Avoid the 4 most common online scams
Online scams are very common these days. Now, it is not only a single amateur hacker trying to get money out of innocent, naive online users, but there are groups of ‘well-organized scammers’. It might start from a simple e-mail, asking for you to click on a certain hyperlink or a simple text message on your mobile phone.
In the following article, we take a look at 5 of the most common online scams that have been troubling online users for quite some time now.
The free Trial offer scam
This is one of the most common online scams you will find. You will get an email on your account for these amazing offers on products e.g. teeth whiteners or weight-loss pills. Now, they will be asking a low price of around $6.99 or $4.99; sometimes even for free.
Most of the people fall prey to such kind of scams. They instantly like the offer and are more than willing to go for the offer because, it’s a matter of just a few bucks for them. So, they make the ultimate mistake of clicking on ‘I agree’ button, provided at the bottom of the mail.
These scams rely on the fact that generally people do not read all the fine print of a mail or an online offer. In the fine print, which is not read by the most, it is stated the obligation of the user to pay e.g. $69.99 to the company every month. So, with that the customer unknowingly keeps sending that stated amount to the company.
You can avoid falling prey to such scams by reading the fine print of every ad or offer that you receive online. You can also visit Tineye.com, a site that scours the web for the identical images. If you are already facing such an issue, immediately cancel the agreement or funds transfer and contact your credit card company.
Antivirus scams, claiming that ‘Your computer is infected’!
This is another common scam faced by online users. You will see a pop-up window on your screen with a legitimate-sounding antivirus software name such as, ‘’Security Tool’’ or ‘’Antivirus Windows 7 2015’’. You will be asked to click on the given link to get a free security scan of your Windows. This software will show you another pop-up window at the end of the scan, claiming that your computer is infected and this software has found the virus.
Now, this software will promise you to clean your computer with a fee of around $50. The very moment you accept the offer, this company is going to install malware on your computer system. It will gather all your personal data, including your credit card information, birthday, passwords to steal money from you.
Easy solution to this scam is to never use an unknown anti-virus service. Spend a little more cash on your internet security and opt for the legit Anti-virus services and never trust these pop-up windows that have ‘microsoft-ish’ names.
The famous Survey scams
This scam looks very innocent at first glance. First, they will try to attract your attention by giving you some information or visuals on very popular social issues, such as ‘War in the Middle East’ or ‘Global warming’. Then, they will ask you to participate in an online questionnaire or survey to help a researching company.
At first, you will be tempted by your soft side to help the cause. But, the moment you click on the link to take the survey, a malware or malicious spyware will be installed on your computer system. Once it is installed on your system, the hackers or cyber criminals can spy on your every move. They will instantly start collecting your password information, bank data and more. This results in identity theft and these cyber criminals will use your identity to buy expensive stuff online or sometimes, transfer funds from your account to another bank account.
Try to avoid such surveys that come to your screen ‘out of nowhere’ and sometimes, they also promise you a cash reward. Do not click on such links until or unless you know the sender’s complete information and authenticity.
The dating scam
If you haven’t fallen prey to such a scam, you must have come across such scams.
This is one of the cruelest scams one could find. It hurts you financially as well as emotionally. It all begins on a social networking site, dating site, a chatroom, e-mail or while playing online virtual games, etc. You meet someone online, you start talking, exchange photos and talk over the phone. After few conversations, you think that you have found your better half and both of you were meant for each other.
One thing, you don’t know is that the person on the other end is obviously not as good-looking as the photo he/she sent you and that person is a ‘scam artist.’ Once, that person feels that he/she has gained your trust, they will ask you to send money. They will state reasons like they cannot afford the ticket to visit you or they have a cruel father or their landlord is keeping them in a prison, etc. They will start with small amounts and ask for bigger checks later.
Never send any money to a person, you have never met before or don’t know. There are groups that work on such techniques to steal money from you. The very moment, someone asks you to send money, simply sign off and never communicate with them again.
Be careful, spammy servers allow sending emails with any kind of email address. You might have already noticed spam coming from your own email address. Spammers and thieves like using reputable emails like “paypal.com”, “microsoft.com” etc. However, very often the email addresses are just very similar and sound like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If something is too good to be true, it probably is!