6 Most Common Types of Internet Frauds
The Internet is a wonderful thing. It has made our lives so much easier, it lets us connect with friends and family 2,000 miles away, and whenever we have a question, the answer is right there at our fingertips. But the Internet is not just filled with good. Unfortunately, it also become a feeding ground for Internet fraud. Fraud that comes to us through or computer or phone screens.
And we’re not just talking about one or two types of Internet fraud – there are so many types of Internet frauds that have emerged. From malicious software, which exploits weaknesses in computers to smart phishing scams, the list goes on. We’ll through six common types of Internet fraud, so you can arm yourself with knowledge and protect yourself from Internet scams.
1. Email Phishing Scams
Email phishing scams are the most common Internet scams out there. It’s been found that more than one-third of cybersecurity events start with a phishing email or a malicious attachment in an email. These are usually sent to employees of a company, so organizations need to invest in managed IT services and solutions for protection. One of the many problems with these types of scams is that they are now one of the most serious threats for both organizations and individuals.
With a phishing scam, the people behind the scam will send you an email with the goal of tricking you into providing them with valuable data, such as login information. What do they do with this information? They can later use it to steal more data, or even money if they can get into the company or individuals account. This is a scary one so be diligent when opening mysterious emails.
2. Credit Card or Bank Loan Scams
Have you ever gotten a message from someone pretending to be from your bank or credit card company? Most of us can probably answer yes to this question. It might happen like this: you get a call with the person on the other end saying that a large amount of money has been pre-approved and offered to you as a loan. Before responding, ask yourself how this is even possible. A bank cannot readily pre-approve large amounts of cash without first speaking with you and reviewing your financial information, as well as other details. If it sounds too good to be there, it usually is!
3. Fake Charity Scams
These types of Internet frauds focus on raising money for “charity”. It plays on people’s good nature and willingness to help others. Scam artists will actually impersonate real charities, tell their story, and ask for donations.
Some other scams involve people calling you after a natural disaster or some other kind of major event that has happened in an effort to collect money for the “victims” of the disaster.
4. Unexpected Money
With this form of Internet scam, people message you with a convincing story that may seem legitimate to you. Usually, there are things like “Congratulations, you just won $50,000!” Or “You’ve been chosen as our lucky winner of a trip to anywhere in the world!” Again, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
5. Investment Scams
These types of Internet frauds used to happen over the telephone, but now they are starting to emerge in the cyberspace as well. With this scam, you can get a wide variety of calls or messages. Not too long ago in Canada, people were calling around pretending to be the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and were saying that you committed fraud on your last tax return and that you need to talk to them urgently to get the matter sorted out.
They ask for all kinds of personal information including your address and your social insurance number. You are usually greeted by an automated message until a real person comes on the line. A good way to see if this is a scam or not is to look on the CRA website where it says that they never call you from an automated machine.
6. Online Dating Scams
Internet scammers also prey on people who are using the Internet to find a partner. Thousands of men and women from around the world fall victim to this scam, so you really need to be vigilant when trying an online dating app or website. A red flag in this scenario is if someone you just met or someone you’ve been talking to for a few weeks (and have never met) starts asking you to send them money electronically. Even if you’ve fallen for this person already, please recognize this as a red flag and do not send any money. Chances are good that you’re being scammed.
We hope this blog has shed light on some of the most popular Internet scams that are out there waiting to take advantage of their next victim. Now that you know what to look for, you’ll be able to protect yourself and your family from falling victim to Internet fraud.