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Issue #4 · created by avita ·


How To Avoid a Scam

The web is such an integral part in our lives that it could be easy sometimes to forget that not everyone we come across online has our best interests in mind. Internet scams are an ever-present threat, with hackers and cybercriminals doing their finest to remain one step before internet surfers. Staying informed of the risks and how to combat them is the ultimate way to keep safe. This is a list of the very best online scams and how to avoid getting duped.

Scam Risk Is Here To Help You Protect Yourself And Fight Back

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Job offer scams Job offer scams increased through the coronavirus pandemic. Within this scam, you obtain an unsolicited email offering a job, typically not locally of expertise, often for a mystery shopper or similar position. While you accept, you are paid by check or money order for a quantity higher than your "employer" offered. You are then asked to send back the difference, and then uncover the original check or money order was fake, and you're from the money you sent to your fake employer.

Lottery scams Reportedly, lottery scams were the fourth most usual kind of scam in america in 2020. You typically receive a contact with these scams claiming you have won a little-known lottery, usually in another country and always with a substantial pay-out. To claim your prize, you'll be asked to pay a fee. Scammers will most likely say these fees are for insurance charges, government taxes, bank fees, or courier charges. You are asked to send personal stats for verification, and suddenly you're the victim of identity theft, and the amount of money you sent is gone.

Another version of unexpected lottery or prize scams involves scammers gaining usage of someone’s social media account and contacting friends and family members and telling them that they have all won money. The scammer then provides an email address through which they will receive instructions how to claim their prize. This is a particularly insidious version of the scam as it uses the trust between relatives and buddies to trick people out of the money.

Beneficiary scams You get a contact from somebody who is seeking to move some money around quickly. These emails sometimes result from people claiming to be royalty - you’ve probably heard about the Nigerian prince scam - but more often, they're from a "businessman" who says he has millions to move from the country and wants your assist in exchange for a cut of the profits. The sender includes just enough details to help make the offer seem to be legitimate. However the money is inevitably delayed, leaving you on the hook for a host of small payments to facilitate the transfer of funds.

Internet dating scams

Romance scams are increasing. You meet someone by way of a dating iphone app or website, you commence to become familiar with each other, and it can feel authentic. However, you can never be sure who is on the other hand of your screen. When you are in an online relationship with someone who begins to require money or asks anyone to redirect items they send you, then your person you've met is a scammer.

Charity fraud scams After large-scale natural disasters or other high-profile public tragedies, you want to help any way you can, and scammers know to capitalize upon this. They setup fake donation sites and accounts and then craft an emotional pitch email to solicit funds that never reach the victims. These scams are successful because they play on sympathy, but always be sure to do your research. Fact-check any donation sites and get them to affiliated with the issues they claim to represent.

Coronavirus scams

The pandemic gave fraudsters the possibility to devise new scams - although often we were holding variations on existing scams but repackaged with a brand new coronavirus angle.

For instance:

Scammers posed as fake charities to solicit donations from the general public. They offered fake testing, vaccine, or treatment kits, sometimes targeting Medicare recipients so that they can steal private information. They created fake websites purporting showing maps displaying Covid infections, fatalities, and recoveries by country. The truth is, scammers designed these websites to inject malware, spyware, and viruses onto users' machines. How to avoid coronavirus scams Much like any charity scam, be sure the charity is legitimate by utilizing a known database. Never send money or provide personal information, mastercard details, or online account details to anyone you don't know or trust. Check any website carefully to make certain it’s not really a fake website. Don’t select links or open attachments in any email you are unsure of. For more information how to avoid coronavirus scams, read our article.

Repair scams Within a scam that starts in real life and quickly moves in to the online one, you obtain a phone call from somebody who claims to work with "Microsoft", or another large software company, claiming they can fix PC issues like slow internet speeds and loading times. It sounds helpful, and so when the e-mail arrives in your inbox, you download a remote access program, that allows scammers to manage your personal computer and install malware. Not all consumers are equally tech-savvy, so many have no idea how their PC works and are often deceived by scammers. After they install malware, they get access to your files, data, and private information.

