Top 3 online scams to be careful of
by: Tshituku Ndadza - 18 June 2018
Nowadays, the internet is the quickest way to get things done. From communicating to banking. From entertainment to starting businesses. Unfortunately, there are people who take advantage of that.
Cybercriminals are using technology with the intent to do harm through various digital networks. Their mission is usually to steal personal information and generate a profit.
Here are the top three online scams to beware of and how to ensure your safety:
This scam usually comes from an “official” source so the financial institution you bank with or a social network representative or a delivery company. You will get an email or message on a social network, which will ask you to urgently attend to an issue. You will be required to use your login details for your bank account, social network, work account, cloud storage or any other personal data. After filling in your details, cybercriminals gain access to your details and break into your account.
This scam usually appears as legitimate because of the person that appears to be sending you the email or message.
Instead of following the instructions given, contact your bank directly or investigate further. Just don’t share information that will access your accounts without confirming the legitimacy of the source.
This is probably the oldest and most popular scam but don’t think that many haven’t been duped.
This scam comes in the form of an emotional letter, email, text message or DM. The cybercriminal will pretend to be a government official, businessman or someone who has lost a member of their family. You will be asked to help the person with a large amount of money but in return, you will be given even much more than you gave. This money is apparently to help the person pay for a legal matter or to help their family.
The cybercriminal will continue asking for more and more money as time goes by but the gag is you will never get any money in return. It’s great to be a generous and sympathetic person but don’t get fooled into giving your money to strangers online.
Fake Antivirus Software
So this scam usually looks like a message that you might actually get from your computer’s normal security alert. It usually says something like this: “You have been infected! Download this antivirus right now to protect your computer.”
If you are lucky, this alert is simply an unwanted pop-up and you can easily get rid of them with a pop-up blocker or a better antivirus.
However, if you are unlucky, you can end up with malware on your computer’s operating system that can ultimately be from ransomware threats, such as Cryptolocker, which blocks and encrypts your operating system. The cybercriminals then ask for a large amount of money in exchange for a decryption key that will give you complete access to your computer again.