Most Common Types of Online Scams

Phishing
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The top online scam today is Phishing. Internet thieves prey on unsuspecting users by sending out phishing emails. In these emails, a cybercriminal tries to trick you into believing you are logging into a trusted website that you normally do business with. This could be a bank, your social media account, an online shopping website, shipping companies, cloud storage companies and more.

Another type of popular phishing scam is the Nigerian Prince, or 419 scam. These are phishing emails in which you’re asked to help bring large sums of money into the country, cash phony money orders or wire money to the thief. The trick is that the scammer first asks you for a small fee because the larger sum of money is “tied up” whether it be in wire transfer fees, processing fees or some other tall tale.

Fake AV
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One close to our industry is fake security software, which is also known as scareware. These start with a pop up warning saying that you have a virus. Then the popup leads the user to believe that if they click on the link, the infection will get cleaned up.Cybercriminals use the promise of “Free Anti-Virus” to instead implant malware on a victim’s device.

Social Media Scams
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Social media scams are a variety of posts you will see in your news feeds- all with the goal of getting you to click on a link that could potentially be hosting malware.

Mobile Scams
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Mobile scams can come in many forms, but the most common are phishing apps. These apps are designed to look like the real thing, just like phishing emails. It is exactly the same premise, however, instead of emails, the malware is passed through a fake app.

Social Engineering Scams
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Social engineering is a way that cybercriminals use human-to-human interaction in order to get the user to divulge sensitive information. Since social engineering is based on human nature and emotional reactions, there are many ways that attackers can try to trick you- online and offline.