When the worldwide web (www.) was initially launched, the developers kept on repeating to avoid giving out their credentials to strangers. But, unfortunately, today, we have grown so fond of the internet we tend to forget dangerous people are lurking online.
Not much has improved since the turn of the decade, the majority of internet scams are familiar foes. From Russian women thinking you’re cute to Nigerian princes asking you for cash and professionals who want to help you make large sums of money at home.
Hackers will build fake web pages for unsuspecting people. In 2019 the FBI had documented a record 3.5 billion lost to online scammers. However, you can download VPN for your windows to evade these hackers. VPNs will throw such people off your tail because they scramble the location of your IP address. Also, you can invest in a good firewall that can repel attacks.
Today hackers are not only targeting your computer but also any other internet-ready device, including smartphones, tablets, smart cars, among others. Let’s look at some of the most rampant scams today and how you can deal with them.
Some of The Most Rampant Online Scams Today Include:
Online scammers are taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic by disguising themselves as legitimate news sources about the virus. In addition, scammers may try to send you emails, texts and even set up malicious web pages to get to you.
Some of The Most Rampant Covid-19 Scams Include:
Dubious health organizations – scammers will pose as health experts such as the CDC (centre for disease control or WHO (world health organization)
Dubious non-profitable appeals – it’s no secret that many people will rally behind charitable causes such as the Covid-19 pandemic to help areas with no access to amenities such as food. Unfortunately, this is a superb chance for hackers to set up fake non-profit organizations.
Phishing is among the most rampant online scams, and hackers are advancing their tactics. Phishers imitate the personality of a family member, friend, or colleague to get you to click on a dubious link or willingly give them your details.
Phishing attacks take place globally every day, and although they take place mostly via mail, criminals are escalating their reach to cover all avenues of communication online.
How Can You Spot a Phishing Attempt?
To spot a phishing stab, take your time reviewing any texts or emails you receive on any of your devices. This can help you find discrepancies such as poor sentence structure, misspelt names, and dubious links.
Tech Support Scam
A tech support scam takes the form of an ad or phone call. Impersonators will contact you to inform you that your computer has been infected by certain malware.
They will proceed to ask you to download software to clean the malware while, in fact, they are remotely taking control of the machine. Finally, after taking control of your device, they will ask you to send money or risk your data being wiped out completely.
How Can You Spot a Tech Support Con?
First and foremost, you need to understand that no tech company, including Google or Microsoft, will ever contact you to inform you that your device is infected. If an issue arises, they prompt you to change your passwords and update your security. Therefore, always double-check to ascertain you have received communication from legit tech support.
Fake Shopping Websites
Scammers have created a vast number of dubious web pages to mimic your favourite brands. Most of these web pages have been well-executed, and most times, you won’t suspect a thing. They even try to entice you with great deals such as 50% discounts.
How can You Spot a Fake Shopping Website?
If you check cautiously, you will find that the URL is similar but not identical to the real thing. Also, you could discover spelling mistakes which is something you are not likely to find on sites such as Amazon or eBay.
There is a relatively new group of cybercriminals that are known as form jackers. Basically, this is an attempt to steal your credit card credentials. This happens when a real e-commerce webpage has been compromised without the owner’s knowledge.
How Can You Spot a Form Jacking Attempt?
When you visit a website and you are redirected to a different address during the payment process, most likely, the page has been compromised. Also, if you’ve made payment and the items delivered are fake or no items are delivered, you may be compromised.
All in all, online scams are not about to stop any time soon as long as there are gullible internet users out there. Therefore, when using the internet, it’s your responsibility to be careful that you don’t fall victim to some of the scams illustrated above.
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