Everything is done online nowadays, from banking to dating. Whatever it is you’re doing on the web, it’s important to remain safe from online gambling scams, phishing and disreputable downloads. If you aren’t careful and don’t remain vigilant with your online activity, you could end up losing money and sensitive information, or accidentally downloading a computer virus. You could consider purchasing antivirus or cybersecurity software that can alleviate the issue, but there are still hundreds of types of online scams which merely rely on the victim letting their guard down.
Check out the following for an overview of some common online scams, and how to make sure you don’t fall for them.
This online scam has been around for years, and it has been placed at No.1 purely because of how well it works. Put simply, cybercriminals will send emails that are made to look legitimate (possibly being sent from a site that appears to be an organisation you trust) and request for you to send personal information. Some may tell you you’re at risk of fines, hacking, or even criminal conviction. They will claim that you should enter your sensitive information for your own safety, which is completely untrue. It is imperative that you don’t provide any info unless you’re absolutely certain you know who is contacting you.
- Fine Print Scams
We’ve all been guilty of not reading the fine print now and then. Almost every online product or service will have a list of terms and conditions for you to agree to, and in most cases, clicking ‘accept’ will have no negative repercussions. However, some companies can insert clauses that may allow them to take money from you. If you aren’t sure, do a little research into the company to ensure that it’s a respectable one.
- Dodgy Downloads and Malware
Have you ever downloaded files or software via the internet? Well, sometimes, these files aren’t what they seem – you could be downloading malware or computer viruses. Malware is software designed to extract information from your computer. Again, the most important point is to make sure the site you’re visiting can be trusted.
- Shopping Scams
Shopping scams are especially difficult to avoid – some companies will take your money in exchange for a product which they never intend to deliver. The only real way to avoid this is to assess the company’s reputation by reading customer reviews.
- Catfishing and Dating Site Cybercriminals
Online dating is more popular than ever, but this also means there is an increasing number of cybercriminals ready to prey on the gullible. Some hackers will even build a fake relationship with you, with the aim of taking your money at the earliest opportunity. They may regularly promise to meet you, and cancel at the last minute.
There’s plenty of useful information out there, so be sure to do your research into staying safe online. Otherwise, you could fall victim to some nasty scams, like those outlined above. The best thing you can do is be vigilant, and don’t trust disreputable sites.