Online Scams: The Ailment That is Crippling The Economy & Those Involved

Category: Online Scams
Length: 21 Pages
Reading Time: 30 Mins

Excerpt: Online scams are increasing with every passing day and you never know what might happen to you. By now, you must have learned about how to deal with such situations and ways to keep yourself safe and secure. If you are ever scammed online, you must report the entire incident to the local authorities who deal with such matters. They are definitely going to take action and get your money back if you tell them right away.

March 28, 2022

Introduction

The number of online scams has gradually increased over the years. It’s not like they are happening in one country, but they are happening all over the world. Now, if you are confused regarding what online scams actually are, let me explain them to you. Internet fraud is when people use your information in order to get money, property, or financial details from you.

There are all sorts of scams people are suffering from including online dating scams, auto trading scams, money transfers, random attacks, and many more. People either get your information by sending fake links that lead them into hacking your computers, or by sending phishing emails as well. Some people even scam you through dating apps. These scammers first talk to you and try to gain your trust. Once done, they get your personal details including your card numbers, etc, and run away with your money. 

The increasing amount of online scams is actually terrifying. Most of the people out there have faced scams one way or another. This is why in this article we are going to have a look at different scams out there and how you can keep yourself protected from them. Sounds interesting? Well then keep on reading!

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If you want to keep yourself safe from falling victim to Online scams, then you’re definitely at the right place. We can give you the best practices in identifying red flags as well as help you in recovering your stolen money from scammers!

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: The Very First Online Scam Known to Man

Binary Options Scam

Online scams have been here for a long time now. These scams can be dated back to the 1970s when the first email phishing attack took place. However, it became quite common in the mid-1990s. Since this period, the world has been attacked by con artists from different parts of the world. This includes using failed email addresses in order to get information, huge data breaches, and much more. It is known that a person lost $47 million due to an email scam. The most famous scam of all time is the email scam which is called 419. 

However, email is not the only place that could be hijacked. Since there is an increasing growth in technology, scams have increased as well. People found multiple and innovative ways to scam others. Some of them are so professional that catching them is next to impossible. 

Moving on, the first mobile phone scam happened in the 80s when they were available to people but were not that popular. SMS frauds were quite common in the old days as well. Others include website hacking, spyware, password theft, and related stuff. If you look into this, we can say that digital scams have been here for about 25 years now. This is due to the ease of fraud. Hackers make sure to evolve their skills in the world of tech. We cannot possibly imagine the number of websites they can actually access and get your data. When using the internet, you need to be extra careful in order to ensure everything stays safe.

These scammers actually operate the entire year with regularity. They are much more active and keep an eye on everything in the world of the internet. For instance, they are well aware of the peak shopping periods such as the Christmas period, Black Friday sale, mid-season sales, and others. However, the year 2020 was the one when scams were at their peak. 

money transfer

This was due to the different sports as well as cultural events including Olympics, Euro 2020, and more. Apart from this, since the pandemic made its way in 2019, that is when scams increased as well. This happened due to the fact that there was an ever-growing number of people using the internet.

Be it purchasing stuff, using different apps, websites, finding jobs, and much more. Since the economy was down as well during this period which led to unemployment, many individuals opted for online scams in order to get their hands on some money. In the UK, it has been noted that 36% of the population suffered from online scams due to the lockdown. Two-thirds of them said that they were somewhat concerned that they might fall victim to a scam. 

Examples of online scams during the lockdown include fake government grants where people were asked for their personal details, credit applications that came with a fee, investment opportunities that promised people a good return, and lots of bitcoin scams as well. 

All of us receive emails from an enterprise that acts as a legitimate one, such as a bank, university, or someone you are associated with. When you click on the message, it takes you to a site that asks you to add your email, password, or even credit card details. This is how you are then exposed to scammers.

If you have been scammed by an online scam then contact us to help you get your money back!

CHAPTER 2: A Substantial Increase in Online Scams Occured in 2017 & Continued To Grow

calling a phone number

According to the 2017 Internet Crime Report by the FBI, there were about 300,000 complaints received regarding internet scams. There were victims who lost around over $1.4 billion in 2017 alone. There was a study conducted that stated that cybercrimes cost the global economy $600 which makes up 0.8% of the GDP. These fraudsters are out there in different forms and are specialized in different scamming methods.

The use of the internet is a great advancement in the world but it does come with a good chunk of cons including online scams. Disaster relief scams are one of the most popular types of scams that people suffer from. This includes issues related to weather problems such as a flood or even the pandemic. These scammers act as organizations that are trying to help victims. 

They make you believe that you are actually donating to the emergency relief fund but that is not the case at all. This is why it is a must for people to donate money to well-known organizations out there. At times, people never even figure out if they have been scammed or not since they are not given proof that their money is actually being used by the victims. 

Apart from this, phishing scams are popular as well. It has been recorded that the term phishing was used and recorded on January 2, 1996. This occurred in a newsgroup called AOHell. Phishing attacks are the most common ones to date. It has been recorded that according to the FBI, over 114,700 people fell victim to phishing scams in the year 2019. In total, these people lost about $57.8 million or around $500 individually.

online shopping

These emails trick you into opening links and may say stuff like they have noticed some suspicious activity regarding your account, payment issues, fake invoice, government funds, free goods or services, and much more. The first phisher attack on E-Gold in June 2001, was not a successful one at all. 

