Sometimes we fall prey to online scams from the simplest scams to the most complex. In this article I have identified the popular online scams and their modus operandi.
- Phishing email scams:
According to a recent report released by Wombat Security, the number of phishing emails sent this year was bigger, with a 155% increase compared to 2016. The effects of phishing attacks can be devastating to both organizations and individuals, so it’s essential to stay safe and raise a security awareness. This report has proven that people know and understand what phishing is, because 65% of US and 72% of UK respondents answered correctly to question: “What is phishing?”
Phishing scams are based on communication made via email or on social networks. Cyber criminals will send you messages and try to trick you into giving them your login credentials – from your bank account, social network, work account, cloud storage or any other personal data that can prove to be valuable for them.In order to do that, the phishing emails will seem to come from an official source – it can be bank authorities or other financial institutes, delivery companies or social networks representatives.This way, they’ll persuade you to click on the links contained by their messages and access a website that looks legit, looks like the real one, but it’s actually controlled by them. You will be sent to a fake login access page that resembles the real website. If you’re not paying attention, you might end up giving your login credentials and other personal information.
YOU CAN ALSO READ: TYPES OF ONLINE SCAMS AND HOW TO IDENTIFY THEM II
In order for their success rate to grow, scammers create a sense of urgency. They’ll tell you a frightening story of how your bank account is under threat and how you really need to access as soon as possible a web page where your must insert your credentials in order to confirm your identity or your account.After you fill in your online banking credentials, cyber criminals use them to breach your real bank account or to sell them on the dark web to other interested parties.It’s one of the main scamming techniques used to spread financial and data stealing malware. There isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t be very well prepared for this attempt. However, even if you install a good antivirus program, there is no better way to stay safe from this threat than to avoid the initial infection phase.
- The Nigerian scam:
Nigerian scam is one of the oldest and most popular online scamming technique used mostly by a member of a Nigerian family with wealth to trick different people. Also known as “Nigerian 419”, the number 419 comes from the section of Nigeria’s Criminal Code which banned the practice. A typical Nigerian scam involves an emotional email, letter, text message or social networking message coming from a scammer (which can be an official government member, a businessman or a member of a very wealthy family member – usually a woman) who asks you to give help in retrieving a large sum of money from a bank, paying initially small fees for papers and legal matters. In exchange for your help, they promise you a very large sum of money.This is just the beginning, as they will continue to ask you to pay more and more money for additional services, such as transactions or transfer costs. You even receive papers that are supposed to make you believe that it’s all for real. In the end, you are left broke and without any of the promised money. There were also cases where not only money was lost in the scam, but people were kidnapped or even worse.
In this blog post we exposed more examples of scams carried on social media networks (tips on how to stay safe from them included).
- Greeting card scams:
This is another old scam: the greeting cards that you receive in your email inbox and seem to be coming from a friend. If you open such an email and click on the card, you usually end up with malicious software that is being downloaded and installed on your operating system. The malware may be an annoying program that will launch pop-ups with ads, unexpected windows all over the screen. However, it can also be ransomware or one of the worst financial malware that’s been around, part of the infamous Zeus family. If your system becomes infected with such dangerous malware, you will become one of the bots which are part of a larger network of affected computers. In this unfortunate event, your computer will start sending private data and financial information to a fraudulent server controlled by IT criminals.To keep yourself safe from identity theft and data breach, we recommend using a specialized security program against this type of dangers.To find out more information about financial malware, read this article. And here’s how you can tell if your computer was infected with malware.
- A guaranteed bank loan or credit card scam:
Difficult times push people into getting trapped by “too good to be true” bank offers that guarantee you large amounts of money and have already been approved by the bank. If such an incredible pr-approved loan is offered to you, simply use your common sense to judge if it’s for real or not. How is it possible for a bank to offer you such a large sum of money without even knowing your financial situation?Though it may seem unlikely for people to get trapped by this scam, there’s still a big number of people who lost money by paying the “mandatory” processing fees required by the scammers.
- Lottery scam:
One more classic scam which never seems to get old. The lottery scam comes as an email message informing you that you won a huge amount of money and all you need to do to collect your fortune is to pay some small fees. Lucky you! It doesn’t even matter that you don’t recall ever purchasing lottery tickets.Since it addresses some of our wildest fantasies, such as quitting our jobs and living off the fortune for the rest of our lives, without ever having to work again, our imagination falls prey easily to images of a dream-house, endless summer vacations or expensive items that a normal man can only dream of.
But the dream ends as soon as you realize you have been just another scam victim. DO NOT fall for this online scam.
Culled from HEIMDAL SECURITY.
Source: Wikimedia Commons