Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the internet, the cyber- criminals have returned with a whole new bag of tricks. Sure, online shopping scams, romance scams and tech-support scams are still going strong, but the scammers have cooked up a bunch of new ones.
With COVID everywhere in the real world, of course COVID scams are going to also be in the virtual world. The most popular COVID scams are emails and texts offering free COVID test kits, passes and vaccinations. Typically, they try to attract people to fake websites so they can get your personal Information and the more sophisticated sites will try to steal a payment.
You will never get an email from the government offering you something for free, and if it’s from a doctor or “medical center” and it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is.
FAKE JOB SCAMS
Fake job scams have been around for a while, but technology has made these crimes easier and more profitable. The fraudster will spoof a company website and post bogus jobs. They will gather your personal identifiable information (PII) and ask for your social security number. Never give anyone your social security number. Do not accept any job offers that want to use your own bank account to transfer money. Do not give a prospective employer your credit card number.
Unclaimed Amazon Package Scams
Scammers infiltrate sponsored ads on Facebook and tempt users with all kinds of offers, the most popular being unclaimed Amazon packages. It goes like this: ‘Every month thousands of packages are returned and if they go unclaimed after 30 days, we ’Il sell them up to 80% even 90% off.”
If you fall for this one, your credit card could go up in flames and you might unknowingly download adware or malware.
Cloning Scams on Facebook
The first thing you do when you get a friend request from someone who is already your friend – before accepting the request – is to contact that person. It might be real. Most likely, it is a clone. If it is a cloning scam, someone has created a new account with your friend’s picture and name and is trying to send you phishing links, get your personal identifier information, (PII) or trick you into sending money.
Cryptocurrency And Bitcoin Scams
These are the latest get rich quick schemes and they are popping up all over the web. Since the crypto world is confusing to a lot of people, frauds that look like real investment opportunities could be scams.
Research a company before investing in it, investigate wallets and websites. If the crypto exchange (ICO) offers you a guarantee, be wary. This is a high-risk business and there are no guarantees. Do not send money and do not sign anything electronically.
There are hundreds of fake accounts on TikTok. Their purpose is to entice you into providing payments or personal information. Fake accounts will also promote fraudulent apps that they want you to download.
TikTok scammers will also copy real celebrities’ accounts and lure users
Into following them. They will use these fake celebrity accounts to promote other fraudulent content, like money investing scams or crypto and bitcoin scams.
As the internet continues to grow, so do the scams and schemes. And the internet is the perfect world for a fraudster because of the anonymity.
So, you always have to tread very carefully on the web. PT Barnum once said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” But since the internet, it seems that there Is a sucker born every second.