However, in 2003, phishers registered lots of domains that actually looked like legit ones.  By 2004, phishers were riding and there were attacks happening literally everywhere. This included big attacks on banking sites, their customers, and more. Moreover, between the period May 2004 – 2005, around 1 million users had to lose their money due to phishing.

This made up a huge amount of $929 and different organizations lost about $ 2 million per year. All in all, internet scams have been in the world for a very long time now. They have scammed people in lots of different ways and continue to do so. Money transfer scams as the name suggests are frauds that occur when an individual is asked to transfer money to a bank account in the hope of receiving extra money in the future. In some cases, the sender or the victim is convinced to send money by the scammer by making them believe that the money would be a sort of investment and in the future, they will receive more money.

CHAPTER 3: The Many Types of Online Money Scams You Should Be aware Of

performing online research

There are numerous ways in which people can fool you and take advantage of you by committing fraud. There are multiple ways in which people nowadays trap other individuals and get them to send them their money without and then run away with it. Some of the common types of Money transfer scams include:

Phishing

Phishing is a type of fraud in which the scammer hides their actual identity and instead poses as somebody the victim will trust. They usually send emails or texts to individuals through fake email ids and pose as their bank or any other party that would require their personal information. Through this, they get access to passwords and bank details of employees and then they use this detail to get access to the individual’s bank account. This is done very smartly by the attackers as their identity also remains hidden and they get access to all the required information.

bingo lottery

Charity Scams

This type of scam involves scammers acting as a fake charity and asking the victims for donations. They make fake accounts under the name of charities and convince people to donate money for various causes. The money the people send is sent to a fake account and is not even used for the mentioned purpose.

The Poor Traveler

Another way of scamming individuals also involves emotionally appealing to the victims. The attacker hacks into a person’s email account and then sends a generic email to everyone they can find on the email list. The emails contain a story about how the scammer is stuck out of their home country and needs financial assistance to survive or come back to their home country.

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Love Interest

We all know how easy it is to trap people when it comes to love. The attacker lays a very foolproof plan and they put in a lot of time to execute the plan. First they join an online dating site, on the site they look for potential people who are likely to fall for their scam then they develop an emotional bond with them. Once they think they have developed enough trust between the victim and themselves they ask the person for financial help.

Social Media

personal bank account information

The use of social media has increased rapidly over the past few years which makes social media a very attractive place for attackers to look for their victims. There is a huge pool of victims they can choose from, most of the people are very naive and are not even aware that they can be scammed in such a way.  

The fraudsters are using social media for primarily two purposes, firstly they get access to multiple they can fool into sending them money. Other than that, they also use social media to get people who are mostly in their teens, people who have bank accounts and no criminal record. Then they use these people’s accounts to receive money from different people they have scammed. The most dangerous part of the social media scam is that people, although are completely unaware that their account is being used to commit fraud, can end up in jail for the crime.

Red Flags That You May Be The Target for An Online Scam

shopping online

There is no foolproof way to make sure that you are protecting yourself from being scammed. However, there are multiple characteristics and signals that you can use to identify whether the email you are receiving is a scam or not. These characteristics will help you figure out that there are chances of getting scammed and reduce the possibility of you falling for the perfect trap laid down by the fraudster.

1. Time Constraint

Usually, fraudsters give the impression that the situation is very urgent and they need the details or money as soon as possible. This is done so that the victim does not have time to think things through and they feel pressured into sending the money.

2. Communication

Even though they try to make the messages look professional in order to easily trap the victim. The messages or the email that are sent do not have a professional tone, if you analyze the email carefully you can see that it is not well structured and not the type of message you would receive from your bank or any other well established or trustworthy organization.

3. Links for Quick Access

Fraudsters want the victims to send them the details as quickly as possible without giving them the chance to figure out that things do not add up. For this purpose they add links in the email that take you straight to sites that require them to fill out their details. It does not require any sort of authentication and does not in any way show the authenticity of the company.

4. Posing as A Trusted Source

One very important thing to look out for is that the fraudsters mostly pose as an organization that you are going to trust easily. Hence if you receive an email from your bank and it asks you to upload personal details online make sure you double-check it with the bank.

5. Protecting Yourself

The ease of online transactions has evolved the world and eCommerce to a great extent. However, it is advised that you try to avoid or limit online transactions as much as possible. Make sure you do not send money to people you do not know personally and if anyone asks you for details about your bank account or pin that should be your red flag and you should simply shut them down.

list of social media

Auto Trading Scams

Once you’ve investigated cryptocurrency trading, you might want to come back to Bitcoin. The information was mostly gained from someone who attempted to benefit as a broker. A broker takes one’s money and attempts to invest it in the money or cryptocurrency markets in order to generate a profit for both of them because of the mishandles in the financial markets, one will lose money. 

Robotic Trading Software or as known as Auto-Trading is utilized for the most part by Forex brokers and financial backers, who need to bring in cash on the lookout, with the assistance of a computerized exchanging frame or a computerized program that runs automatically without the need of a trader running the whole operations. There are many kinds of computerized exchanging; Social Trading, Algorithmic Trading, Copy and Follow Trading, and Automated Robots. 

Alongside all-new innovation comes the tricking specialists and cheats or frauds. Financial backers can make artificially intelligent exchanging frameworks that allow computers to run and screen bargains in light of precise passage, exit, and cash the board rules. One of the most engaging parts of methodology mechanization is that it can eliminate a portion of emotions from exchanging via naturally putting exchanges when certain circumstances are fulfilled. 

