Have you fallen victim to online scams or cybercrime in the past? In less serious scenarios, this can result in an annoyance and the need to change some passwords. You might get a few annoying spam emails.
Worst case scenario, though, you could end up having a lot of information stolen by people with bad intentions. It’s best to avoid this scenario if possible.
We want to help, so you don’t find yourself in a tricky situation with your personal information and money! Keep reading for some of the most common internet scams that we’ve been seeing and to learn how to avoid them.
1. Phishing Scams
Phishing happens when something that appears to be a company that you’re familiar with asks for your account information. This can be through a link to a lookalike homepage or most often, an email.
They’ll send an email that looks identical to professional emails from the business and give you some reason to provide your username and password (or more serious pieces of information).
These are only hard to spot if you’re not paying attention. Remember, most businesses will never ask for your information via email. Check the email address and see if it looks legitimate. Check the emails for obvious typos.
If you’re still unsure, email the company from their homepage just in case instead of responding.
2. Fake Online Storefronts
In the age of online shopping, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in a cool new shop with the best deals.
Not all of these shops are legitimate, though, and you can end up with a big problem on your hands just from trying to save a few dollars. You should be careful about where you put your credit card or Paypal information.
If you buy from an illegitimate site, you most likely won’t receive the item you wanted. You might get a knock-off, or you might get nothing at all while the seller has your info.
To avoid this, keep the “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” wisdom in mind when shopping. Buying from verified sellers is key.
3. Fake Social Media Profiles
Have you ever gotten a suspicious message from one of your followers or Facebook friends? This person hasn’t spoken to you in years, but all of the sudden they send a vague message about “I’ve seen your photo on this site! Check it out!” or something else that seems intriguing with an included link.
This person has had their Facebook account hacked. It’s possible that it happened in the same way that it’s about to happen to you.
When someone hacks your social media, they can get access to all of your friends’ information as well. It spreads like a virus.
To avoid this, don’t click any suspicious links.
This does happen without clicking links from time to time. Sometimes it’s used as a form of blackmail. Someone will take control of your profile and threaten to share sensitive information or photos of you.
If these things exist, it’s best to contact the social media help center to stop the problem in its tracks.
Online Scams? No Problem
There are so many online scams out there in 2020 that it’s impossible to describe them all here. These are some of the most popular online scams that internet users keep falling for.
It’s important to know how to avoid scammers if you’re going to be an “online person”. Keep aware of your online surroundings and question everything.
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