The Most Frequent Online Frauds and Ways To Avoid Them

The web is an excellent place for learning, communication, entertainment, and work.

Consequently. In the latest estimate, there are over 4.66 billion internet users worldwide.

However, the gravity of online threats and theft grew as well.

In January 2021 alone, there are somewhere around 7,000 reported internet-related scams.

Indeed, it’s a pressing matter that everyone should notice.

If you’re curious about the most common online scams, we’re here to assist.

In this guide, you’ll learn just that, plus tips on how to spot and avoid being a victim.

1. Email Scam

What are Email Scams?

Email Scams, Email Fraud, or Spam are the terms for cybercriminals’ deception through emails.

These mails contain too good to be true information, deals, or message as far it goes.

Phishing, a type of email scam, lures users into fake sites that steal money, identity or inject malware into their device by disguising an email from a legitimate company or site.

How to spot?

Since companies don’t ask for sensitive information such as passwords, emails that do this are likely scams.

Also, legitimate companies use custom domain names in their emails, such as sales@company’sname.com or help@company’sname.com.

Typically, these domains reflect the brand or company’s name.

How to avoid being a victim?

To avoid being a victim of email scams, don’t open strange emails. As discussed, make sure to check the authenticity of the sender’s email domain name. If you’re unsure, it’s best not to answer them or click any attached links.

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You can also verify if an email is safe using such tools as Spokeo’s reverse email search. Lastly, report the suspicious email as spam to inform Google or other email provider’s security.

2. Phone Calls Scam

What are the Phone Calls Scam?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, many people lose money to phone scams.

Typically, it’s either a real person or a robocall that will contact someone.

In the process, theft promises something to the other end about an opportunity, investment, or other related things.

If successful, they can steal someone’s identity, bank information, and many other sensitive data.

How to spot?

If someone asks for your Bank credentials or account password, it’s likely a scam; company associates will not ask for these kinds of sensitive information.

If they can’t or won’t answer your questions and threatens you over something, then dropping the call is a wise choice.
How to avoid being a victim?

Do not answer calls from an unknown or unfamiliar phone number.

If you respond by any chance, don’t give up your personal information and other sensitive data. Lastly, perform a phone number search and use Spokeo’s reverse phone lookup to learn if a caller is a scammer or not.

3. Online Shopping Scam

What are Online Shopping Scams?

Initially, these scams present themselves as website or app advertisements with very enticing deals.

When a user clicks the link, it will redirect the screen to an imitation or seemingly identical fake online shop.

Inside these harmful sites, prices are typically significantly lower than the original vendors. Making it more tempting to purchase.

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After purchasing, the theft will have access to the Bank account or other sensitive information it asked through the fake checkout.

How to spot?

Fake online shops usually offer products at questionably lower prices than the original ones.

Also, see if the URL has an SSL certificate; this indicates a secure website.

Lastly, review if there are any warnings by Google or your search engine that the website you’re trying to visit is potentially harmful.

How to avoid being a victim?

Check the previous customer reviews about the shop.

Look for online forums, discussions, or comments on social media.

If a suspicious shop asks for a prepayment, don’t put a large sum of money.

Should you want to be sure, see the owner’s details on the shop and use the reverse phone or email lookup features from Spokeo.

If you have a match, check for criminal records as an additional safety measure.

4. Catfishing

What is Catfishing?

Catfishing is the act of disguising as someone or creating a fake identity on social networking platforms. Aside from violence, criminals also use this to scam people for money and sensitive information.

How to spot?

The first thing to do is to perform a reverse image search on Google. By doing so, you can identify if the profile photo shows a real person or not. Also, you will learn if the picture and the name coincide with each other.
How to avoid being a victim?

If ever a suspicious person contacts you, do not, at any cost, send money. Besides, you can also demand a video call for further verification.

5. Booking and Online Rental Scam

What are Booking and Online Rental Scams?

Booking or online rental scams are ways of thefts to steal money by faking rental listings online. After getting reservations or any other fees, they will go offline, and the other end won’t be able to contact them again. Even on popular listing platforms like Airbnb and Craigslist, many users reported incidents regarding rental scams.

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How to spot?

Judge if the rental fee is suspiciously cheap for the size or appearance of the place. Also, see if the property does exist. If the other end can only provide photos, you can do a reverse image search on Google to check if the picture is real or from another source.

How to avoid being a victim?

If unsure, don’t pay money upfront.

Wait and demand proofs or other things that can assure you.

Additionally, only use legitimate listing platforms and check reviews or ratings about the owner.

You can also request a phone call and verify the number using reverse number lookup tools as Spokeo.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions and scrutinize; it will save you from online scams.

Author : Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.

 

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