The Forex market rip-off agents aren’t usually represented via the means of agents themselves. They are highly common to be individual players that don’t belong to any groups but work as brokers. They are frequently highly adept Internet users who may manufacture bogus statistics on the website they made online. 

Bots are software that analyze costs across exchanges and execute trades to capitalize on worth differences. As a result of the price of a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin varies somewhat from exchange to exchange, bots that may move quickly enough can exceed exchanges that take time in order to update their values. Alternative styles of bots use previous price information to check commercialism techniques, maybe giving investors an advantage. alternative bots, on the opposite hand, are designed to form trades supported bound indications appreciate price or trading volume. 

The signal seller scam is perpetrated by a person or corporation who offers information regarding which trades to make and says that this information is based on professional forecasts that ensure the inexperienced trader will profit. They often demand a daily/weekly/monthly fee for this service but do not provide any information that would assist the trader in making money. 

They generally contain a lot of testimonials from ostensibly reliable sources to garner the trader’s trust, but they don’t genuinely anticipate good transactions.  Investment Programs such as the HYIPs are frequently merely Ponzi scams that offer a high return on a little initial investment in an efficient FX fund. However, in actuality, the initial investors get reimbursed. It needs a fast flow of fresh investors to keep the funds functioning, and if there are no more investors in the system, the owners generally shut it down and pocket all the remaining money. 

facebook on phone

They generally contain a lot of testimonials from ostensibly reliable sources to garner the trader’s trust, but they don’t genuinely anticipate good transactions.  Investment Programs such as the HYIPs are frequently merely Ponzi scams that offer a high return on a little initial investment in an efficient FX fund. However, in actuality, the initial investors get reimbursed. It needs a fast flow of fresh investors to keep the funds functioning, and if there are no more investors in the system, the owners generally shut it down and pocket all the remaining money. 

Forex robot fraudsters entice inexperienced traders by promising large gains with little work or understanding. They can use fictitious or deceptive figures to persuade people to purchase their goods. Their claims are untrue since no robot can learn, adapt and succeed in all situations and markets. Professionals often use the program just to assess historical performance and identify patterns. All software should be professionally and independently evaluated, but be cautious when relying on evaluations because they can be paid for. 

They would not sell their product if it accomplished exactly what they stated it would do; instead, they would utilize it themselves.  Investing in cryptocurrency has dangers, but being duped should not be one of them. 

According to reports from the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel, fraudsters are taking advantage of the cryptocurrency boom, enticing individuals into phony investment offers in unprecedented numbers. Since October 2020, the number of complaints has risen, with about 7,000 consumers claiming loss of more than 60 million dollars as a result of these frauds. What is the average reported loss which is reported? Around 1,900. In similarity to the same time as the previous year, there were over twelve times as many reports and nearly 1,000 percent more recorded damage. 

girl holding amoney

Automated trading systems which have many names but the most common ones that are used are mechanical trading systems or algorithmic trading. This system enables traders to specify particular criteria for trading entry and exits that, once programmed, may be implemented automatically by a computer. Indeed, many platforms indicate that automated trading systems account for 70 to 80 percent or more of equities traded on US exchanges.  

Traders, as well as investors, can employ machine-driven mercantilism systems to execute and monitor trades by translating specified entry, exit, and cash management criteria into laptop code. When particular requirements are met, they are automatically added. Traders and investors can employ machine-driven commerce systems to conduct and monitor transactions by programming specified entry, exit, and cash-management criteria into computer code. They are automatically added whenever particular requirements have been met.

Traders must learn to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not while looking for a possible forex broker. For example, we can infer that all traders fail and never earn a profit based on a variety of negative forum postings, articles, and comments about a broker. Unprofitable traders then post information online, blaming their failed methods on the broker (or some other outside influence). 

sending links

It was difficult to distinguish a scam broker from a legal broker in the interbank market in the early 2000s, when the Forex market became available to everyone and was just aiming for the top position of its popularity. However, in today’s world of absolute globalization and knowledge, generic information may be found on the Internet in minutes. Protecting against fraudulent schemes of banned Forex brokers has gotten considerably easy in recent years. The simplest method is to examine our website since we have already saved you time by identifying both trustworthy brokers and fraudsters among all businesses. The only requirement is to look at our rating lists. 

Developing an automated mechanical method to do a task nearly always necessitates a thorough understanding of the activity at hand. If you attempt to automate an operation before you have gained any level of expertise conducting it manually, the automated solution will almost certainly fail. A guide buying and selling technique is any process that involves a person placing purchase and promoting orders. Purchase-and-hold is the most well-known type of purchasing and selling. 

This is when the investor buys investments that he or she believes will pay off in the long run because transactions are uncommon, they are frequently completed humanly whenever the opportunity given has a rise. The investor may also sell at a specified rate or when a technical indication or key indicator moves, signaling that it is time to depart.

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Ransom Attacks

Ransomware is a malicious software which threatens or blocks the access of files, data or a personal computer, typically by encryption, until the person who was attacked gives the amount to the attacker a ransom price that was asked. In many situations, the ransom that is asked is linked to a deadline: if the victim fails to pay on time, the statistics are lost permanently, or the payment is raised. Ransomware assaults have become all too regular in recent years. 

It has impacted major corporations in North America and Europe. Cyber fraudsters target any customer or company, and their victims come from every industry. Several government institutions, also keeping in mind the FBI’s advice which is against fulfilling the amount in order to end the ransomware cycle. 

