The Internet today us full of online scams and as much as we truly want to believe that the Internet is a safe place where you can’t fall for all types of online scams, but it’s always good reminder to do a “reality check”. We, humans, can become an easy target for malicious actors who want to steal our most valuable personal data.
Criminal minds can reach these days further than before, into our private lives, our homes and work offices. And there is little we can do about it. Attack tactics and tools vary from traditional attack vectors, which use malicious software and vulnerabilities present in almost all the programs and apps (even in the popular Windows operating systems), to ingenious phishing scams deployed from unexpected regions of the world, where justice can’t easily reach out to catch the eventual perpetrators.
Here are a few online scams to watch out for:
The 419 scam: Probably one of the oldest and most popular Internet scam used mostly by a member of a Nigerian family with wealth to trick different people. It is also known as “Nigerian 419”, and named after the section of Nigeria’s Criminal Code which banned the practice. A typical 419 online 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.
Lottery scam: This is another classic Internet scam which doesn’t seem to get old. A lottery scam comes as an email message informing you that you won a huge amount of money and, in order to claim your prize or winnings, you need to pay some small fees. Lucky you, right?! It doesn’t even matter that you don’t recall ever purchasing lottery tickets.
Facebook impersonation scam (hijacked profile scam): Just imagine your account being hacked by a cyber criminal and gaining access to your close friends and family. Nobody wants that! Since it is so important for your privacy and online security, you should be very careful in protecting your personal online accounts just the way you protect your banking or email account.
Bitcoin scams: If you (want to) invest in Bitcoin technology, we advise you to be aware of online scams. Digital wallets can be open to hacking and scammers take advantage of this new technology to steal sensitive data. Bitcoin transactions should be safe, but these five examples of Bitcoin scams show how they happen and how you can lose your money.
Here are some other online scams to watch out for:
Fake Bitcoin exchanges
Everyday scam attempts