data. Be wary of any redirects to pages that begin with “http://” and prices that seem too good to be true. Protect yourself by staying alert and only making purchases from trusted sources.
Beware of scareware, a common form of internet scam that often takes the guise of fake antivirus software. These scams work by tricking you with a pop-up alert claiming a virus has infected your device, and offering to fix the issue with “free antivirus” software. However, the software is actually fake and may install malware that steals your sensitive information. Look for warning signs like immediate computer scans, hard-to-close pop-ups, urgent demands for action, and unfamiliar software companies. To prevent falling victim to these scams, avoid clicking on unexpected malware notifications. Stay safe online!
#6 Order & Delivery Scams
Beware of Order & Delivery Scams all year round not just during the holiday season. In the past, these scams would mainly occur when people ordered gifts online. However, due to the popularity of Amazon.com, such scams can happen anytime. These scams typically involve false messages that ask for personal information or redirect you to unsafe links. Newer scams involve imitating Amazon notices, complete with a cloned Amazon email address. The most recent scam can even exploit Amazon’s package tracking service. Stay vigilant and protect yourself from these scams.
#7 Tech support scams
Beware of internet fraudsters who use urgent pop-up messages or fake online ads to trick you into purchasing illegitimate software services, leading to tech support scams. These scams falsely claim that your computer has a serious issue that only they can fix, even though there is no real problem. Malware could potentially be installed onto your devices via the fake software they offer. Be on the lookout for unexpected pop-up messages and be wary of “tech support” asking for payment via money transfer. Protect your devices by downloading trusted antivirus software from reputable companies.
As technology and the internet continue to evolve, so do the methods used by cybercriminals. To protect yourself from online crime, it’s important to stay informed about the latest scams. Be wary of attachments in emails, fake shopping websites, scareware, order & delivery scams, tech support scams, and more. Additionally, take precautionary measures such as installing VPN and antivirus software on the device.