There are numerous approaches for ransomware to get the right of entry to a pc. Phishing spam attachments dispatched to the sufferer in an email that look like a document they have to trust is one of the top highest shipping tactics. They can take over the sufferer’s pc as soon as they have been downloaded and opened, particularly in the event that they include integrated social engineering strategies that lie to sufferers into granting administrator rights of entry to. Other, extra competitive ransomware, including Not Petya, takes advantage of protection flaws to contaminate machines without the want to lie to people. 

hand shaking

It is a piece of very healthy advice to never get software or media files from unfamiliar sites to reduce the chance of installing ransomware. Downloads should only be obtained from recognized and trustworthy websites. These kinds of websites can be identified by trust seals. Check that the browser address bar of the page you’re viewing uses “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP.” In the URL bar, a shield or lock icon might also signify that the page is secure. Also, before downloading anything to your mobile device, proceed with caution.  

Any device that is linked to the web is liable to ransomware. Ransomware examines an area device additionally as any network-connected storage; thus, an inclined device makes the local network vulnerable as well. If the local network could be a company network, the ransomware might inscribe key papers and system data, inflicting services and productivity to cease. If a tool connects to the Internet, it should be updated with the foremost recent software package security updates and have anti-malware that detects and prevents ransomware from being installed. superannuated operative systems that aren’t any longer supported, create a substantially higher danger. 

There is specific money owing relating to the dates when ransomware began to contaminate systems, the way in which it started out, the amount of money they used to charge to provide again entry to data, and the geographical locations from which they rose and gained fame. 

story telling

The difference in money owing may also be related, in part, to the fact that ransomware began tiny, appeared in a different form than what we see now, and its technique of spreading and gathering currency grew unique as well. Ransomware and other cyber-crime activities are causing consumers to be targeted for virtual extortion on a never-before-seen scale. However, the magnitude of the damage caused by ransomware attacks may also be explained by reading ransomware-related stories and statistics. 

There are several versions describing the dates when ransomware began to infect systems, the shape in which it began, the amount of money they used to demand to restore data access, and the geographical locations from where it arose. The disparity in accounts might be due to the fact that ransomware began tiny, appeared in a different format than what we see now, and its technique for spreading and collecting money was also different.

The Year of Ransomware

women photos

Heater and Baig projected that 2016 is going to be the “year of ransomware,” and even used this term for the year due to progressively greater profit samples of ransomware assaults that occurred the previous year. According to Lemos (2015), ransomware is an “escalating epidemic” that affected 600,000 computers globally between the middle of march and august 2014. Lemos also provided a case of a company that had been infected with ransomware. 

They eventually discovered over 200 ransom notes in various locations on their network, prompting them to pay $500 in order for their system to function properly. According to Everett (2016), the amount of ransomware assaults is much more than what they had in the last year compared to the previous year, and it is anticipated to double again the year coming next. According to Everett, ransomware is quite specific in its target selection. For example, they select floral businesses prior to Valentine’s Day since they anticipate the heavy traffic these stores would have in this amount pushes them to pay the ransom. 

According to O’Gorman and McDonald, “an examination into one of the minor actors in this scam discovered 68,000 hacked machines in only one month, potentially defrauding victims of around four thousand USD”. Consistent research revealed that a larger gang employed a specific software designed to infect 500,000 systems over the course of eighteen days. These were some of the known attacks that affect one a lot, so it is advised to take precaution and prevent these attacks from happening.

meet up

Pop-up Ads/ Window Scams

Pop-ups are brought up by websites to offer extra information or guidelines like how to apply different discount codes or how to fill out forms. However, some may not be wanted or even damaging – usually these are fake pop-ups. Most fake pop-ups entice you to click them and redirect you to a different site, or some of these are forcefully put in the system by Malware or Adware. So what is the Ransomware Detected pop-up? Like other fake pop ups, this pop-up displays a fake security warning as part of a popup scam. Fake pop-ups usually jump up in the browser or usually they are produced by Malware or Adware that get installed in your computer.

Adware is an event that can be accidentally downloaded, perhaps by clicking on malicious advertisements by mistake. Alternatively, your computer can be affected by the adware from a link in the spam or an attachment you might have opened. The adware then automatically opens when online. The Ransomware Detected pop-up is one of many fake pop-ups that can trigger malicious advertisements. Fake pop-ups, such as the Ransomware detected pop-up, let the users know about an issue with their computer or even a security threat at times. The users are asked to call a phone number specified in the pop-up window to pay for resolving the technical threat that the users are informed about. It is a very usual and easy means for cybercriminals to use these as means of gaining money. They prey on worried users who want to make sure their computer is safe, extorting money from them to troubleshoot and fix threats that don’t exist.

credit card input

Various Ways by Which We Can Identify Kake Pop-Ups

You will not be asked to call your software security- Whenever you get pop-ups asking you to call them in order for your computer to secure itself from the security threat, you can immediately catch the lie within them. Your internet security provided would never demand you to give them a call to save your computer from malware. Your software already has security that would fix issues within the system itself rather than telling you to call them.

1. Find mistakes with the spellings or unprofessional pictures

The security team would never make spelling mistakes or send unprofessional pictures that are malicious and would not be liked by the users. Sometimes even kids use the internet and these pop-up ads show pictures that are not for them to see. When this happens, you just have to know it is a fake notification.

Most of the time you can also compare fake pop-up ads to those that are real notifications. You would be able to see a huge difference between the fake notification and the real one. They will be major differences that you would be able to point out.

