Cybercriminals can be extremely creative when it comes to stealing money. They can take on any identity and waste no time to use current events to their advantage. Cybersecurity firm ESET shared 5 methods commonly used by fraudsters and provided some tips for protection.
Online shopping scam
During the pandemic, there were many online fraud incidents, especially due to the shortage of supplies in some products such as masks and hand disinfectants. Furthermore, fraudsters can, for example, create a fake website to offer luxury products from famous brands at very low prices. However, when you order from here, the product may not reach you at all, and even worse, if your credit card information is captured by criminals, large amounts of money may be withdrawn from your card.
To reduce the chance of losing money for such scams, review the sellers service agreement and return policies. Check out customer reviews. If you are asked to share too much personal information, be skeptical.
Money courier scam
Criminals try to tempt people by using the concept of working from home or online dating services, which are normal during pandemic days. After gaining trust, they send money or a check, then ask the victim to send it to someone else. This has several consequences. A check that is clean in the first stage may later turn out to be fake and the bank may ask you to pay the check, or you may be carrying money that is part of a criminal incident. You may find yourself in a difficult situation legally.
The advice we can give here is actually very simple; If a customer is supposed to transfer money to another customer or subcontractor for the intended job, do not accept this role. Or if the person you meet through online dating asks you to send money somewhere on their behalf, suspect and decline.
Lottery and prize fraud
Such scams usually begin when the potential victim receives an email, phone, or text message stating that they have won money or a luxury reward. The message states that he has a limited time and is asked to pay some money to cover taxes, shipping costs, or other fictitious costs to receive the reward. However, the victim will not receive any rewards after paying what was requested.
In another method; victims are asked to take part in a big prize-winning competition or lottery. They are told to pay in order to increase their chances of winning or to get more entries into the lottery. However, this situation results in the victim being defrauded.
To avoid losing your hard-earned money in scams like this, you can use a spam filter. In this way, you will prevent many fraud-related e-mails from reaching your mailbox. However, if some of these emails arrive in your inbox, make sure you do not participate in any contests or lotteries and mark the email as spam.
One popular tactic is to use identity theft emails by impersonating a local tax authority. In this way, it is attempted to obtain sensitive personal and financial information from the victims and this information is used for fraud. In such attacks, fraudsters try to deceive you by claiming that you have incorrectly filled in a place on your tax return or by stating that your tax payment is out of date and you will face penalties if you do not pay immediately.
There are many ways you can protect yourself. If you receive an email from your local tax authority, the easiest way to tell if this is true is to verify this by contacting your tax authority. If you receive a call that you think is threatening, ask for the name and information of the caller and verify this information from the relevant institution.
Although the wording is sometimes different in investment scams, the main message is the same: Fold your investment quickly and easily. Scammers try to deceive their victims using a variety of strategies. Usually, the first starting point is to communicate via e-mail.
First of all, remember that there is no guaranteed investment or method to make easy money. When you come across an offer that interests you or that you think might appeal to you, you should definitely research the offer and the company related to the offer.
Last but not least: By taking a prudent approach and careful study of available information, you can spot fraud. Let's end our article with a famous Russian proverb: "Trust does not impede control."