Most people nowadays have access to the internet. We all use our personal computers, phones and other devices to shop or bank online, connect with our friends, and relatives along with other tasks. The digital revolution has made life convenient for us, however, the online world also brings itself a host of dangers.
Almost all frauds now a days use computers or technology in some way. There are many criminals out there who are taking advantage of the anonymity that the online world brings in order to deceive, and steal from you.
Over time scams have now moved away from the offline world, and into the online world. cybercriminals have grown and started to create a number of ways that they can attack your device, and subsequently you. Cybercriminals can now search the internet to find insecure devices, send an email containing malicious software or even set up fake websites.
Whilst this sounds like you should not be using the internet, a few simple security measures will help you stay safe online. Awareness is one of the cheapest ways of defending yourself from scammers. So, here’s our take on the top 20 types of scams you need to watch out for.
- Wi-Fi Hotspots
Wi-Fi connections and hotspots are now widely available in public areas which is great for accessing when you are moving around. However, not all Wi-Fi connections are secure and they can be used by cybercriminals to intercept your personal or business data. That’s why it’s very important for you to be vigilant when connecting to Wi-Fi in public areas because you don’t know who else is on the network.
There are many ways in which people can intercept into your network and snoop on your data.
- Sniffing: If you log into your emails using an app without typing a password, the phone will send your password over the Wi-Fi which can easily be intercepted. Remember, when using automated passwords, do not enter your username and password manually.
- Evil Access Points: Cybercriminals can set up their own Wi-Fi hotspots in an attempt to get you connected to them. They will often broadcast a Wi-Fi connection, and if you happen to connect to those the criminal can easily take your data.
2. Ticketing Scams
Millions of people book movies, concerts & events tickets online. Whilst you may get fantastic deals online, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the situation. There are many cybercriminals out there that are advertising fake tickets to events through social media or secondary resale sites to sell tickets that they do not have. Once a payment is made, you will either not receive tickets, or what you receive are fake or non-transferrable.
3. Online Banking and Credit card fraud
Online banking has grown. Now a days, people use them at home or when they are on the move. To stay safe whilst banking online you must protect your personal information such as your password and personal details, as well as when taking money out from cash machines or using your contactless cards.
4. Romance and Dating scam
Online dating is one of the most popular ways for people to find each other. With millions all over the world looking for love and romance, it’s become very easy for cybercriminals to take advantage of the situation.
Unfortunately, amongst genuine profiles, there are fake ones set up by scammers. The only thing that they are after is your money. These scammers are masters of manipulation, and will play to your nature and emotions.
In dating scams, people are duped into a false relationship, by people who are simply seeking to steal money or personal information.
5. Computer software service fraud
Criminals may cold call you claiming that there is a problem with your computer and they are here to help. They often use names of well-known companies such as Microsoft, Apple or Dell. They might even use the name of your broadband provider.
In this scam, the scammers will ask you to complete a number of actions on your device. They might even instruct you to download a remote access tool on your computer. They will use this to access and copy your data or download malware or monitor your computer.
From here, they may even access your online banking and transfer money.
6. Online Shopping & Auction Sites
Millions of people every day are shopping online because of the amount of time you save. However, among genuine buyers and sellers, there are criminals who use the anonymity of the internet to offer goods for sale they do not have. In most of these scams, the buyer and seller will never meet. Scammers will advertise an item for sale at a bargain prince compared to other listings. They may even have pictures of the item. Scammers will encourage you to move away from the site to complete the transaction. Many websites will offer you the chance to pay via a recognized secure third party site such as PayPal, Google Pay. But always read the website’s advice and stick to it.
7. Recruitment Fraud
Most people apply for a number of different jobs throughout their working lives. As technology advances, so do the techniques of scammers use to exploit job seekers.
Most of this type of scam involves a recruiter demanding some kind of payment or fee for checks, training, certification or work permits. The job adverts are fake and the recruiter will stop communicating once the payment has been made.
8. Investment scam
Investing in stocks and shares or any other commodity can be a successful way of making money. However, it can lead to people losing their entire savings. Scammers will persuade you to invest in all kinds of products. They will offer you high rates of return, particular over a long period of time which often does not exist.
They might want you to invest money in stocks, bonds, notes, commodities, currency, or even real estate. A scammer may lie to you or give you fake information about a real investment. Or they may make up a fake investment opportunity. Investment scams involve making promises of big payouts, quick money and guaranteed returns to people.
9. Holiday Scam
Millions of people book holidays and weekend trips online. However, with many using people turning to the internet in search for fantastic deals, it’s become a good opportunity for cybercriminals. Holiday scams have become so sophisticated that most people become aware when they arrive at the airport, or at the destination.
These false adverts are often found on a fake website, or advert posted on a genuine website.
10. Social media scam
In this attacker use social media platform to trick people for different scam by posting, spamming in comment section or direct messaging.
11. QR code scam
The convenience of QR codes has become popular. You’ll find a QR Code poster on food items, on the walls of public transport and even on posters. With many people getting used to receiving hot deals by simply scanning a QR Code- in recent years, scammers have moved their tactics to QR Codes. Fraudulent QR Codes often redirect people onto a malicious landing page or transfer money unknowingly.
12. Crypto scam:
The attacker drives victim on fake websites through a malicious email, or through posts on social media, text messages and more. Such websites will show some attractive scheme around crypto currencies. Designed to convince you to spend money. The transaction, too, looks legitimate but people actually send money to criminals.
13. Gift card
Whenever someone demands to be paid with a gift card, that’s a scam. It’s just that simple. Gift cards are for gifts, not for payments.
14. Fake Lotteries scam:
In this a person get a call, email, or letter saying he/she won a sweepstakes, lottery, or prize. To claim the prize, the scammer asks you to pay money or give them your account information. As a result, the person will lose money.
15. Health/Medical scams
This scam involves, an email or advert promising miracle tablets and other medical cures that offer unbelievable results. Sometimes that can appear to be a legitimate form of alternative medicine but in very cheap price.
16. KYC / document verification scam
In this scam, fraudsters pretending to be a executive of bank or digital wallet (Paytm,Phone) ask you to verify document to update KYC which leads to identify theft. as well as financial loss.
17. Charity Scams
Charity scammers may ask for donations in person, on the phone, by mail, by e-mail, or through the internet for humanitarian aid and other good cause in society.
18. Imposter Scams
An imposter is a person who pretends to be someone else to & want to steal your money or personal information. Imposters may pretend to be from a company you trust or a friend or relative you know.
19. Screen-Sharing Scams
A screen-sharing scam involves someone pretending to be a bank agent, a courier, a KYC verifier, a financial adviser, etc. The fraudster asks you to download the app on your device, which will give you access to your mobile screen to that fraudster. This will result in financial loss.
20. Survey Scams
A survey scam is a fake online form that asks for personal information like your email address, passwords, and credit card details in exchange for expensive gifts or tempting rewards.
What to do if you get scammed?
If you think you are a victim of a scam or have uncovered a scam, there are official authorities out that that you can get advice from. Reporting a scam is important.