2. Try closing your browser

Usually, when you are on a site and you see a pop-up ad, they come onto your screen and are usually not full screen, when this happens try minimizing your window, if you are not able to do so then you should know the pop-up ad is fake. The close and minimizing button on the pop-up ads are not real, they are just images that look like those buttons. When you click on them to try to close them, you should know that it is you responding to pop-up ads, hence it is advised not to try and close them.

3. Verify phone numbers

When these fake pop-up ads come up saying that you can call on a particular number because you have won a prize or maybe to secure your computer from a security threat then you should first verify the number. You can check whether the phone number matches the number mentioned on the official website of the company. 

money bundle

As the holiday comes on, experts advise users to steer clear of the online scammers. This time around they are active because people tend to go for online shopping or various other chores that need to be done online. Many cases have been reported around the holidays. 

Pop-up ads have been thrown out to trap people into thinking they have won some kind of prize or their computer is under a security threat. These make people accept things in a hurry which leads to issues regarding security later on.

The dangers that come with these pop-up ads are:

  • Cybertheft- This is when money is extorted by means of computers and the internet. This usually is done by making the users believe that they have won prizes and that they should send their account number. When the users send account numbers that is when they extort money.
  • Ransomware- In this situation, important files are encrypted and the computer or the system is completely taken over by individuals who then in turn demand for money to decrypt files. 
  • Identity stealing- Sometimes individuals hack into systems and steal identities to carry out crimes by using someone else’s name to keep themselves out of the mess. 

These Fake pop-ups can be prevented in various ways:

  • Read the permissions that you access to various sites before continuing and make sure they are legitimate.
  • Don’t click on random links or spam emails congratulating you for winning prizes.
  • If you are using an open Wifi or a public Wifi make sure to use secured VPNs to secure yourself from these situations. 
  • Do not insert unknown discs or USBs into your systems 
  • Do not click on Pop-up ads 
  • Try not to visit sites that look like trouble 
  • Always install Anti-virus software in order to keep your system secure. 
Online lovelife

There have been a number of cases that have been going around regarding these fake pop-up ads that include redirecting to sites that are not secure and offer things that could get you in a mess you cannot get out of. Therefore, in order to stay out of trouble you need to make sure you follow the instructions that have been mentioned and keep your system software in check.

Online Dating Scams

The world of online dating is an exciting one where lots of individuals meet their soulmates. This is what inspires people to use online dating websites much more and try to find their forever love. However, everything you see on a profile of an individual is not always true. Sure, there are people who use these websites for relationships but many of them use it for other purposes as well such as scamming people. 

Online dating scams are also known as romance scams. The goal of these scammers is to make you trust them and then ask you to give them your financial details or trick them into sending them money. These scammers take their time and work smart. Some of the most common online dating scams are mentioned down below.

scam dice

Facebook and Whatsapp Dating Scams

These kinds of scams are quite common in today’s world. Scammers will text you and pretend to be someone from your school or university, or the same friends circle. Next, they will generally talk about different stuff and the conversation will go on for weeks. They will make sure to create familiarity between interests, areas you have traveled to, and much more. They will start complimenting you, will tell you they’re interested in you, and want to date you. 

After some time, they will start asking you for money by emotionally blackmailing you. They will manipulate by saying they don’t have money to pay rent or that they do not have grocery. They will make up such situations that will force you into sending them money. The scammers will also say that they want to visit you but do not have money. This way, they will ask you to send them money to pay for travel expenses. However, they never show up. Other situations they make up include asking for money for medical issues such as an operation or treating their parents. Once they ask you for money, just take it as a red flag that you are about to be scammed.

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The Latest Scams on Dating Websites

All dating websites ask for your information so that they can connect you with people who have the same interests as you. This information should actually be limited and all your details should not be disclosed. This way, people on the website steal your information and pretend to be you with someone else in order to scam them. 

Moreover, if you are matched with someone who is exceptionally good-looking or is a model, chances are that it is a fake profile, however, it could be an actual one as well. Now, fake profiles are used to get information for singles and to convince them to download malware that is shown as a picture of them but is actually a link to steal all your data. 

On these websites you will also come across people who send you long messages explaining how much they have waited to meet someone like you. They get emotional a bit too soon and it is best for you to avoid such people before meeting them in real life to ensure that they are not a scammer. These scammers make you emotional and then ask for your money. The number of such scams increases near Valentine’s Day.

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The Innocent Japanese Woman Who Lost $200,000 Due to an Online Romance Scam

A Japanese woman in the year 2019 lost around $200,000 when she tried helping a man she believed was a US Army captain who was trying to smuggle himself as well as his friends out of Syria. The woman met this man online and the both of them exchanged emails for 10 months. 

Turns out, there was no army captain and this was just a scammer using the poor woman for money. Online scams have tripled over the last years and in 2020 alone, people lost $340. It has also been reported that half of the online scams involve Facebook and Instagram. There were about $117 million lost due to online scams using social media in 2020. 35,000 victims also reported that they were scammed through the use of social media alone. In the year 2020, 32,000 consumers reported an online dating scam in the US.

The Price Tags of Romance Scams

money savings

These scammers not only get money from you, but their actions also affect you emotionally. Firstly, you lose a huge amount of money. Moreover, the person you fell for turns out to be a fake one. In 2020, the number of online dating scams was higher than any other scam such as trading scams or others. Moreover, in the year people lost $304 million in the US which is 9 times higher compared to the previous five years. 

