Most Common Internet Scams and How To Avoid Them
Updated: Jul 13
Cybercrimes are one of the downsides to advancing technology, and they can be downright dangerous to our wallets and our lives. Unfortunately, the more progress we make in connectivity and tech, the more advanced scammers will become. Here are some of the most common internet scams and how to avoid them.
Phishing is a technique used by scammers in which they attempt to gain information through email. They will typically send look-a-like emails from a common business or enterprise you use regularly and request information such as login or credit card information. Response to and engagement with these emails exposes your computer and personal data to scammer attacks.
Phishing can also happen via text message. These messages and emails typically have a reason or story as to why they require the information they are requesting.
Some common reasons given by scammers include:
You are eligible for a coupon
Your account has suspicious login activity
Your account has had a problem processing your payment
You need to update your personal information
In all these cases, the phishing email or message will contain a link. If you suspect you have received a phishing email, do not click the link or respond with any personal information. Phishing emails are meant to closely mimic the actual business they are trying to portray.
To protect yourself from phishing attacks:
Use security software or an IT service to handle your cybersecurity.
Make sure your computer and phone are updated with the latest software.
Use multi-factor authentication on your devices and accounts.
Back up your data regularly.
Online Purchase Scams
Online purchase scams seem simple, but they can cost people tons of money. An online purchase scam happens when an item is listed, purchased, and then never shipped. The scams can also occur when a scammer attempts to pay for an item with a phony check and then requests a refund. These types of scams occur on websites such as eBay and Craigslist.
To help keep yourself safe from scammers in online purchase scenarios, make sure you are purchasing on a reputable site from a verified user with reviews and photos of the physical product.
In an online employment scam, you could be contacted and convinced you are being considered for an employment opportunity. You will then be asked for money in exchange for training or necessary equipment for the job. This scam is common among job seekers, for obvious reasons, and is one of the most highly successful scams.
To avoid this scenario, make sure your cybersecurity measures are up to date and consult with an IT team to ensure your data is protected. Simple internet security measures can keep attacks of this nature at bay.
Tech Support Scams
A tech support scam will typically appear in an alarming manner, such as a popup or urgent message regarding the safety of your computer. In many instances, it will warn you of a virus or malware threat. However, once you interact with the message or click the link, the scammer will request money in exchange for IT services and compromise your data.
Working with a trusted IT team for your cybersecurity and tech health can keep you safe from this type of attack. Your IT service, security software, or IT team will alert you in a secure manner of any possible threats to your cybersecurity.
To learn more about the importance of cybersecurity, click here.