From the moment we wake up, we are hooked to our devices—checking emails, reading the news, connecting with our loved ones—we are inevitably compelled to be connected. What most of us don’t know, is that the more digitally active we are, the more susceptible we become to security threats such as malware, social engineering schemes, and online scams to name a few. As we draw closer to the end of the year, cybercriminals are preparing subtle but effective tactics to lure would-be victims into divulging sensitive information and financial credentials.
Have you ever fallen victim to an online scam? One way or another, most of us have encountered malicious schemes whether on email or social media. Most of the time though, most users do not recognize it when they see one as cybercriminals continue to develop stealthier and more cunning methods.
To give you an idea, here are the top 6 online scams that still plague the internet:
The Greeting Card scam
This scam comes in the form of phishing wherein the user is tricked into clicking a malicious link. It starts with the user receiving an email that appears to be a harmless greeting “e-card”. The email sender sometimes appears to be from family or friends known to the recipient. As soon as the link is clicked, the user is led to a booby-trapped website that is loaded with information-stealing malware which is then downloaded onto the victim’s system.
Phishing scams are known to be the most abused scheme by cybercriminals since it is fairly easy to trick users using this method. Phishing essentially lures the user with an email that purports to be from a legitimate source. It could be from an e-commerce site, or a financial company. The email implores the user to visit a certain website that would require the user to input information. Because the website is actually a fake page created by the cybercriminal, the user’s data is already captured for malicious purposes.
Business Email Compromise (BEC)
A relatively new scheme, BEC is carried out by attackers impersonating CEOs, lawyers, CFOs, or other high-ranking executives related to wire transfers. The attacker sends an email to an unknowing employee and requests to transfer a large amount of money. Since the email appears to be from the employee’s boss, the request is more or less accomplished.
This scam plays on our desire to hit it big and win the lottery. A simple but effective scheme, the lottery scam comes in the form of an email informing you that you won an outrageous amount and that all you have to do is pay a “processing fee” in order to claim your winnings.
This scam uses “love” as a bait. With the growing popularity of online dating sites, cybercriminals use them as an avenue to find people who would easily fall for bogus stories. The catch? They fall in love. As soon as the con artist establishes the victim’s trust, they will trick the victims into sending them money in increments. The so-called relationship could last for a long time in order to make it more convincing.
Similar to the love scam, cybercriminals like to pull on heartstrings to dupe people into pledging money online for a “cause” only to siphon off the money....
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By: Eastern Communications
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