Online scams have become common. Every third American has come across unscrupulous Internet users who steal personal data in one way or another. Hacking passwords, stealing money from cards, blackmailing personal data are just a few of the troubles that a lost vigilance leads to. Therefore, we have compiled useful tips on how to protect yourself on the Internet. However, before we get to the tips, let’s find out what online scams are and how to know if your data is at risk.
What is an Online Scam?
Online fraud is the act of cybercriminals to acquire information or financial data. Fraud differs from theft in that the victim is deceived, and she voluntarily gives up her property or rights to it. The only purpose of the scammers is to cheat and get your money or property. It doesn’t matter where they do it: on the street, in a mall, or on websites and by email. On the Internet, you can find a victim without talking to her life. Fraudsters know how to win. Among them are specialists in psychology, economics, insurance, finance, and many other fields. How to understand that you are communicating with an Internet scammer? More on this in our next paragraph.
Signs You Are Communicating With An Online Scammer
After analyzing many fraud cases, we have found many signs indicating that you are communicating with a scammer. Let’s consider the main ones:
- The fraudster impersonates another person. A common scam practice is to hack social media user accounts. Further, they send out requests for an urgent loan of money on behalf of someone else. The pretext is often fictitious trouble that needs to be dealt with immediately. Fraudsters rely on the fact that the victim in a hurry will dump money on the card without phoning his friend personally.
- Possession of personal information. In social networks, a person can write “banker” and offer loans at a low-interest rate – from 2 to 5%. In doing so, he will ask for a bank card number, CVV and PIN. In pursuit of a lucrative offer, the victim may forget that bank employees have no right to demand this information.
- Fake lotteries. A message about winning the lottery can come to the world wide web user through any communication channel: by email, through a social network, messenger. But to pick up a car, money, household appliances, he will be offered to register the win by calling a special phone number or sending an SMS to a short number. The result is predictable – withdrawal of money from bank accounts.
Ways to Protect Against Internet Fraud
Have you ever heard how much people make from online scams? Let’s give an example. Amil Hassan Raage has committed electronic fraud. With his accomplices’ help, the fraudster successfully impersonated a Dell employee and managed to defraud the University of California employees at San Diego and the College of Pennsylvania. In the correspondence, the fraudster managed to convince educational institutions representatives that he represented Dell and forced them to transfer payments for its equipment and services to his account at Wells Fargo Bank in Minnesota.
The University of California at San Diego transferred $ 749,158 to the fraudster and the Pennsylvania college $ 123,643. After each new payment, the criminal would immediately withdraw money or transfer it to other accounts. Likewise, you may be required to pay money for obscure services or products. How can you protect yourself from this? Below we have provided ways to avoid scams online. Please read them carefully.
Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
Are you tired of such authorization, which is intrusively offered by many Internet resources? But they offer it for a reason. Set up an email login using your phone number so that if your personal data is lost, you can recover passwords and access to accounts. Hacking email is now tantamount to robbery. You will lose too much if you decide to neglect the two-factor authentication setting, at least on the mail service.
Use VPN When Surfing The Internet
You should understand that website owners can easily spy on you if you don’t use a VPN without logs. Properly encrypted traffic will exclude the possibility of hacking the device, theft of personal data, and you will be able to surf the Internet without consequences for the nervous system. The most reliable service is VeePN. The company provides a free version. With the trial, you can get acquainted with the functions of the program. However, these are not all VeePN VPN features. The company provides 2500 high-speed servers. You can connect to VPN from 10 devices at once. Moreover, you can unblock Netflix, online game, and geo-restricted websites. Using the program is simple: register, download, connect to the servers. The company uses modern protocols and provides round-the-clock customer support. No other service provides so many cool features.
Create A Separate Email For Doubtful Sites
We often visit unreliable websites and have to register there. Come up with a separate email to register entries to such resources. You will free the primary mailbox from a mountain of spam and advertising mailings.
Keep Track Of Mobile App Permissions
When updating software or installing another update, carefully monitor application permissions. Often they are easily disabled without degrading the functionality of the program. Pay attention to what the installed application wants to do. It’s rather strange if a standard application requests access to messages or contacts. Remember that scammers often release viral software that steals data from the phone and hacks into an online bank or other services under such apps’ guise.
Don’t Be Lazy To Come Up With Unique Passwords.
To save time, we often set the same password for different sites. Duplicate keys to services automatically untie the hands of fraudsters. Understand a logical way to create unique passwords for your accounts. Find a unique, memorable system to protect your personal data. For example, associate a password with the name or name of an Internet resource, refer to the names of your favorite artists or phone numbers of loved ones, combining them with alphabetic characters. The main thing is that the diagram is clear to you.
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