Information technology is continually evolving; that is good news and bad news for us as internet users. The good news is that we are finding new ways to use technology to improve our daily lives. The bad news, however, is that others are making use of the technology to scam us in new and improved ways, and that is the main topic of this article.
Examples of Scamming
Scam refers to how others will trick you and steal from you without you knowing it is even happening. For instance, when the COVID-19 was still prevalent in the world, some people found ways to scam others for their own gain by posing as World Health Organization (WHO) experts to offer cures, tests, and other COVID-19 information. People who weren’t aware of this being a scam would fall easily into their traps.
Here is another example of scamming: you are an Xfinity Internet subscriber and you receive a call from a random number claiming to be a representative from Xfinity company. These scammers ask for private information, that an actual Xfinity representative would not ask, such as your personal information, account information, etc. The only way to know for sure, whether it is the real Xfinity or scammer, is reaching out to the Xfinity itself!
But it doesn’t stop here! There’s more to follow about the kind of scammers that you will come across on the internet.
- Phishing Scam. Imagine this scenario: You receive an email from a familiar organization that seems legitimate to you, such as your bank, university, service provider, etc. asking you to click on the link and verify some personal information by providing them again. When you acknowledge their request by providing them the information they are asking for, you are actually giving away your personal information for them to steal and exposing your computer to an attack by these scammers.
- Phishing scams are very common on the internet and the FBI has reported that around 114,700 people have fallen victim to such scams back in 2019, losing $500 each. Look out for phishing attempts that are claiming that there is a problem with your payment information, includes a fake invoice, asks to click on links to make a payment, offers a free coupon for products and services, informs that you are eligible to sign up for a government refund, etc.
- Fake Shopping Websites. You will also come across many websites that offer tempting deals on well-known brands. These same websites will also have URLs similar to these brands such as “amaz0n.net” and if you purchase something from there, you will only receive counterfeited products.
- Formjacking is when a legit retail website gets hacked and customers are directed to another payment page that is fraudulent in nature. Scammers can steal your payment detail such as credit card information. Double-check the URL on the payment page to see if it is the same page that you were shopping on before.
- Tech Scam. You might also receive a phone call or email telling you that your computer is infected. These same people would get you to download an application to control your computer remotely, and when you allow this permission, they would download an actual virus on your computer (which you wouldn’t know), and then inform you that they can fix your problem and charge you for it.
- eBay scams. eBay is one of the world’s most popular online third-party seller websites and is not absent of any scams either. Imagine this scenario; you are a seller and a client wanted to buy an expensive item from you such as a camera or mobile device. That same client will have an inexpensive or fake copy of the same item, and when your items get delivered to their location, they will claim that the item got lost in transit and demand their money back PayPal generally favors the buyers, which is why the client will receive it and you will be left with nothing at all (not even your expensive item).
The bottom line is that anyone who is asking for your bank or personal information on the internet is scamming you. Personal information on the internet shouldn’t be given to anyone who directly reaches out to you. Rather you should make sure that you are providing your personal or bank information to a secure server or reputable website.
If you have already provided your bank information to someone on the internet and realized that you are being scammed, then immediately call the credit card company and inform them to take necessary action. If you feel that your computer or email has been hacked, change all your passwords and remove any malicious programs that you may have recently downloaded. You can also report to the local law enforcement authorities about the scam so that it can be prevented.