The high spike in digital fraud comes as no surprise since the emergence of COVID-19. The beginning of the pandemic has seen a tremendous increase in the number of people who spend most of their time online acquiring access to services which were normally acquired offline prior to the pandemic. The heightened number of people who spend their time online has offered scammers more opportunities to make money by deceiving vulnerable people.
With the implementation of remote and online work, digital fraud has skyrocketed and increased immensely.
These cyber criminals send out emails, texts and links which lead their victims to fraudulent websites where they can be able to obtain personal information. They also access ones financial information by transferring mobile numbers from the initial service provider to another. Falling for these types of scams is not a measure of ones’ intelligence as it can happen to anyone, anywhere. Digital fraud not only causes harm to a victim’s financial state, but it also tampers with their wellbeing. Anyone can be a victim, therefore, it is extremely important to possess knowledge on how these scams work. Outlined below are some of the most common online scams to look out for.
Different types of cybercrimes:
These types of scams occur when cybercriminals send out emails which are created to look legit with the aim to get your personal information. One has to be extremely vigilant at all times as these emails usually appear authentic.
With these particular scams, cyber criminals claim to sell luxury brands at an extremely low price. They will send out emails which direct you to third party e-Commerce stores which will request you to first make payment through an electronic funds transfer. The URLs to these sites are usually very suspicious and often start with “http” instead of “https”.
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency:
This is the latest popular scam amongst cyber criminals. With this scam, you will be lured into making an investment into a company with the willingness to multiply your initial invested amount. After sending a large sum of money to the scammer they disappear.
Dating scams happen when cyber criminals open online dating profiles on dating apps (usually using someone else’s identity) only to lead you on and build an online romantic relationship with you. Once they realise that you care about them, they then start asking you for money continuously.
Ever came across those “you have just won an iPhone” pop up ads while on the internet? Well, that is a scam. With this scam you are told that you have won something by doing nothing only for you to hand over some of your personal information which is way more valuable than a free phone.
How can you protect yourself from getting scammed?
- Use extremely strong passwords.
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links and attachments in spam emails.
- Never give out your personal information.
Pay careful attention to websites with unfamiliar URLs.
- Set two-factor authentication as a security system for protection against phishing, and to strengthen your security.
Cybercrimes are a high risk threat as technology evolves and these criminals prey on the most vulnerable security systems for their own personal gain. It is therefore very important to implement extremely strong security measures to avoid being a victim of these scams.