These scams happen to people of all ages, including younger and older adults. However, it has been noted that people above the age of 55 mostly suffer from these scams. In 2020, adults lost about $139 million in online dating scams in the US. These scammers mostly get in touch with people not from around. In some cases, if you are from the US, they will tell you they are from another country that is way far away from the US. When it comes to online scams, women are more susceptible to them as compared to men. 

This is because on average women are much more emotional than men and that is exactly what a scammer wants. The scammer simply wants to make you emotional enough to get your personal details. Remember, these scammers have a huge history of scamming people and are well trained in this field. They exactly know how to make you fall in love with them or to trust them. They use the perfect words to do so and are players at this. It is not like they do this overnight, they invest their time in you so that you can finally start trusting them. They are the happiest once you do. Now they scam you and then take your money with them.

online fraud

How to Avoid Online Dating Scams?

If you are someone who knows about online dating scams and wants to stay away from them then you are at the right place. Keeping yourself safe from such scams is not at all easy since this involves keeping your feelings aside and playing smart. Here are some of the tips you can use to keep yourself safe from online dating scams:

1. Make Sure to Verify

The first thing you need to do is verify. Once you meet someone online, check all of their social media channels and see whether it’s the same person or not. You can even upload the picture of the person you are talking to on your search browser and check if the same name is added everywhere. Check for addresses, locations, and other pictures as well. 

Take Your Time And Share With Someone 

When you meet someone online you have never met, you should share your situation with someone else. The scammer will convince you to not share this with someone else and will try to isolate you as well. However, you need to make sure to talk to someone about this so that they can give you their input.

2. Do Not Send Money Immediately

If the scammer starts asking you for money so quickly, do not go for it at all, especially if you have not met the person. The scammer will use multiple ways to convince you to send them money, what you need to do is stay strong and make sure not to do so. However, for instance, even if you have sent the money, you need to report it asap. Get in touch with the bank or the company you have sent the money through right away and try to reverse the transfer.

CHAPTER 4: The Many Risks Associated with Online Scams

Atm Machine

There are lots of risks associated with online scams as there are multiple ways people can scam you. Online scammers make sure you give them all your important information which can damage you a lot. For instance, if these scammers get their hands on your credit card information, they can purchase whatever they want in seconds before you block them. 

Apart from this, there are other ways of stealing your money as well. They will either scam you through trading etc or trick you into sending them money that you won’t even realize what you just did and why you did it. 

Scammers get all your personal information which is scary. Moreover, if you get close to them before they scam you, then they know your secrets along with the other stuff you have shared with them. They can even use this stuff against you by blackmailing you. Scammers affect you financially as well as emotionally which is a huge concern. Now there are different types of scams, risks associated with them, and the ways you can keep yourself safe from them. Have a look at them down below.

credit card payment

Phishing

As learned earlier, phishing is one of the most common types of scams out there. Internet thieves send people phishing emails and get their information. You open the email and voila, all your personal information is sent to them. Even the biggest companies of all have fallen prey to this sort of scam.

The most popular phishing scam is called the Nigerian Prince. This includes phishing emails that ask you to gather a huge chunk of money and bring it into the country and wire it to the scammer. This sort of scam is used all over the world. Now, the thing about phishing is that once the thief gets your information, every penny that belongs to you is at stake. The scammer is obviously going to get everything out from your bank by tricking you to do so. This is why one must make sure to never transfer money to someone they do not know. Do not respond to emails or any text you get. Everything is a scam nowadays so make sure to be careful at all costs.

Social Media Scams

There are different sorts of social media scams that you might come across. However, most of these include a huge number of posts in the news feed and once you click on a post, your information is sent to the hacker. These scams are happening rapidly as they are quite easy and people are opening links every now and then. The risk with such scams is that your account is also hacked and all your details are known by the scammer now. There are multiple ways the scammer can get a hold of your money.

stolen cards

Online Purchasing Scams

Since we live in an advanced world now, people are now rapidly purchasing stuff online. They are always looking for the best deals available. Previously, online purchasing scams were not as popular as compared to today’s world. This is because people were not really interested in purchasing things online but that has changed now. 

In order to get your money, scammers will show you amazing deals that are actually too good to be true. If the price is cheap that doesn’t mean you should purchase it. You need to do your research. These deals will come in the form of pop-up ads on your laptop and once you click on them your information is sent to the scammer. Apart from this, scammers ask you to make the payment before the delivery of a product from a random website that is not well known at all. Once you make the payment, either you are never sent the product or it is not good at all. 

You might come across ads on your social media as well that ask you to send a message on WhatsApp in order to purchase. Remember, once you click on the link, all your information is sent across. The internet is a place where you can find anything you want and please. However, it is also the place where you can lose all your money. The risks associated with the internet are endless, especially when it comes to different kinds of scams. 

In order to keep yourself safe from different scams, you need to make sure to use the internet vigilantly. Do not open up links that don’t make sense. Moreover, do not bother looking at emails that claim you have won a certain amount of money or anything that urges you to click on a link and open it. Remember, it is just a scam. Stay alert at all times and do not trust anyone that easily.

credit card processing

CHAPTER 5: Measures To Take To Stay Clear of Online Scams

Online scams are at their peak and it is a must for everyone to stay aware of them. One wrong click, and that’s it, all your financial details are gone. Now, we did have a look at different online scams out there, now it is time to understand how you can keep yourself safe from them. We have mentioned a couple of measures you can take in order to stay safe.

