How To Spot Online Scams
Online scams can be anything from faking a message from the IRS to convincing you that there is a problem with your company’s security. This article will teach you how to identify scams such as the Monzo text scam so that you can protect your personal information and money.
Online scams are becoming more and more sophisticated. Read on for tips and warnings that can help keep you safe.
Disaster Relief Scams
Kindhearted people want give back to the community in any way possible when disaster strikes. But scammers take advantage of this generosity by creating fake charities and stealing donations. They also create fake crowdfunding campaigns on websites like GoFundMe or Mightycause with names that sound similar to popular nonprofits, or the name of affected areas.
After a disaster, phony contractors may solicit work for home repairs by offering discounted or free materials or by offering to move victims higher in line for assistance from the government. Fraudsters may also pretend to be federal, state or local officials and attempt to collect fees for disaster-related services such as inspections of damaged property. Remember that legitimate public workers do not ask for fees for their services and will carry proper identification badges.
Similarly, unscrupulous contractors and other fraudsters commit post-disaster insurance fraud by posing as representatives of the insurance company and promising to expedite or increase insurance claims. They charge homeowners unreasonably high or fraudulent fees for assessments of property damage.
Another type of fraud involving natural disasters is price gouging. This occurs when sellers charge inflated rates to customers who are desperate to get supplies after a catastrophe. This type fraud can occur both on the streets and online, as well as during and after a catastrophe when prices are likely increase.
In addition, consumers should be wary of unfamiliar charities that appear after a tragedy and claim to support survivors. If you are thinking about donating, check that the charity is registered in your state. Also, make sure it has a good track record. You can check out a charity’s track record using tools such as the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance or Charity Navigator.
Social Media Scams
Social media scams are a huge problem. Fraudsters are using social media to target certain groups of people, spread malicious software, and phish their passwords. Social media users must be aware of social media scams.
Scammers can target social media users by gaining access to their profile and sharing malicious links or claiming to be a company you trust. These scams include account takeovers, phishing attacks and fake ads.
Fraudsters are especially difficult to track in the social media world. They can post a fake message to get you click and then redirect you to a site which downloads malware or mines your data. These sites can also imitate the login page for your favorite social media apps, such as Instagram and Facebook, making it difficult to distinguish them from a genuine site.
Criminals use social media as a way to sell fake goods. They often post photos of popular products with a discounted price and ask for likes or comments, then redirect the user to a nefarious site that can mine your information or infect your device. These scams can be particularly dangerous for teens and children, who are less likely to protect their online privacy.
Romance scams are another way social media can lead to fraud. Catfishers use stolen images of attractive women to create fake profiles and trick their victims into starting up a conversation. They often “love-bomb” their victims before asking for money or gift cards.
Never send money to strangers when interacting on social media. It is better to only communicate with trusted friends and family members on social media. If you are suspicious of someone, research them and find out more about them before making a decision to interact with them. You should only meet people at public places. Do not share personal information with anyone you do not know, such as your address or pet’s names. If you are looking for alternative yet legit ways to make money, you might want to consider playing some fun and interactive sports betting games via gifpit.
Money Mule Scams
Money mule scams involve a criminal using the information on your account to transfer funds illegally acquired through the financial system. The criminal uses stolen funds to commit crimes, or to launder the money from other crimes like online fraud, phishing, human trafficking, and drug smuggling.
Criminals can recruit money mules through a variety of methods, including fake job ads posted on social media, instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Viber, or direct conversations with potential targets. The crimes can range from simple wire transfers or gift cards to more complex criminal schemes such as online dating, lottery and sweepstakes frauds.
Criminals often target young people or recent immigrants, or those who are looking for work or using dating sites as money mules. This is because their accounts will be clean and won’t raise any red flags at the bank. Anyone could be targeted. Fraudsters offer a commission or fee to the money mule in return for their services.
Some money mules are aware they are part of a scam. Others are not. Money mules who are wilful are aware that they have illegal funds in their possession and may even have been warned about it by their financial institution or the law enforcement. However, they continue to do this hoping to receive a monetary gain or other benefit.
A crook will use your account details to deposit cash, checks or virtual currency into your bank account. You will then be asked to withdraw the cash and send it on to someone else — often to a third party, such as a friend or family member, or to an online merchant, or to convert it into gift cards or virtual currencies. The criminals will give you detailed instructions on how to move money so that it doesn’t raise suspicion.
If you are asked to act as a money mules, stop all transfers immediately and contact both your bank and service company that you used to receive or send the money. You can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center as well as your local federal law-enforcement agency.
Email scams are one of the most common ways for hackers to steal money and information from consumers. They take advantage of the trust consumers have in their banks, credit card companies and other institutions that they use online. Hackers can trick victims into clicking a link, or downloading an attachment which will install malware onto their device. Once this occurs, it can be very difficult to fix. It can also have a negative effect on the victim.
The most common email scams are phishing attacks that include a malicious attachment. These attachments are typically downloaded without the consumer’s knowledge, allowing the hacker to spy on their device, steal sensitive information such as bank account passwords and PINs, or even lock the computer (a ransomware attack). Attachments can be hidden within services we use daily, such as Google Docs or Dropbox.
Hackers also use the tactic of impersonating trusted sources, such as their bank or HMRC. They send emails that ask for personal information and encourage the user to click a link. The email will usually appear to be a genuine communication from the institution and include information that would be commonly known to that organisation. If you receive an email from a company that you don’t recognise and it includes spelling errors or poor grammar, it’s probably best to ignore it and contact the company directly.
These scams take advantage of people’s emotions, claiming they have won a prize which is too good to believe. The recipients are then asked to provide their personal details and often told that they will be defrauded if they don’t respond immediately. The victim is often encouraged to forward the message to as many people possible to increase their odds of winning.
This type of scam, which involves impersonating an important public figure or celebrity, is very popular among young people. These fake profiles can then be used to gain access to their social media accounts and post inappropriate content. The victim’s family and friends may report them to social media sites, and they could be blocked or suspended.