As the number of internet users rapidly increases each year, so does the number of cybercriminals looking to access your personal information. This is why it’s more important than ever to be aware of the common online scams so you can prevent them from happening to you. Here are the common online scams to avoid in 2023.
Phishing remains one of the most common types of scams, with cybercriminals using clickbait to lure their victims into clicking on a malicious download.
This is how a phishing scam usually unfolds:
- The cybercriminal sends you an email appearing to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank, social networking site or an online shop.
- You get tricked into clicking on a malicious download or scammer website link.
- The cybercriminal installs malware and/or uses your stole credentials to steal your sensitive data.
There are the common warning signs of a phishing email to be aware of:
- Urgent tones
- Misspellings and poor grammar
- Demands with threats of financial consequences
- Logos that don’t look quite right
Another common type of online scam is ransomware. Ransomware is malware that threatens to publish the victim’s personal data or permanently block access to it unless a ransom is paid. To prevent ransomware, always back up your data and download antivirus software to alert you of potential infections.
Scareware is a form of malware which uses social engineering to cause shock, anxiety, or the perception of a threat in order to manipulate users into buying unwanted software. This software is fake and used to install malware that can steal your sensitive information. The warning signs of scareware to look out for are:
- The software immediately scans your computer for viruses
- The pop-up is hard to close
- The pop-up wants you to act quickly
- You’ve never heard of the software company
To avoid scareware, make sure that you do not click on unexpected malware notifications.
Fake shopping websites
Cybercriminals may also create and publish fake shopping websites that either look genuine or replicate existing retailer websites.
A common sign of a fake shopping website is if the shop offers deals that are too good to be true, finding popular clothing brands and selling them for extra-low prices. Hackers use these deals to trick you into buying their fake goods and record your banking information at the time of purchase to use for themselves.
Fake shopping website warning signs include:
- A redirecting bringing you to a page with “http://” in the URL
- Prices that are too good to be true
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