Keep Your Computers and Mobile Devices Up to Date

One of the major things you need to focus on is to keep your computers as well as mobile devices up to date. We all get new software updates on our devices every now and then, right? We do not pay much attention to the updates but they improve the security of your device and protect it from getting hacked. When you have the latest security software, then there are very low chances of malware, viruses, or any other online scams. If you are someone who does not keep a check on updates, then turn on automatic updates so that you can receive the best security to keep yourself safe from scams.

credit card transaction

Set Strong Passwords

Most of us do not add strong passwords. We are always in a rush when setting our passwords that are too easy to guess. These include your name, date of birth, child’s name, partner’s name, favorite color, etc. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make. People can easily access your data by guessing your password. Make sure that you set a strong password on all your accounts. Moreover, it should be different for each platform so that if someone hacks one account, they can’t do the same to the other one. A strong password has a minimum of 8 characters in length and also comes with both upper and lowercase letters.

Stay Away from Phishing Scams

As discussed earlier, you must stay away from fraudulent emails as well as websites. These emails trick you into disclosing all your private information to them. This includes all your financial details, log-in information, card details, and much more. Another thing you need to do is stay away from weird links or attachments from sources you are not aware of. These also include pop-up screens from different sources. You need to be cautious at all times as the links they send are very tricky. They just want you to fall into their trap.

form fill up

Keep Personal Information Personal

Most of us end up adding all our personal information to our social media channels. This information is available to the public and they literally know the basics about you. This way, they can easily figure out your passwords as well as answer security questions such as the name of your birth town. Now, if you have added that to your social media, people will know what to answer. This is why you need to make sure to lock down your privacy settings so that no one else can view them. Moreover, do not post stuff that can answer your security questions such as your mother’s maiden name, addresses, etc. Do not accept requests from people you do not know for your own safety. 

Another thing you can do is to keep a lock on your mailbox and do not forget to shred all your bills. People can get your information from them and harm you later.  Scammers can use this information and harm you in the long run by creating a fake identity.

Secure your Internet Connection

Do not forget to secure your internet connection. Your wifi should always have a password as well so that no outsider can access it without you knowing. Moreover, you need to be cautious when connecting your phone with public wifi. Your information can go through this way and the hacker can access it. Even if you are connecting your phone with public wifi, stay alert regarding the information you are sending through it. Remember, this is a must-step. It can save you from scams. Most people ignore it and think nothing will happen, but it actually will.

credit card with lock

Browse Safely

You also need to browse safely on the internet. When searching for something, we tend to open multiple websites at a time. Most of these are not safe and a hacker can easily access your data. This is why you need to make sure to browse safely on the internet and only access websites with proper links. If you feel like a website is suspicious, go back right away.

Read the Site’s Privacy Policies

Most of us tend to ignore the site’s privacy policies and do not pay attention to them at all. Sure, they are long and complex, but they explain in detail how the website protects the personal information that it collects. If you cannot find the privacy policy of the website or are unable to understand it, then it is better that you go for another one. Do not take risks at all as you do not want to jeopardize your privacy and personal information no matter what.

Shop Safely

When shopping online, you need to ensure that the website you are accessing is safe and secure. You can do this by checking if there’s a little lock next to the web address. If yes, then you can shop from the website. If not, then it means it is not safe and anyone can access it. Moreover, you can also check if the website begins with HTTP or not. If yes, go for it. You need to make sure that the website uses secure technology so that your card information doesn’t go through to the hacker when you are purchasing something.

covering the pin

Do Not Trust Anyone You Meet Online

We all have social media friends that we have never met in real life, right? You will meet a gazillion people online but make sure you do not trust them easily. There are many scammers out there who are looking for the best opportunity. All they want is for you to trust them and that is when things go wrong. They will ask you for your personal information once they find the right opportunity. They will make you feel like you’re really close to them and then might send you links that would end up sending your information to them. You never know when you are going to scam you and when so it is always better to be alert.

Remember That Scams Exist

One thing you need to remember at all times is that scams actually exist. When you are on deadline with uninvited contacts, different people, or even businessensso online, you need to remember that there could actually be a possibility of you being scammed. If it looks too good, it is probably a scam. However, this doesn’t go for all kinds of situations. The thing is that you should always consider the possibility of being scammed and shouldn’t trust anyone that easily. 

You have no idea the kind of words people use in order to make them trust you. If it’s a business that you are dealing with, do your research thoroughly. Do not just blind trust the company. Look for different reviews, ask around, and see whether they are legitimate or not. Moreover, most people hire brokers online as well. You need to do thorough research before hiring one and giving them your personal information. Broker scams are very common as almost everyone nowadays is interested in online trading.

WORRIED THAT SOMEONE HAS YOUR PERSONAL & BUSINESS INFORMATION?

With how easy it is for scammers to acquire your data, it’s reasonable to be alarmed. Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting advice from experts. 

We will guide and even help you get your money back from scammers.

Do Not Respond To Suspicious Phone Calls

If a scammer gets your phone number, then you are definitely going to get a suspicious call. The person will ask you for some information regarding your bank account or card details and will trick you into telling your PIN as well. Once you do, the person is then going to start making online purchases from your account. Hang up even if the person tells you that they are from well-known companies out there. At times they are also going to ask you to install a free upgrade they are offering which in reality is a virus which gives the scammer all your personal details and passwords. You need to beware of such frauds that are literally happening all the time in all parts of the world.

