Technology brought many changes in the life of everyone, giving the possibility to use devices and the Internet daily. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine a day without having access to the many resources that digitalisation has offered. From learning, communicating, doing business, storing information, or engaging in fun activities, the uses of technology shaped several of today’s activities. You can’t deny that the Internet has improved life in lots of fields. Unfortunately, sometimes good things are used for bad purposes, which is also the case with technology. With its transformation, the Internet has become a dangerous place. Hackers have developed countless ways to scam people and get their money and data. They have created online scams to trick users into handing over their information and savings. To stay protected, you must know the most common frauds you can encounter online.
Here are some scams you should watch out for in 2023.
The Impostor Scam
Impostor Scam is one of the most common types of fraud. By doing this illegality, hackers can pretend to be anyone, from people close to you, like your friends and family, to a government or a company member. The most used ways to reach you are via email or phone, where they request money for many reasons, like: your claimed friend is in trouble or had an accident and needs some money, or you owe debts, fines, and taxes you haven’t paid.
They will always make the situation seem urgent and play on your emotions because they want you to act impulsively. Scammers will make you believe that an unexpected problem has arised or that you won something incredible. Most victims that fall prey are older people, who are more likely to believe these situations because they don’t access information like the other age groups. If you have an elder in your family, you should present them with the dangers of this scam and how to avoid it. Imposter scams can be represented in frequent scenarios, like:
- A taxing situation
- The need for a professional help
- Fake Police agents
- Medical Services
The romance scam is a type of fraud that will not leave you only with a financial loss but also with heartbreak. Hackers will make you trust them and show that they care about you and how much they love you. They will be the perfect girlfriend or boyfriend and promise you great things and a future together. When they see they have gained your trust, they will try to make you send them money or invest in crypto or stocks. Soon after, they will take the money and vanish into thin air. Sometimes, they can even try to access your accounts, as they know a lot of information about you. You need to be extra cautious with what you share online, especially pictures, as they can post on many platforms after you have given them access to your data.
Online Shopping Scam
Online shopping scams have significantly increased because many people prefer to buy products or services with just a few clicks. The scam’s offers will present great products at very affordable prices. They can include anything from designer handbags to appliances, furniture, and even travel offers. You will generally receive these promotions via social media or email. After you have decided to buy a product and made the payment, you will not hear any news from the site or receive what you ordered. Sometimes, you might obtain some articles, but they are distinctive from the pictures you saw and of much lower quality. Generally, when shopping online, you need to avoid something that sounds too good. If you have any suspicions, you can look for their contact details to see if they are valid, and you can also check if they have a refund policy. In many cases, you can’t be 100% sure of an ad you saw online; this is why it is always better to buy from a trustworthy site. If you already bought from an illegal site that didn’t protect your information and your data has been stolen, you need to seek help and try to get justice back. Depending on the particulars of your case, you may also receive some compensation for the data breach and the harm made. You can find more information here https://www.databreachcompensationexpert.co.uk/data-breach-compensation/.
The massive growth of cryptocurrency also created various opportunities for scams to happen in this field. The impostors aim to manipulate victims to share their personal data or transfer their valuable digital assets. The most common way to steal crypto is by using fake websites, which look very similar to real sites, phishing scams, where they send an email to make people share key information, fake apps, fake celebrity endorsement, or giveaway scams. Any crypto offer that guarantees returns and says you will make a lot of money is a red flag, as no financial investment can ensure that. Also, these websites are probably fake if they offer free cash or have excessive marketing.
Charitable Donations Scam
Charity scammers will try to exploit your empathy to collect money from you. They can ask for donations in person, via mail, or social media for someone in need. Helping a family after a tragedy is the most common way for a scammer to try to get money. When a tragic event or a natural disaster happens, fake charity organisations are more likely to appear, as everyone is interested in that subject. Unfortunately, in many cases, the money will not arrive to the people in need but in the scammer’s pockets. And this is something you want to avoid, so make sure you always check for details and research to see if a website is legitimate.
Now that you know the most common scams in 2023, you need to pay attention and never take any risks, as scammers will always try to come up with something new, like offers that sound too good to be true.