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Business

How To Avoid Common Online Scams

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Scammers have targeted people since online communication first became popular. Credit card fraud, identity theft, the Monzo scam text and other cyber offences are common online scams.

New scams emerge as technology and trends change. Email scammers use “pre-approved notices” and fake loan offers in order to trick people into sending personal information or money.

Catfish

A catfish is someone who creates a fake online persona with the intent to deceive others, often for romance scams or financial fraud. The term catfish was popularized by the 2010 MTV documentary Catfish. However, it has existed for a very long time and is still far more common than people realize.

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Some people catfish to boost their egos, while others do it for financial gain or revenge. In either case, catfishing can cause victims to suffer significant losses. Romance scams are among the most common types of catfishing and can lead to emotional and financial abuse.

To pull off a catfish scam, the perpetrator may mine your social media or other online accounts for information about you. They use this information to create a profile that makes you believe they are your perfect match. They also look at your digital footprint which includes music and places that you visit to make them sound more credible.

You can spot a catfish by looking for holes in their story. They might not answer your questions about their job, family, or home and dodge any requests to meet in person. They might also send you photos which don’t look anything like them, or refuse to be shown on video chats claiming their camera was broken or that they were a soldier overseas. They may also ask for money or your personal information.

Pop-up ads

Pop-up ads are a great way to grab the attention of your website visitors. They can be used to promote a special offer or to encourage newsletter sign-ups. When designed well, they increase conversions without distracting the user. You can use them to re-engage visitors who are trying to leave your site. This is important because it allows you to catch them before they close the window or tab. Pop-ups may also be triggered by a timer.

Popups may be annoying when they are poorly designed, but they’ve made a comeback as marketers have learned to make them less intrusive. In addition to traditional popups, there are slide-ins and in-line opt-ins that are more subtle and integrate into the content of a web page. These pop-ups may be triggered by the user or by scrolling.

Romance scams

Fraudsters have new opportunities to prey upon vulnerable people, such as seniors, thanks to the rise of social media and dating sites. In 2018, more victims reported losing money to romance frauds than to any other online scam. Fraudsters create fake profiles and messages in order to lure their victims into sending them money, valuables, or personal information they can later exploit. This includes enticing their victims to send nude images or other embarrassing details that are then shared publicly, or blackmailed by the fraudster after they have developed trust with the victim.

Romance scammers often ask for money or gift certificates after they have established an emotional connection with the victim. They may claim to be stuck abroad or face another crisis in their lives and make you feel sorry. They might even ask you to help them get out of trouble before it’s too late.

You may also be asked for money to pay for the travel expenses of their children or grandchildren. They may even say that their children are sick, which will evoke your sympathy and empathy. You will eventually run into excuses if you continue to send your alleged lover money or gift certificates.

If you think that you’re falling for a romance scam, it’s important to take a step back and consult with a trusted friend or family member. They can help determine what is really happening and help you take the appropriate action. You can also report the situation to your financial institution to stop further fraud.

Credit card fraud

Credit cards can be a convenient and safe way to pay for services and goods, but they do pose some security risks. Criminals can use stolen card information to make unauthorized purchases or transfer funds. Identity theft can also be committed using your name and other details. These crimes may damage your credit rating and make it more difficult to apply for future loans. Reporting any suspicious activities to the police immediately is important in preventing credit fraud.

Card fraud is different from other forms of credit fraud in that the criminal does not need to have your card physically in their hands. A thief can use your card number and other details to commit the crime online or by phone. They can even run up a credit in your name by stealing your card number. They can do this either by gaining online access or phishing scams. They can also obtain your credit card information by skimming devices on point-of-sale machines like at gas stations or ATMs. Thankfully, chips on modern credit cards help prevent this type of fraud.

Credit card fraud can result in large fines or even prison sentences. The severity of the fraud will determine how much it impacts a person. Some states categorize credit card fraud as a felony, while others only penalize it if the victim has large amounts of fraudulent charges.

Cryptocurrency fraud and theft

Cryptocurrency is often used to facilitate fraudulent activities. Scammers will contact individuals, posing as trusted entities like family members or dating partners, to get them to transfer money or private keys. These transfers are difficult to reverse and, unlike traditional bank transfers, cannot be monitored for signs of fraud or a scam. Many people also don’t know how cryptocurrencies operate. This gives scammers a significant advantage.

Scams that are common in the cryptocurrency world include scams involving developer rug-pulls and multilevel marketing schemes. They also involve hacking digital wallets to steal cryptocurrency. Phishing attacks are common and require hackers to get private keys (strings containing letters and numbers which act as passwords) out of the digital wallets of victims. This type is usually committed by foreigners.

Scammers also impersonate government agencies, law enforcement, and utility companies to convince people that their accounts or benefits are frozen as part of a criminal investigation. They may also claim they have compromising or embarassing material that will be posted online unless the victims send cryptocurrency. These attacks are extortion and should be reported to your local authorities. Store your cryptocurrency keys in cold storage, which is an offline method of storing them. Verify the legitimacy of any site or platform you are considering before transferring funds. This will help reduce the risk that you’ll lose your investment capital.

Zelle scam

Zelle, a peer-topeer payment application, is embedded in many banking apps and online marketplaces. Its simplicity and instant nature makes it a target for fraudsters. A Zelle fraud usually begins with a buyer contacting an online seller to buy an item on a platform like Facebook Marketplace, and then requesting payment via Zelle. Scammers will often include screenshots or documentation to increase their credibility. They may also pretend to be a Zelle representative or their bank, and provide phishing or other customer service techniques.

Scammers can also use Zelle to steal a victim’s money. They send a text or email to the victim that looks like it comes from their bank and asks them to click on a phishing link to reset their password or answer other security questions. This gives the scammer full access to the victim’s account and lets them change the password, which locks the victim out.

Scammers will often use the threat that a victim is being robbed of their identity to get them to part with money. To protect yourself, check your credit report and bank statements regularly. Always contact your bank directly and never send money to people you don’t know — even if they say they’re family. Double-check all requests for funds before you send them. Consider using an identity protection service to monitor your accounts and alerts you to suspicious activities.