Online scams are the crimes or frauds in which cyber criminals develop schemes using one or more internet tools. These scams continue to evolve and can vary widely. Almost every internet user has fallen to one or another type of online scam at some point of actively using the internet. Hackers and cybercriminals keep coming up with smarter ways to sabotage their victims’ personal details and take control over the networks.
Choosing a reliable and secure internet connection can be the foremost step from your side to protect yourself against online scams. Windstream internet could be trusted with online security as they offer award-winning Kinetic Secure with their internet plans. But how can you identify between regular online activity and an online scam? Let us tell you about some of the most common online scams you’re likely to encounter:
Common Online Scams
- Phishing email scams
Phishing email scams are the most common type of online scams as they are based on communication made via email, where the cybercriminal tries to trick you into opening a malicious link. This can provide them access to your sensitive and valuable data.
These emails might seem to come from an official source or legitimate companies, but in reality, they are coming from the dupe account created by attackers and scammers who would only like to harm you by breaching your data.
- Shopping scams
As online shopping has become a trend, scammers are taking full advantage of it by tricking people into making them believe that their fake websites have good deals and are a part of a famous brand. Once people start hopping from them they will scam them through checkout procedures and steal credit card information and a lot more.
Even if you get something delivered from these websites you’ll not get the exact product, they’ll take your money and won’t take any responsibility for a refund or accountability.
- Bank loan or credit card scams
People get easily scammed by these fancy bank offers where the scammer guarantees a large amount of money as a loan that too already been approved by the bank. Some people get trapped in these fake stories and end up giving their credit card information and bank details without even thinking that why will a legitimate bank allow them such a big loan without even analyzing their financial condition.
- Fake antivirus software
When you’re browsing over the web and suddenly see a pop-up telling you that your device is now infected and needs antivirus software that is a fake ad trying to trick you into clicking on that ad and getting free antivirus software. In fact, it will only give your device a virus, malware, or any other cyber threat.
- Lottery scams
It’s quite common to receive an email or message telling us that we have won a huge amount of lottery and to claim our prize we need to pay some amount of the fees. Well, that’s all part of a huge scam known as a lottery scam. Unfortunately, some people still fall into this trap end up believing that it can all be true and they have won a big lottery that will pay off all their bills. It’s nothing but a scam in reality.
- Bitcoin scams
Bitcoin technology has a huge hype attached to it and many people still don’t have enough knowledge related to it. Scammers and cybercriminals can take full advantage of digital wallets and steal information related to your sensitive data. They introduce Bitcoin Scams for fake bitcoin exchange, offer cross rip-off schemes that can make you lose your money.
- SMS scams
SMS scams also known as Smishing is a technique just like phishing but instead of sending emails, the scammers send you malicious text messages in which they have incorporated a link and telling you that it’s from your bank and require you to access it to update some information related to your finances and bank details.
How to Avoid Online Scams?
The aforementioned are the most common types of online scams circulation over the internet. Here are some helpful tips on how you can avoid them and ensure your online safety.
- Never click links in the emails that ask for your bank information, unless they come from a trusted or known source.
- Do not share your passwords with anyone, even if the request seems to be coming from a legitimate source. Your passwords should be strong enough to protect your online accounts and under no circumstances you should share them with anyone.
- Do not buy anything from non-verified websites or accounts. An only trust authorized online stores and legitimate websites of bigger brands when it comes to online shopping.
- Don’t fall for deals that are too good to be true. Think practically and find out why the other person is proposing you such a handsome offer without any hidden benefits.
- Never share your social security number publicly. Be aware of the websites that ask you to re-enter your personal information.
- Utilize your browser’s security features to the max. All popular web browsers have built-in security features. Do your research and get benefit from it.
- Protect your computer with genuine antivirus software so you don’t have to click on the scamming free anti-virus pop-ups.
- Stay informed about the updated scams frequently so you know how to deal with them if you ever encounter any.
As the digital world continues to grow, so do the online scams, and attacking styles will keep getting advanced. It’s better that you take the necessary steps to avoid any online attacks happening to you in the future. Follow the above-mentioned tips for prevention and to stay safe.