How to prevent repair scams Never accept any unsolicited repair advice, and do not purchase any repair services unless you are sure who you are talking to. Don't allow anyone remote access to your computer. If someone calls, require identifying information. The odds are that if you ask enough questions, the scammer will realize you can not be duped.

Social networking scams Social websites scams are becoming increasingly more popular and come in many forms.

For example:

You might visit a social media quiz that promises to let you know what personality type you are, or what celebrity you appear to be, or gives you an eye-catching prize. They often include conditions and conditions which permit the data you enter to be sold to third parties. The quiz developer can also get yourself a lot of information about you from your profile, friends list, and Ip - which may be used to develop an image as part of identity theft. Or perhaps you receive a random friend request on Instagram from a fraudster posing as someone you might know, who then supplies you with a phishing link that goes to a malicious site. Perchance you download an application on social media which you think is legitimate, however in fact downloads malware onto your device. How to avoid social media scams Avoid quizzes rather than click on pop-up messages or posts which contain content that seems either shocking if not too good to be true. Don’t select links or open attachments in unsolicited messages.

Beware of simply clicking shortened URLs that hide the full located area of the webpage. They are incredibly common on Twitter, even though they could innocently direct that you the correct site, there’s always an opportunity they could divert you to 1 which installs malware.

Robocall scams In the event that you answer the telephone and hear a recording rather than live person speaking, that’s a robocall. Robocalls are sometimes used to provide useful information, such as appointment reminders or flight cancellations. Mostly though, these are unsolicited marketing calls, and many of them are scams.

Robocall scams come in various forms - for example:

They may pretend to be from the IRS, requesting to pay a fake goverment tax bill and saying that your Social Security number will be deleted if you don't. They may pretend to be from a well-known technology company such as Apple, asking for customer information that a real company would not request over the telephone. They may give a trial offer for a product or service as a ruse to acquire your credit card information.

Any interaction or positive engagement with a robocaller lets the scammers know that you will be a potential prospect - so minimizing engagement is the best approach to take. In the US, you can report robocalls to the Federal Trade Commission at donotcall.gov.

Messaging scams Fraudsters also use messaging systems and apps, such as SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Skype, Google Hangouts, while others, to scam you out of money. Phishing scams completed via SMS are known as “smishing”.

There are many iterations of messaging scams. For example:

You might receive a text telling you to have a package or delivery pending, and you will need to verify your identity or pay a charge to claim ownership. You might get a message purporting to be from your bank, telling you that your account is being closed, or your debit card is being locked or charged, and log in (to a fake website) to avoid that from happening. Or perhaps the message lets you know that you’ve won an enormous prize, also to claim it, you will need to submit your financial information. How to prevent messaging scams If an organization doesn’t usually contact you with a messaging app, that’s the first red flag. Genuine organizations won’t contact you out of nowhere, requesting to divulge sensitive or personal information with a messaging app. Look for spelling errors or grammatical mistakes in the message - if it doesn’t look professional, that’s a giveaway that it’s a potential online scam. If you’re uncertain, don't select any links and steer clear of providing personal or financial data.

Online shopping scams Scammers use the latest technology to create fake retailer websites that look like genuine online stores, using stolen logos and copied designs. Several websites offer popular brands of clothing or jewelry, or devices at low prices. Sometimes you might have the item you’ve paid for, but often you do not. A more recent version of the scam involves establishing a social media store, which often disappears after a while to resurface again in another guise. For more information, read our article on Online Shopping Safety.

How to avoid online shopping scams If something is advertised at a remarkably good deal that seems too good to be true, that’s a clear warning sign. Another sign is if the other party insists on immediate payment or payment by electronic funds transfer or a wire service. They could even ask you to acquire vouchers up-front to gain access to a cheap deal or giveaway.


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