Shortly after the internet was created, the internet scam was born. It’s amazing the number of different ways the internet has been used to scam different people. It seems like every single year, a new scam hits the virtual world and people start falling for it. While new internet scams are interesting and you should stay on top of the newest scam trends so you can identify the early warning signs, some have withstood the test of time.
Here are the top internet scams of all time.
Email phishing is a type of internet scam that’s nearly as old as email itself.
Email phishing is a type of scam that involves a con artist sending out emails that look like they come from a legit organization or person. The main purpose of these types of emails is to collect personal information, particularly credit card numbers, which the scammer then uses for their benefit.
One of the most famous email phishing scams is the pseudo-Nigerian prince who used to send out emails asking for donations.
Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams are becoming increasingly common. This type of internet scam works because we’ve grown so accustomed to using virtual tech support options. The difference is that the virtual support you’ve sought out is usually legit. The tech support scams never are.
The way tech support scams work is that someone either calls or emails you. They claim to be from a major computer system company, security company or common tech store. They then launch into a spiel about how they believe your computer is infected. Not only does the malware infection negatively impact your computer’s performance, but the tech support con artist will also explain how it could compromise your identity and steal credit card information.
The problem is that your computer isn’t currently infected. The con artist plans to place some malware on it that will allow them to collect your sensitive data. They do this in a manner that’s both easy to fall for and hard to trace.
Social Media Fraud
Social media fraud is an internet scam that doesn’t get quite as much attention as it should. The idea behind social media scams is that someone will connect with you via a social media channel. They often do this by posing as your friend. They can do this because they create a mirror account that not only uses your friend’s name but also their profile picture. They will usually send a private message that starts as a friendly conversation but quickly turns into a desperate plea for money.
The two best ways to make sure you don’t fall victim to a social media scam are contacting your friend directly and asking the scammer specific questions. If they don’t provide you with the type of answer you’d expect from your friend, report the fake account.