The internet is a place to connect with your family and friends and discover new things. Unfortunately, it could also be a place for hackers and scammers to steal your identity or worse, harm you. Maybe you already know what to be aware of, maybe you’re not. Regardless, we’ve got a list of internet scams you need to watch out for and how to spot them.
Surprisingly, the online dating scam lets scammers earn more many than any other type of scam. You might think there’s no way you would fall for that trick, but it happens more often than it should.
While connecting with strangers is quite common on Twitter, or even on Facebook pages, you should have your guard up when complete strangers try to connect with you and send friend requests. Who knows? The person might be a catfish looking for its next victim. Before you go and accept that friend request or even meet up with the person, at least confirm their identity. Try going through their posting history and see if you have mutual connections. Another way for you is to use reverse image search and see if anything suspicious comes up.
If the person refuses to meet up and all the excuses have something to do with money issues, that is a warning sign. Whatever you do, NEVER send money to people you don’t know.
Click on this link NOW
The main goal of any scam is to make you click on a link you shouldn’t be clicking on in the first place. Clicking on it may lead you to a “game” or “app” you have to download or a website that’s ready to fish your personal data. They’re not all worded the same but there’s one thing they all have in common: You have to do it now.
Some of these messages come in the form of giveaways that disappear if you don’t claim it now, some of these look like messages from your boss or a friend of yours that needs your help. One way to know if it’s fake is to identify the tone. There will always be something off with the tone and may seem very robotic. Another way is to simply confirm the message. If the link looks sketchy, avoid it. If it comes from someone you personally know, send them a message from a different medium and ask them about it.
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Oftentimes, scammers will think you don’t have any common sense if they tell you you’ve won a free gift. Especially now in COVID times, there has been a massive increase in reports of unreceived goods. These “goods” come from online shops pretending to have products at a much cheaper price than the average store.
Sometimes, it also comes in the form of a free gift. If a company offers you a free gift in exchange for your social media info, don’t do it. That is most likely a scam. Free gifts are usually from companies that have a lot of recognition and social media presence.
Personal Data Requests
Unless you’ve completely made all your social media accounts private and only exclusive to friends, anyone can see what you’re up to and the pictures you post.
Always be wary of the things you post because scammers are always on the look for their next victim. As much as possible, avoid giving your personal data to third-party apps or even to the social networking site itself. While there’s nothing wrong with posting about your birthday or a picture of your new apartment, think that scammers can piece together all types of information about you if you’re not careful enough with the information you post. Data is usually only used for targeted ads, but sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry.