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TYPES OF ONLINE SCAMS AND HOW TO IDENTIFY THEM III

  1. Delivery scams

Here’s another online scam happening frequently which infects users’ PCs with malicious emails. A delivery scam is a spam email sent by attackers having a link with a dynamically generated folder on the compromised server to provide the content. Hackers are real experts and can customize a message according to a specific targeted country, so they can convince users to click the malicious link. The folder usually contains a Cryptolocker infection which is a virus payload hiding in an attachment (zip files)  to a phishing mail.

2. Fake news scam

The spread of fake news on the Internet is a danger to all of us, because it has an impact on the way we interpret and react to information we found on social media. It’s a serious problem that should concern our society, mostly for the misleading resources found online, making it impossible for people to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. This is why it’s recommended to access reliable sources of information coming from friends or people you know read regular feeds from trusted sources: bloggers, industry experts, in order to avoid fake news.

This type of scam could come in the form of a trustworthy website you know and often visit, but being a fake one created by scammers with the main purpose to rip you off. This could be a spoofing attack which is also involved in fake news, and refers to fake websites that might link you to a buy page for a specific product, where you can place an order using your credit card.

The problem is that once you click on such website, you could access a malicious URL exposing you to online threats and trying to infect your computer. A fake news scam could lead to a malicious payload aimed at infecting your computer and accessing your sensitive data. To avoid falling for fake news scams, you can use tech tools such as Fact Check from Google or Facebook’s tool aimed at detecting whether a site is legitimate or not, analyzing its reputation and information. Cyber security experts say that these fake news scams represent a threat for both organizations and employees, exposing and infecting their computers with potential malware, so they need to take preventive measures “to remove administrative rights from the endpoint and increase awareness at the layer of proxy control for employees”.

3. Fake shopping websites

Source: Originalo.de

Everybody loves shopping and it’s easier and more convenient to do this on the Internet with a few clicks. But for your online privacy, you need to be very careful about the sites you’re constantly accessing. There are thousands of websites out there that provide false information , and might redirect you to malicious links, giving hackers access to your most important data: credit card, name and/or address.

If you see a great online offer which is “too good to be true”, it might be tempting to take it right away, but you should stay safe against various methods used by cyber-criminals to exploit online shoppers by knowing how to spot a fake shopping site. We strongly recommend reading these online shopping security tips to keep yourself free from data breaches, phishing attacks or identity theft operations.

4. Loyalty points phishing scam

Source: G Data Security Blog

Many websites have a loyalty program to reward their customers for making different purchases, by offering points or coupons. This is subject to another online scam, because cyber criminals can target them and steal your sensitive data. If you think anyone wouldn’t want to access them, think again.The most common attack is a phishing scam that looks like a real email coming from your loyalty program, but it’s not. Malicious hackers are everywhere, and it takes only one click for malware to be installed on your PC and for hackers to have access to your data.As it might be difficult to detect these phishing scams, you may find useful this example of a current phishing campaign targets holders of Payback coupon cards, as well as some useful tips and tricks to avoid being phished.

5. Stock market scams

Here’s another online scam to stay away from: stock market fraud. Whether it’s an email you receive promising a huge amount of money, or callers who make you tempting and “too good to be true” investments, there are enough stock market scams out there and you can easily become a target. Don’t fall for them! We know it’s not an easy job to spot a stock market scam, but you can always be proactive, vigilant of these scams and avoid getting fooled. To keep yourself safe and prevent these things to happen, you should read this on how to avoid stock market scams and some of the most common financial scams

6. Job offer scams

Sadly, there are scammers everywhere – even when you are looking for a job – posing as recruiters or employers and using fake and “attractive” job opportunities to trick people. This is why, you need to watch out for those job offers you are getting from potential employers. The approach is quite simple. It begins with a phone call (or a direct message on LinkedIn) from someone claiming to be a recruiter from a well-known company who saw your online CV and saying they are interested in hiring you. Whether you’ve applied or not, the offer might be very appealing, but don’t fall into this trap.

To protect yourself from job offer scams, it’s very important to:

  • Do a thorough research about the company and see what information you can find about it;
  • Check the person who’s been contacting you on social media channels;
  • Ask for many information and references and check them out;
  • Ask your friends or trustworthy people if they know or interacted with the potential employer.

To avoid these types of online job scams, check this article.

7.  SMS Scams (Smishing)

Source: Malwarebytes Labs

There’s no doubt that smartphones have become vital for our daily activities, as we use it for online shopping, banking or communicating with our friends and family. Needless to say the amount of data we store on our personal devices which make them vulnerable to cyber criminals, always prepared to steal our online identities or empty our bank accounts.According to Panda Security, hackers are trying methods to attack and the most recent one is called smishing (using SMS text messages), a very similar technique to phishing, but, instead of sending emails, malicious hackers send text messages to their potential victims.

The scenario is usually simple: you receive an urgent text message on your smartphone with a link included saying it’s from your bank and you need to access it to update your bank information, or other about your online bank account that will be blocked, promotional offers about new products and services and more. Be careful about these SMS you receive and don’t click on suspicious links that could redirect to malicious sites trying to steal your valuable data.

Conclusion

Online scams developed using increasingly sophisticated means of deceiving users, especially in the rich Western countries.                                                                                                                                                                                                             According to FBI, online scams have increased over the last 10 years and the total losses doubled in the recent years, affecting both private individuals and large scale businesses. For this reason, cyber criminal activities are now subject to federal investigations and are treated as a very serious problem that affects us all.

For an extended list of common fraud schemes discovered and analyzed by FBI, you can check this article.

Culled from HEIMDAL SECURITY

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Ekycentric

Ekycentric is my name. I love messy beds and writing over a plate of beans. I enjoy traveling and randomly clicking at landscape pictures. when I am not writing I am grooming my Afro hair or thinking about the crazy way the world spins.

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