When an online scam is reported there is commonly a feeling by many that it seems so farfetched that no one would fall for something so basic and obvious. But, even though we all think we are computer literate, online scamming is still incredibly popular and successful.
We use the internet for everything these days, from shopping for groceries to checking out the best sports betting apps in Florida – and the vast majority of interactions are completely legit and safe. But the scammers only need to be successful one time and that is what keeps them going.
Here we will discuss the most popular scams of the present time.
Most Popular Online Scams
You never know when you might be the one to be caught out.
So, to keep you safer and more secure, here are some of the most popular online scams out there – and how to avoid being caught out.
1. Job Scams
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, online scammers are trained to prey on people in vulnerable situations and those searching for work are often so desperate to gain paid employment that they will let their guard down. This online scam became particularly popular during lockdown.
In this scam, the jobseeker will be informed that they have got a job and will be paid by check. This check will be for more than the agreed payment and the victim will then be asked to send back the difference.
But then the original check turns out to be a fake and the victim has lost out. This is a scam that is becoming more prevalent because of the emergence of online job sites. Try to check the details of any offer thoroughly and beware of sending back the difference.
2. Dating Scams
As with any online scam, the ones behind the crime are looking to prey on the most vulnerable parts of your life to get something out of you.
If you are looking for love you are usually at your most vulnerable and hoping that someone out there will find you attractive and desirable. These days, much of the dating process is carried out online.
Reputable dating sites are a good way to meet like-minded people and have been used to great success by millions of people around the world. But there is the potential for sharing information and data that you would never usually give out to a stranger. Always take care with sharing any personal information online.
3. Holiday Scams
The holiday and vacation sector is a hotspot when it comes to online scamming. This is another area of our lives that we now overwhelmingly conduct online and that has allowed scammers to prey on people just wanting to book a vacation. With the recent health crisis, more people have wanted to get away than ever before.
Again, much of the holiday and vacation scam is about asking for information and data that doesn’t need to be shared. But there is also a good business in selling vacations that just don’t exist. The unlucky victims sometimes only know when they arrive at the hotel. Just make sure you always use accredited travel agents when booking online.
4. Pharming Scam
This is a particularly devious type of online scamming where it is very difficult for victims to realize what is going on until is far too late. Pharming is the process of redirecting a victim from a completely legitimate site to a fraudulent site. This can cause a lot of mental and financial harm.
The online scammers in these cases will install malicious code on a victim’s computer or device to complete the pharming procedure. Although it is very difficult to detect, you can reduce the chances of being caught out by using antivirus and anti-malware software from trusted operators.
5. Phishing Scams
Pharming evolved from phishing – but the original scam can be just as devastating for the victim. This scam involves the attacker duping the victim into providing information and personal data, commonly by posing as an official body and asking the victim to click on a link to complete the process.
This is one kind of online scam that sometimes seems so ridiculous that it couldn’t possibly be successful. But, although pharming is more popular these days, phishing is still around – and working. Always pay close attention to any online requests and don’t click on links unless you are sure they are legitimate.
6. Lottery Scams
Several levels of lottery scams can affect entire friendships and family groups if the victims are particularly unlucky. The potential victim will usually receive a message or email congratulating them on winning a lottery. The offer of a cash prize can be enough to catch some people out.
The scammers will usually ask for details that can be used for bigger scams but they can also target friends and family as well. By hacking into social media accounts, they can make the invitation to supply data that looks like it is from you. The best way to avoid this kind of scam is to never believe that you have somehow suddenly won a lottery cash prize.
How to Avoid Being Scammed
It always seems so obvious once you have been scammed. But by then it is too late. To give yourself the best chance of being safe online you should always use strong passwords and question anything that seems too good to be true. The problem with that is that it probably is.
Make sure that you install cyber security on your online devices, always check for official certificates, and never click on random links. The scammers are always thinking up more devious ways to part you and your money – so you should do everything you can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Use our online website safety checker to proactively detect scam sites.