By Harry Turner, Freelance Writer
Cyber scams seem to become more and more common and are something that you will hear on the news a lot. Furthermore, it isn’t just the average citizen that gets scammed. Additionally, there are thousands of businesses that get scammed each day. Internet fraud is very standard and something that everybody should be aware of.
It is easy to become a victim of internet fraud although those from the older generation are more likely to fall for it, and are at greater risk of losing more money. Due to people being afraid of falling for cyber scams, they will likely avoid browsing the internet.
It is time to understand the risks of the internet and what you need to be aware of on the internet. Not only will you educate yourself but you can also educate others.
Avoid Fake Credit Reports
Many credit reports claim to be free but in hindsight, they look to gather your information. You must avoid these at all costs. Additionally, once you have used their “free trial” they will begin to charge you. Ensure that you don’t provide your credit card details.
We advise you to check your credit cards at least once a year, ensuring that you have not been a victim of an internet scam. Furthermore, you need to know how to avoid these particular scams.
It is simple to avoid these scams. All you need to do is avoid social media ads, emails, text messages and pop-up ads offering fake credit reports. There are many websites where you can get a free credit report however, there are many URLs which are very similar to those legitimate websites. Ensure that you are checking these URLs and then you will be safe.
Living in the digital age, we have become more reliant on it than ever. We rely on it to do our clothes shopping, food shopping, communicate with friends and use it for work. Many people will even use the internet for potential relationships that may lead to possible dating scams.
Yes, dating scams are a thing and it is more likely to happen to women than men. In 2021, over $304 million was lost due to dating scams in the United States. Again, this is common with those who are from the older generation.
There are many different forms of romantic fraud. One of the more common methods is by those who build a fake relationship with someone to the point where they have built enough trust to ask for money. They will usually say that it is down to an emergency which is something that a lot of people fall for. Furthermore, there have been people that will give them access to their accounts, another typical method.
The question is, how do you avoid this? You may think it is easy but many people fall into this trap. Many people will usually use fake accounts and nine times out of ten, they will have few images. Furthermore, you want to ensure you meet these people before giving away any personal information. Don’t be guilt-tripped into anything you are unsure of and cut them off when you sense anything dodgy.
Phishing is one of the more common cyber scams you will hear of a lot. It is the most common and just as effective as the rest. Furthermore, it is similar to dating scams but more in a friendly way. They will pretend as if they know you or a friend of a friend and just get to know you. They could pretend to be a friend and say that they have a new phone or something along those lines.
There are so many social media platforms where people can pretend to be others. Some platforms such as Facebook now require you to provide an identity card before you create an account. Similar to what betting sites get you to do. Phishing is common and happens all over the world. That is why you have to be careful with what you are doing. If you sense anything out of the ordinary, find another way to contact the person they are pretending to be. Maybe contact another friend to see if they have spoken to them recently. If you sense it is dodgy, it probably is, especially if you know that family member or friend well.
Keeping your computer safe is essential and one of the ways to do that is by installing antivirus software. Additionally, a new computer or laptop will likely come with a year’s worth of antivirus. If it doesn’t, enquire about it at the shop you are buying it from. You might be able to pay a little extra for antivirus software to be installed on your computer.
There are many fake antivirus software out there that exist. However, these are also easy to spot. It will usually appear when downloading a file or on a website. A popup will come on your screen and say “your computer is now infected with a virus” or something along those lines. Avoid clicking on these downloads at all costs because once you do, they will install a virus onto your computer.
These are very common but also easy to spot. The only time you should trust an error is through your antivirus software. If you don’t have one on your computer already, we suggest you go out and buy one. You can even buy anti-virus software from Amazon if you want to buy them from a trusted website. Some of the best antivirus software include; Bitdefender Antivirus, Norton, Trend Micro Antivirus and others.
If you are active on social media and follow many people, you may already know what we are talking about. These are very common in the past decade and seem to be the most common during Covid. A lot of people were getting into investment and buying stocks and cryptocurrency.
Scammers browse pages about investment and cryptocurrencies to see who follows them. They will then reach out to these people because they know they are interested in investing. Furthermore, the scammer will promise a ridiculous return for only putting a small amount in. For example, they may ask you to put in £10 and promise a £1000 return or even more.
If someone reaches out to you through social media, text message or even email then avoid these at all costs. They are a scam and will take the money off you and never speak to you again. Although you might think that you are not putting in a lot of money, they are probably doing this to hundreds, if not thousands of people. That is how they make their money.
Finally, Fake Shopping Pages
Another common scam is fake shopping websites and pages. If you are new to online shopping, this is a scam which is easy to fall for. During the festive period, you may come across a lot of brands that are new to you.
The question is, how do you spot a fake brand? Well, it is really easy. One of the first things you should do is check social media platforms to see if they have a page. If they do, check the comments section on their posts to see if people are commenting about the product. Additionally, you want to ensure there are a variety of opinions on there and not just one-sided. Sometimes, websites pretend to be other brands, ensuring it is the official URL and not a fake.
As you can see, there are many scams where you can lose money. Businesses are also susceptible to scams which could lead to businesses going bankrupt. A company should always have a form of cyber incident response team in place to deal with scams. They should have software in place to keep their whole network secure. Both you personally and a business are vulnerable to scams. Make sure you make yourself familiar with these scams to avoid them. The more the digital world develops, the more common scams will become so you must be aware.
About the Author
Harry Turner is a freelance writer. He is a writer that graduated with a journalism degree back in 2020. He has a passion for writing and enjoys watching Football and boxing over the weekend. He also likes to write about a variety of different topics that are relevant and on-trend. Harry can be reached online at https://twitter.com/HarryTurner77.