Top Internet Scams Around the World
The internet is a storehouse of opportunities for obtaining information, earning money, and entertainment. At the same time, scammers are out there waiting and are not averse to profiting from naive users. Network fraud is mainly divided into three types:
- Seizing intellectual property.
- Gaining access to bank accounts.
- Embezzlement of funds with the consent of the users.
In order to avoid becoming a victim of online fraud, it is necessary to know and understand its basic schemes. Furthermore, it is necessary to protect yourself and your assets from losses in the future.
So, today, we’ll tell you about top internet scams around the world that you should be aware of.
The top internet scams around the world
Scheme with cryptocurrencies and ICO
One of the most popular types of fraud in recent years has been fraud with cryptocurrencies, particularly with the collection of funds for the launch of projects in the field of blockchain. The attackers present a seemingly good project, the implementation of which requires funds. For this purpose, a so-called fake ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is used. This is a format for raising funds for the development of projects in the field of cryptocurrencies.
Hiding behind this tool, the villains sell fake cryptocurrencies for real bitcoin or Ethereum. Then, after several rounds of fundraising, the “innovators” disappear along with the collected funds.
At the same time, it is almost impossible to track them because all the collected funds can be disposed of anonymously. It is worth noting that there are real ICOs on the market, but amazingly it is not more than 20% of them.
How to prevent: Study the cryptocurrency market in more detail before investing real money.
For example, read about Crypton, the privacy coin of Utopia P2P, here.
Fake SMS from the bank
The attackers send an SMS to the victim’s number with a text stating that their card is blocked. In the end, the phone number is indicated by which you need to contact the alleged employee of the bank. Unfortunately, a trusting user calls the number and falls into the hands of a skilled fraudster, fulfilling his information requests and, without noticing it, transfers his confidential data and money into the wrong hands.
How to prevent: Never give anyone your private data, not to mention any banking information.
Cheap products on online stores
Everyone wants to save money. Unfortunately, this desire is used by insidious villains. They regularly place products on the classified sites at a very favorable price, 30-40% lower than the average market price. The only condition for the purchase is to make a small advance on the card. After receiving the prepayment, not only does the “seller” disappear, but so does the ad from the site.
Here you need to be very careful when ordering goods from a new store that sells at very favorable prices. Very often, naive users order goods by making an advance payment and do not receive any parcels or money. Check the legal address and licenses of the store, and look for reviews from real buyers.
How to prevent: If you are not 100% sure of the seller’s honesty, then stick to purchases exclusively by cash on delivery.
Infection with a ransomware virus
Ransomware viruses are actively spreading worldwide. They can get on the computer of the “victim” and encrypt all files, which jeopardizes all stored information and paralyzes work. To return all your documents, the virus issues a message demanding that funds be transferred to a cryptocurrency wallet so that they cannot be tracked. Only after that will you (allegedly) be able to resume access to the files. Unfortunately, in most cases, all information remains encrypted even after paying the “ransom.”
How to prevent: Regularly update the antivirus on all your devices.
Learn more about viruses here.
Installing apps on a phone
Almost every modern person uses a smartphone. This is another field of activity for cybercriminals. One of the options for stealing your personal data is to install malicious applications under the guise of ordinary programs.
How to prevent: Never download apps to your phone from sources other than the official Google Play and App Store.
Choose the best private smartphones to use.
Social engineering attacks
It would be best if you were as attentive as possible when participating in various surveys. Scammers often conduct surveys under the guise of one of the popular banks, offering to award a prize at the end. To confirm the receipt of the winnings, the robbers ask you to send a certain amount to their account to confirm that you are allegedly a bank customer. Never send money to third parties under the pretext of participating in a prize draw. Banks never require such actions.
Another way for scammers to extract information from users is to create fake personal pages to obtain personal information that can serve as access to your real finances.
How to prevent: In communication, the attacker gradually moves on to more personal issues. So be careful with online dating and do not disclose your personal data in questionable online surveys.
Read more about social engineering here.
Cheating on freelance services
Remote work has become a source of income for tens of millions of people around the world. Quite often, you can find ads and entire sites dedicated to simple and quick earnings. You are offered a flexible schedule, decent remuneration, and even a social package. To get started, you may be charged a small fee for training materials or access to orders. When the fraudster receives the money, you will most likely not see any work or training materials.
How to prevent: Beware of such offers because you can get started on most freelance exchanges absolutely for free.
Fake charities, lotteries and others
Do not put it past the scammers to take advantage of a tragic event. Frequently, after a natural disaster that makes international headlines, scammers turn by email or other means to raise money for a “good cause.” Of course, they just want to benefit from people’s generosity after these events.
Like phishing emails, you should never reply to unsolicited messages like this. If you want to donate to charity, visit it directly and make sure it is a reputable organization.
Read about phishing attacks here.
Charity is not the only kind of false message you will encounter. For example, you may receive messages claiming that you have won a lottery that you have never entered, or you have an outstanding debt in an account that you know nothing about, or something similar. Ignore such messages. This is a scam trying to take your money.
How to prevent: These scams can also come via SMS, so watch your texts as well as your inbox.
We’ve reviewed some of the most famous examples of fraud on the internet. Although you may be familiar with one or many of them, it is important to spread the information as much as possible. The more people learn to recognize these scams, the less effective they will become.
Be vigilant against dangerous fraud on the internet.