Beware of The Payment Methods You Use

Another thing you need to do is to beware of the payment methods you use. Scammers are always going to ask you to use different payment methods that you have probably never heard of. Some of these also include gift cards, Itunes cards, Bitcoin, or even preloaded debit cards. There are different links they might send you as well and will ask you to add your card details to make the payment. Never make a payment this way. Always opt for reliable methods that are used everywhere so that your personal details are always in safe hands.

forex chart

CHAPTER 6: Blacklisted Companies for Online Scams

As we all know there are many companies that have been a part of these scams for a while. Some of them get caught while some don’t. We have a look at some of the online scamming websites out there that took money from people and never got back to them. Have a look at them down below:

Dbay Store - Online Scam

E-commerce scams are on the rise nowadays and one of the websites that have scammed people is the DBay Store. The website is a total scam that takes money from people and never gets back to them. Once you purchase something from them, they send you a fake receipt and a tracking number as well. Some customers could even claim that their website shows your product being tracked which is absolutely fake. There is no use of it at all. 

Even if you reach out to them, they do not respond to any emails and there is no other way of contacting them. This makes their customer service horrible as well. After a few weeks of your order, the website shows that your product is delivered when in reality it never happened at all. The address they have mentioned on their website is also fake and they use Facebook ads to advertise their products. The ads make their website look real and really good when in reality that is not the case at all. The website doesn’t reply to Facebook messages either if it’s a complaint. 

They only respond to you if you are interested in ordering something from them. It is a UK-based website that offers fake, daily deals which people can’t resist. They have scammed hundreds of people and all of them lost their money and got no product. By now it is no surprise that the data they have added to their website is also fake. All the details about the website are taken from different websites out there to make it seem like a legit one.

master card

Socskor.com - Online Scam

Here we have yet another fake website that scams people online. The website has done its part in scamming people and now their domain is for sale, which means they do not operate anymore or do not operate with the same name anymore, you can never be sure. This is because people use multiple different website names at a time to scam people. 

So the website used to take money from customers’ cards and never sent the product. The website was not secure at all and when someone wanted to make a payment, all their card details would be shared with the website. Nothing was safe on this website. Once you make the payment, you not only don’t buy the product but your financial details are also sent through. This way, the website used to make money from their customers cards on their own as well. Ultimately, customers had to block their cards in order to keep their money safe.

Fendde - Online Scam

Fendde is another eCommerce website that used to operate earlier but not anymore. The website was widely known for scamming people. They used to get money from people and never sent the products to them. The reason people used to purchase stuff from the website was that they used to show that all of their products are at a very cheap price. People thought it was the best opportunity to purchase stuff but little did they know they were going to get scammed once they placed an order.

phone with cfd chart

Load Speed - Online Scam

This is another scam alert for all those people who purchase stuff online. When you place an order, the company will send a completely different product from what you ordered. Moreover, once you ask them to pay you back, they will say that your bank is refusing to do so. They will say that they are going to give you a 60% refund but you never really get it.

Bogus Government Sources

Since everyone takes the government very seriously it would be hard for them if an email or a notification comes to them that states are by the national security or government. There have been numerous scams where these threat actors have pretended to be from national security or the government and have asked for personal details assuring them that it is safe and that it is somehow going to be used for their benefit. 

Sometimes these threats are used for money extortion, the account details of the users would be asked in the name of security or for other purposes. These threats can also be used for installed malware that can cause issues of identity theft, money extortion and encryption of personal data. These scammers pretend to be tax collectors or from the finance department, through which they can easily extort money in the name of security money or taxes.

man on computer

Fake Donation Requests

Fake charity scams take advantage of your care and generosity. Fraudsters may pretend that it is representative of an actual charity. They call you, email you, or ask you for a donation at. If you donate, your money may be in the pocket of a scammer, not the charity you wanted to help. Some scammers might even make up their own names and set up fake websites that could get you into a pretty bad scam. 

These can again lead to money extortion, identity theft, and so on. There have been many cases in the US that have mentioned how the money has been given in the name of charity to a website that was not even licensed or did not even exist. Charity is something that people do in the name of God or even just for their own goodwill, that is exactly when these scammers think it is a good idea to entice people into giving money and making their way through scams. Many cases have also been recorded where people have sent money from account to account during which they found out account numbers which resulted in a complete theft or even a robbery.

Protect Yourself & Your Loved Ones From Online Scams

Online scams are increasing with every passing day and you never know what might happen to you. By now, you must have learned about how to deal with such situations and ways to keep yourself safe and secure. If you are ever scammed online, you must report the entire incident to the local authorities who deal with such matters. They are definitely going to take action and get your money back if you tell them right away

There are many different types of scams but social media scams are the ones that are held most frequently. People also end up scamming children which is why you must tell them to beware. Keep a check on your children’s activities and do not give them your card details as they might get tricked into sending them to someone. Also, make sure they are not in touch with a suspicious person they have never met. Children do not understand such situations which is why parents must be vigilant and keep a check at all times.

All in all, protect yourself from all sorts of scams including trading, dating, phishing, and other ones. It is better to be safe than sorry

do you need help?

A lot of those who contact us have questions and concerns about their personal and business data being compromised. We aim to arm you with the legal and technical know-how in the fight against scams. Also, we will be able to refer you to top scam recovery agencies.

Please fill up the form. Rest assured that our support team will get in touch with you

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