Scammers are getting more and more creative when they want to find people online and steal their personal information. In the following paragraphs, we shall give you some valuable insights into some of the most common tricks scammers use to woo their victims.
Government watchdogs concur that people from all nationalities, age groups, and backgrounds can fall victim to an online scam. According to some authorities, however, teenagers are most vulnerable as they spend the most time online. They are most likely to download malicious software onto their mobile devices accidentally, mistaking it for genuine.
Get Your Child To Recognize Genuine Apps From Malware
As smartphones have already become an inseparable part of teenagers’ lives, parents should proactively train their growing kids to tell fake apps from the real ones. They should be instructed early on to download add-ons and mobile games only from licensed online resellers and developers.
Oftentimes, scammers get in touch with a teenager and offer them the latest and trendiest online mobile game for half its official price. Once the teenager downloads and opens the app, they get locked out of their phone or tablet.
Be Careful When You Shop Online
When you want to buy something online, you probably search for the best deals. The problem is, the best deals do not always rank high in Google.
The lower you go down the search results page, the less secure the retailers’ websites become. Thus, your hunt for the best bargains can lead you right into a scammer’s trap. Shopping on big and trusted platforms is always safe.
Stay Away From Virtual Currencies
If you get a message suggesting you buy Bitcoins or other virtual currencies at a bargain price, this is almost certainly a scam. If you are thinking of investing in a virtual currency, each one has an official website, where you have to complete a registration process and pass an identity verification.
If an online retailer asks you to pay for a product or service with a cryptocurrency, this may also be a scam. I would hesitate if asked to enter a credit card number and CVV. I would ask if I could pay via my virtual wallet.
Your Account Has Been Compromised
Messages with this subject line are usually filtered by almost all free email services. Every once in a while, however, one makes its way to your inbox.
The most important thing to avoid doing is giving in to panic. The second most important thing is NOT to click the call-to-action link at the bottom of the message.
If you take a closer look at the sender’s email, you’ll see that it does not match your service provider’s.
Congratulations, You’ve Won
This is another email subject that scammers use to fish for gullible internet users. They use lengthy email messages to trick the email account holder into believing they’ve just won an incredibly large sum of money and request their bank account to carry out the transfer.
If the victim provides it, they may get involved in an international money laundering scheme wherein large sums of money will indeed be transferred through their bank account. What they would get in exchange is usually a small amount and the risk of spending about a decade behind bars.
Online Dating Scams
A typical scam: you think you’re chatting with a hot young woman, but the person on the other device is a male in his thirties or forties. At some point, the scammer usually requests financial assistance from their online romantic interest, be it for “her” mother’s lifesaving surgery or tuition fee.
To avoid this old trap, always do a reverse search of your admirer’s images and cross-check the info they give you. A fake profile usually contains an often grainy photo and inconsistent personal info. When you have evidence or strongly suspect a profile is fake, don’t hesitate to report it to the website’s administrators at once.
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