Cyber criminality is on the rise as our modern world moves further and further online. Criminals were always going to latch onto it. They’ve even found a way to scam us via Netflix. Sadly, it’s just how things are now.
That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re helpless and can’t find ways to prevent cyber attacks, though. Chances are someone you know has fallen victim to some sort of a scam and, from there, they’re more careful with how they conduct their business online as a result. Scams are so prevalent across the web that it’s vitally important we remain switched on to them and aware of the potential tricks internet con artists use, which is sadly what people who fall victim to these crimes discover.
That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the internet for what it is; it just means that it pays to keep up to date with the scammers’ tricks and explore ways that make their criminality a lot harder to pull off. You can still surf the web and find bargains, explore games like the unique options at a penny roulette operator, and book your next holiday, but with your guard up and your eyes peeled. So, with that in mind, here’s a look at some common email and internet scams, and how you can avoid them in 2020.
Foreign lottery scam
A common email scam, the foreign lottery scam involves receiving an email that looks authentic and from a foreign lottery corporation, when in actual fact it’s a fake email composed by a group of con artists. Signs to look out for in terms of trying to determine whether the email is fake include: if the sender is an individual person if your name is not added to the ‘to’ field, the lottery doesn’t even exist (try a google search), and if the email requests personal information. Ultimately, it’s a classic phishing scam where cybercriminals are hoping that you’ll share as much information as possible. The fact is, if you haven’t entered a lottery, then you aren’t winning one.
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PayPal or online credit card/banking scam
Another common tactic internet criminals use, the PayPal or online credit card/banking scam involves receiving what appears to be a legitimate email from PayPal in regards to issues with an account, perhaps with a warning message attached. Understandably, people tend to panic when receiving such news and end up frantically clicking the link and logging into their account to fix the problem. Sneakily, though, it isn’t actually PayPal’s website. It’s a fake site they’ve just logged onto
that has enabled cybercriminals to take details such as the email address and password for the actual PayPal account.
To avoid this, always check the sender’s email address and note that PayPal only sends emails from addresses ending in @paypal.com. Also, beware of emails referring to you with a generic term such as “dear valued user”, check the URL isn’t a strange link or the email includes a threat, and check for any grammatical errors.