Online scams are fraudulent schemes that steal your money and personal information. Learn how to avoid scams and protect yourself on refundee.com/monzo.
Be wary of strangers who contact you via email or phone
The first goal of a scammer is to steal personal information. This can lead to identity fraud and financial loss. This is why you should always be suspicious of emails and phone calls from strangers. If you don’t think something is right, do a quick Google search and see what comes up. If you don’t have any results about the person or company, that is a good sign that they are likely a scammer.
Never send money to someone you don’t know, especially if they ask for payment via wire transfer or prepaid debit cards that can’t be traced. These cards are used to move and hide funds that have been stolen by others. If you get this type of request, you should call your bank (on a real number that you are sure is real) immediately and report the scammer to the police.
It is important to talk with a friend or a family member before you take any action if they contact you and ask for your assistance. Scammers target family and friends by searching social media for keywords such as vacation plans or any other clues you may be away from home. It is also a good idea for you to block unwanted text messages and calls on your mobile device.
Scammers may use high-pressure tactics to force you to make a decision. They may claim that an offer is limited time only, or they might tell you to click on a link immediately to claim a prize. If you click the link, it usually downloads malware onto your computer which steals your banking or credit card information and also installs an “bot” that attacks other computers.
If you do provide your personal information, a scammer will have access to all your accounts and services and may even sell it to other criminals. This is why you should never use public WiFi when shopping online or logging in to your financial accounts. You should also be careful not to share your passwords.
Don’t share personal information
Scammers have developed new methods to steal money and personal data as technology advances. Scammers can reach a wider pool of potential victims via emails, phone calls, and social media.
These scams often use real names and numbers to make themselves look more credible. They may even pretend to be from a government agency or business you know, such as your bank or utility company.
In some cases, scammers ask for your credit card number and other personal information to “verify” your identity or help you withdraw or deposit funds. If you provide this information, your account may be locked and your funds stolen. Honest companies will never ask you for sensitive information by email, text message or phone call.
Cybercriminals can also target you or your family by using information from social networking profiles. These scams often include threats to embarrass or injure you or your loved ones unless you pay a ransom. These threats are frightening, but they’re a form fraud called blackmail. They shouldn’t be ignored. Report any messages like this to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, and your local police agency.
Scamwatch is a good place to start if you’ve been scammed. You should also change your passwords frequently and use strong ones. Consider using two-factor authentication where available.
Scammers can be clever and convince you that their scams are real. Do your research before responding or clicking any suspicious messages or links. You can check the legitimacy of an online service by searching for their name or address on Google. You can also use a trusted antivirus program to protect your devices from malware. If you are looking for legit ways to make money, you might want to consider playing some fun and interactive sports betting games via www.mascotag.com.
Don’t open attachments or links
Scammers will use social media, emails, phone calls and other methods to trick you to open attachments or click on links in order to steal your money or information. They may pretend that they are real banks, shops online or organisations like Centrelink and Australia Post. They will often create an urgency to get you act quickly, and ask for payment in a way that is difficult to track or reverse.
The best way to stay safe is to always keep your antivirus program up to date and to never click a link or download an attachment from someone you don’t trust. Be cautious of any email that claims to have patches or software on your computer or device. These could be virus disguised as a legitimate message. If you’re unsure, check with your software vendor.
If you have a virus or malware on your computer, it’s important to remove it and run a full system scan. It is best to use trusted antivirus software such as Norton or McAfee rather than free knockoffs on the Internet. If you’re unable to get rid of the virus, consider using secure remote desktop services to access your computer from a secure place, such as work or home. This can help protect your family from cybercriminals.
Scammers frequently target friends and family on social media. They may send messages claiming they are on vacation or away and ask you to send money for various reasons including medical emergencies and family tragedies. They may also try and gain your trust by posing as a friend or family member and asking for personal details about you.
If you suspect someone is trying scam you, you should report it to Scamwatch. You can also delete the message. If you have shared any personal information with anyone, change your passwords and lock your mobile devices with strong passcodes. Also, be sure to read our tips and advice to boost your password and smartphone security.
Don’t click on links from people you don’t know
Online scams are designed specifically to steal money and personal data. Scams can be spread via email, phone, text, letters or social media. Some common types of online scams include impostor scams, lottery and prize scams, insurance fraud, fake software services, extortion, romance scams and more.
Phishing is one of the most dangerous scams online. Cybercriminals will send you e-mails that appear to be from a legitimate government agency or company (such as eBay, PayPal, or your bank). The scammers will ask you to click a link to verify or update account information. These links lead to fraudulent websites that look identical to the real thing and can collect your personal and financial information.
Formjacking is another type of online scam. This occurs when hackers hack an actual website to create fake payment forms. This allows them to steal your credit card and banking information when you make a purchase on the fake site. Cybercriminals may also create and publish fake websites that offer deals too good to be true, such as popular brands of electronics and clothing at incredibly low price. This type online scam is harder to detect and prevent.
Romance scams rank among the most prevalent online scams. In these scams a criminal will convince you to give your personal information or money for a romantic relationship. They may even threaten you or a loved-one with injury or embarrassment if you do not send more money or information. They may also try and trick you by stealing information about your life off of social media profiles, making their “offers”, seem more urgent or legitimate.
When a friend or family member sends you a message or an email that you suspect is a scam, contact them to confirm they sent it. If you can’t reach them, delete the email or message and report it to FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. This will help to prevent others from becoming victims of the same scam.