It’s no secret that the internet is a valuable tool in this modern day and age. Not only does it make it easier to shop, research and pay bills, but it also enables people to envision new possibilities and bring them to life!
However, while the internet has made it possible to pursue legitimate activities without much effort, it also opens doors to hackers, stalkers, scammers and other cybercriminals to carry out their illegal activities.
The only way to keep perpetrators from accomplishing their mission is to be aware of the most common techniques used by them today, and installing your devices and machines with the latest firewall, antivirus and VPN:
Phishing emails attempt to trick victims into revealing their financial or personal information through a fraudulent website that looks exactly like a valid banking or e-Commerce site. Victims enter their credentials thinking they are logging into their actual account, but the information they enter on the fake site is sent to the scammers instead. With this information on hand, the scammer can run-up their credit cards, steal their identity or even wipe out their accounts altogether.
Also referred to as the “419 scam,” the Nigerian scam goes back to the days when mail and fax machines were the primary means of communication for businesses. Today, however, scammers of this kind stick to email as their preferred method and there are more people falling victim to the Nigerian scam than ever before!
In times of a disaster like an earthquake or a hurricane, millions of people concerned for the safety of the victims want to lend a helping hand. A few people, on the other hand, want to take advantage of the opportunity and cash in on it. So, if in the aftermath of a disaster, you receive an email asking for donations to help the victims, avoid clicking it. If you really want to contribute, go directly to the site of a reputable charity organization instead.
Another oldie, the greeting card scam also involves getting an email from a scammer pretending to be a friend, family member or neighbor. As the victim clicks the link to view the e-greeting card, they are redirected to a malicious webpage that infects their system with Trojans and other malware such as viruses and worms.
Wow, you have won a lottery that you didn’t even enter! How can that be possible? Well, the lottery winning scam is designed to trick recipients into thinking they have won a lottery prize. However, as with the Nigerian scam, you are then asked to send a check worth a couple hundred dollars to cover taxes and fees.
So, you have found the woman of your dreams on a dating site: she’s humorous, gorgeous and really into you. Above all, she wants to come all the way just to meet you and hints the first date will be something to remember! But wait, she needs some money for a ticket. And would it hurt if you could help her pay rent? What happens on the big night though? Nothing! It never comes because she’s just a con artist with a stock photo who has been playing you.
While the Hitman scam is typically sent through emails, it can also be sent through text messages. The author of that email or text message claims to be an assassin hired to kill you. It sure does sound like something out of a Hollywood movie, right? But this scam has been around for a while and affected hundreds of people. The essence of the email? Pay up or die!
Similar to phishing scams, the only difference being that you are notified of an “account problem” through text messages rather than emails. Upon calling the number, an automated voicemail asks you for your account information.
The work-from-home scam consists of the victim being offered an amazing work-from-home opportunity via email. They will then be required to purchase something upfront, such as a website or processing equipment. But when they send the money, they get – that’s right, nothing!
Scareware tricks victims into purchasing needless and potentially malicious software. Once the rogue software is installed, they are usually left with a crippled and hijacked system.