Most online frauds use technological advances to lure their victims. Malwares, short for malicious software, includes viruses, trojans, spyware and are designed to infiltrate a computer in view to rob information and perpetrate fraud. The more information you have the easier it is to protect yourself against those criminals. What follows is an overview of some common types of frauds tol help you avoid falling prey to scam.
Identity Theft: Your identity is a personal collection of confidential data meant for your own purposes. Identity theft occurs when someone acquires a piece of your personal information including name, date of birth, address. This can take place whether the victim is alive or deceased. The theft of your identity with the intention of committing frauds is an offence punishable by law.
Phishing: A fraudulent act where seemingly credible e-mails, text messages and pop-up messages are sent to users claiming to be from reputable financial institutions, retailers, credit card companies, e-commerce site, etc. Those fraudulent, but official-looking e-mails typically contain a hyperlink to a forged website in an attempt to con users into divulging to enter personal details, like usernames, password, security details, card details, and so on. Once you provide your information, it can be used on legitimate sites to rob you.
Generally, messages from phishing scams often use a sense of urgency to induce the user into taking action.
Fraudsters also happen to lure victims into filling an online banking survey with a monetary reward at the end. These surveys are often sent through e-mails. Phishers also use phone and SMS to con users into providing sensitive information.
Virus Hoaxes Mail: False reports about non-existent viruses. Virus Hoaxes warn online users of dangerous viruses through e-mails and invite them to forward these messages to their network. These techniques are sometimes initiated to gather mass e-mail data for spam use.
Email Hacking: Email messages with a forged sender address to mislead the recipient about the origin of the message. Such emails are intended to defraud the receiver in inciting the latter to send money to a “relative/friend/supplier” for payment.
Social Networking Scams: Scammers make use of social media in their effort to appear legitimate by hiding behind anonymity, and easily reaching a mass audience at low cost. They are increasingly harvesting information from social networking sites to gather valuable details about their victims that will make spear phishing attacks more likely to succeed.
People are often befriended on Facebook and made to believe that they will receive a loan, or a parcel (by post) containing money and valuable gifts or above market rates of return on investment in crypto/ other assets. To that effect they are made to pay a clearance fee/ administration/processing fee in respect of the above promises, or convinced to disclose their credentials to the fraudster.
Cyberstalking: Criminals make use of today's technology advances to harass people through the use of the internet and other electronic means. That involves identity theft, data manipulations, monitoring, threats, defamation and more. Usually, cyberstalking includes sending harassing emails, instant messages, sms, or social media posts and even the creation of websites, for the sole purpose of distressing the victim. An online stalker can ruin the life of a victim, both online and offline.
Ransomware Scam: This is a fast-growing online threat that take your computer or smartphone in hostage by means of a malware, wiping out or encrypting your files, then attempt to extort payment to regain your files. The user is usually duped into clicking on a link leading to an infected website or clicking into an infected advertising.