Internet Scams to watch out for

Digital Fingerprint

The internet can be a gift and a curse. Many people cannot imagine life without it. The danger of the internet is why people with IT careers in cyber security jobs work tirelessly to protect the public.

The list below covers a few of the areas that internet scams are currently threatening consumers:

Scams which play on the play on the heart strings:

Some scams are well known but can still fool the unsuspecting few. The best known may be the Nigerian Scam. This is usually an email from a person with a Nigerian family member who has died, leaving a lot of money, with which they need help. Requests for charity donations are another frequent scam, with requests for online donations for Disaster Relief, usually following a major event.

Scams based on Security Details:

Phishing or Vishing scams are focused on tricking the consumer to give up security details which they normally would not do. Phishing is via emails or web pages, requesting passwords and ID/usernames. Vishing is via a phonecall from the bank or police suggesting card fraud has already taken place. Either details are requested over the phone or a courier is sent to pick up the old card.

Wishful Thinking Scams:

Everyone would like to think they will be lucky enough to win money one day. Scams play on people’s hopes by offering vast amounts of money to ‘winners’. Lottery Scams simply require a processing fee or some of the consumer’s personal information. Travel Scams work along the same premise and present once in a lifetime ‘offers’ for flights or accommodation with hidden clauses and cancellation fees.

Something for nothing, and nothing for something:

Buying and selling on the faceless internet can always be risky. Products sold on auction sites including ebay can be fake or some do not turn up at all. There is an expected rise in scams concerning selling fake Rugby World Cup tickets for 2015. Counterfeit tickets are often sold ‘secondhand’ over the internet for concerts and festivals.

Virus Emails:

Opening any link or emails from unknown addresses can enable viruses to be downloaded onto computer systems. Anti-virus ware can prevent many of these from taking effect but not all. A common scam currently is for emails from the Royal Mail being sent suggesting a package has been lost. Work from home scams also prey on consumers downloading programmes to work from, opening up all details from personal computers.

 

Safeguards have already been put in place and advice is readily available on the internet for how to avoid many of these scams. If these scams are avoided and users continue to protect data, then the internet can remain a gift for all.

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