Online fraud is a term that encompasses a wide range of cybercrimes. It includes anything from work-at-home scams that require victims to pay a nominal fee, to online dating scams where thieves build trusting relationships and then ask for money or personal information.
Once criminals have stolen your credit card or financial information, you can sell it on the black market or test it out by making small online purchases.
Scams involving credit cards
Credit card scams can be very damaging and include fraud that causes unauthorized purchases to be made on your account. They can also result in your identity being stolen, which makes it easier for criminals to open other accounts on your name or steal your money.
Criminals can access your credit cards through social engineering techniques that take advantage of the mistakes people make. Phishing is one example. They often pose as a government agency or other entity that you know, and use emails, text messages such as the Revolut scam text or phone calls to trick people into revealing sensitive information.
These types of scams are gaining ground as more transactions move away from cash and into the digital realm. You may get a phone call or a text claiming your credit card was charged too much for something you bought recently. Then, they ask you to complete a series steps to get your overcharge refunded. This includes revealing your credit cards details.
Criminals can also steal credit card data by skimming. This is done when they place an electronic device on a point-of-sale device, ATM machine, or gas pump at a restaurant or retailer to capture your details as you make the transaction. Criminals can create fake credit cards using the information they collect.
A criminal can also gain access to the details of your credit cards by installing a software program that is connected to Wi-Fi at home. The program allows the criminals to watch your every move, record passwords that you enter and peek at your bank accounts when you check them online.
There are a few ways you can protect yourself against these types of credit card scams. Always be careful when shopping at unsecure websites. Monitor your bank and credit card accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. If you notice an unauthorized purchase, contact your card issuer right away. Consider a third option, which offers identity theft and credit monitoring protection to help you detect and report scams.
Lottery scams can occur via phone, mail or social media. Fraudsters claim that their victim has won an international lottery or sweepstakes. In order to receive their prize money, the victim is required to pay a fee. Victims are told the fee is required to cover courier fees, taxes, or various other fictitious costs. Victims are also told that they can verify the winnings by calling a specific number. The number is usually a premium rate one, which the victim must pay to speak with someone.
In order to receive the prize money, legitimate lotteries don’t require that winners pay any advance fees. Any advance fee requested by fraudsters is a warning sign. The fraudsters often attempt to get the victim to send them funds by wire transfer, Zelle, cryptocurrency or gift cards. Scammers may ask the victim to act as a money mule, transferring stolen funds from victims.
Scammers will often continue to contact the victim for many months, or even years. They will make multiple attempts to trick the victim into sending them more money. They will continue to increase the fees, claiming it is necessary for the prize winnings. The scammers will even threaten to report the victim to their employers and the police.
Fraudsters can make a lot of money by committing lottery and sweepstakes frauds. Victims of these scams often lose significant sums of money that could have been used for something much more useful. It is important to educate family, friends and colleagues about lottery and sweepstakes scams so they can avoid them. To be more financially stable, you might want to look into playing some fun and interactive sports betting games via https://k-oddsportal.com/.
Disaster relief scams
Disasters can bring out the best in people, as neighbors and strangers alike roll up their sleeves and open their wallets to help those in need. They can also bring out the worst in people, as scammers take advantage of victims or kind-hearted individuals who are looking to help.
Contractors and other fraudsters who pose as workers from local or government agencies often target disaster survivors. They pretend to be helping them with insurance claims, repairs or other needs. They might demand money upfront or charge outrageously expensive prices for substandard workmanship. Some commit insurance fraud and re-victimize survivors by making false claims or stealing the contributions.
They also prey on victims by creating fake charities and asking for donations. They claim to be helping victims of hurricanes or earthquakes. These scams often use names that are similar to reputable, established organizations and can be difficult to distinguish from the genuine thing.
Other disaster relief scams include services that promise to negotiate with creditors and other companies in order to settle or reduce credit card debts; and auto loan modifications that claim to lower monthly car payments for consumers, but are actually trying to repossess the vehicles. The FTC and consumer protection agencies are working to expose frauds like these so consumers can protect themselves.
Phishing has become a popular way for criminals to steal information. Attackers can use email or instant messages to create messages that appear like legitimate emails or links to websites and trick victims into divulging sensitive data or downloading malware. Depending on the type of phishing scam, this information can include passwords, credit card numbers, bank account details and more.
To collect this information, a number of attacks are available, including clickjacking and tabnabbing. The former hides a malicious site behind a legitimate site, while the latter reloads it into an imitation of an actual login page. SSL/TLS (where the spoofed web site mimics a padlock icon in a URL bar to fool visitors that the website is secure) are also possible. It is also possible for criminals to hijack the accounts of real people to send more phishing messages to their contacts. This is called “conversation hacking.”
Messages may take on many forms, and they are usually designed to entice victims into clicking links or opening attachments. Attackers may pose as a bank or other financial institution, online retailers, tech companies and more. They will often claim that there is suspicious activity in an account and then ask the victim login to verify.
Other messages might use fear. For example, they may claim that the IRS or another government agency is requesting personal information. Or, they may try to entice greed by offering lottery prizes or giveaways. Some phishing messages are even more basic, such as those that just tell the victim to respond to the attacker via email.
It is important to remain vigilant against all forms of phishing but especially emails from unknown sources. It is also a good idea to only shop or log into sensitive accounts on a private network, rather than public wifi. If you have to use public wifi, make sure the website is secure. Look for the “https”, or lock symbol. When in doubt, you can use a search engine before proceeding to verify the legitimacy of a website address.
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