Most Common Online Money Scams Used by Cyber Criminals.
Cybercrime is a very lucrative business for Internet con artists. Scams are so prevalent across the globe. Scams can happen in a myriad of ways be it through social media, phishing emails, fake tech support calls, duping messages and much more. The main purpose of these scams can range from credit card theft, stealing of user logins and passwords and identity theft. The leading online scams include;
Phishing happens when a scammer makes use of fraudulent emails, texts, and copycat websites to get access to valuable personal information such as account numbers, login IDs, Passwords and social security numbers. Scammers make use of phishing emails to access a victim’s computer or a network and install ransomware which can lock your information and files.
Social Engineering Scams
Social engineering is the art of manipulating people so that they can give up confidential information. Criminals exploit a person’s trust to find out information on their banking details, passwords, and personal data. Social engineering scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Hackers are devising ever more clever ways and methods of fooling individuals and employees into handling valuable company data. Social engineering attacks use advanced psychological manipulation on unsuspecting victims with an intention to harm.
Ransomware is a malware type that limits or prevents victims from getting access to their systems. This can be achieved either by locking them out of their systems or by locking user’s files up to a time a ransom is paid. Modern ransomwares are all wrapped up on crypto-ransomware, where hackers encrypt certain files and infect systems that force victims to pay a certain fee to have their systems back.
Online Dating Scams
Scammers are now taking advantage of people looking for romantic partners mostly via apps, social media and dating websites. They pretend to be prospective companions and play emotional triggers with a sole aim of getting money, gifts and personal details from unsuspecting victims.
Scammers often create fake online profiles that are designed to lure victims. Scammers play to have strong emotional affiliations to these victims and once they win their trust, victims can unsuspectingly share their personal details, bank information or send money out of sympathy.
Protecting Yourself from Online Scams
With a lot of copycat apps coming up, it is difficult to know whether the app you are downloading is genuine or not. It is difficult to know if unknown developer with very few reviews is developing apps that are authentic. To protect against online scams, the first thing we need to do is identify the warning signs.
Apart from the above discussed scams, other types of scams include advanced fee fraud, lottery and competition scams, computer hacking and virus, online shopping and auction scams, small business scams, job and employment scams among others. The most critical weapon towards protecting yourself from online scams is through having adequate knowledge and keeping vigilant.
Beware of emails, links and attachments that are send your way. Proofread email sources before you can open them. Never download any attachments that you are not sure of who send them. Keep your computer up to date with the latest software patches and updates.