What is a scam?

The Internet has totally gotten into our lives. We socialize, look for a job, work, buy, study, etc. through it. Criminals know it and constantly look for ways to cheat online. 

Sometimes it’s really easy to fall into a scam while checking your e-mail or your smartphone. Everybody, not only business people but also regular users around the world, is targeted daily.

What is a scam?

A scam is a fraud, deceptive action clearly directed to gain something from a victim. Mostly it’s about getting your money. Scams’ methods are many, but all directed to steal personal data that can become somehow profitable. Scammers can cheat for you to reveal such data or even to transfer money ‘willingly’.

Types of scams.

  • Phishing. Taking advantage of specific companies or organizations’ trustability and reputation, scammers impersonate them to contact you via e-mail. Usually, e-mails include links that will direct you to fake websites. There they ask you to type bank card details, users or passwords, etc. People don’t hesitate to see their bank’s logo and government image, so they get them like genuine sites. This scam usually works through instant messaging, text messaging, and e-mail spoofing. 
  • Identity theft. Your sensitive data can be used for different fraudulent purposes. Once you provide them on a fake website, scammers can directly affect your bank savings, but also they can use your identity for getting credits, loans, big purchases, make fake social networks’ profiles, etc.
  • Online shopping scams. Scammers attract you to websites advertising low prices for high-quality, innovative medical products or services. Once you pay: You don’t receive your products at all. You receive a different and very low-quality product. They steal your card details.  
  • Scammers also try through product delivery confirmation. After accessing apps and delivery services illegally, they contact you to ‘confirm’ your card data for delivering your purchases. 
  • Jobs scam. Currently, it’s not uncommon to look for jobs, to be interviewed and hired via the Internet. The problem is sometimes, you are required to deposit money to continue the process, to be registered, certified somehow, or to get a kit of tools to work from home. Once you deposit, employers vanish.
  • Sim swap scam. Phone numbers are key for money transfers. They are a security layer to log in or to be verified. Through a complex method, scammers get your data, and after, they contact or hack your phone provider to swap your phone number to a sim card scammers own.
  • Social networks scam. Social networks are rich sources of personal data. Scammers target you and dig deeper. Suddenly through friendship, romance, etc., they get your card details or ask you for money transfers to help them.  
  • Redemption of points or vouchers scam. You receive e-mails or phone messages saying you won points or vouchers that can be redeemed through a simple register. This is the excuse to drag you to suspicious sites where they will ask for your private data. 

How to protect yourself from scams?

  • Never share your personal data through the Internet or phone.
  • Don’t exchange e-mails or phone messages with strangers. 
  • Check carefully and identify fake and genuine messages and websites. Legitimate sites offer you signs through their SSL certificate, like the https and the padlock icon. 
  • Update regularly the OS and virus protection on all your devices. 
  • Use hard to crack passwords and change them regularly.
  • Prefer safe connections and methods for delicate actions.
  • Avoid messages that push you to react fast. Quick decisions for purchasing are frequently scams. 
  • If it is too good to be true, better don’t try it. That is how prizes, lotto, and many scams work. 

Conclusion.

Both modern but also basic scams keep cheating people successfully. No matter what, keep your personal data safe!

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