The most common online scams you need to be aware of

1. Phishing

Phishing is probably the most common form of online scam. Phishing is where a cybercriminal tries to get you to give them information. Users-names and passwords being the most sought-after information.

A perfect example is an email, text, or phone call saying your bank account has been compromised and you need to give your banking information to sort it out.

2. Shopping Scams

These are harder to spot. A legitimate-looking website offering a product or service sells you something with no intention of actually delivering. Always use a credit card to be able to claim back your lost money.

This includes holiday scams where you book a holiday apartment or hotel and when you arrive you are not booked in.

Only buy using your credit card and using legitimate travel websites.

3. Nigerian Scams

This is one of the most well-known scams. This is where a Nigerian prince or government official contacts you claiming to need help as they can not move their millions abroad. Sometimes this scam involves gold. You have to pay money upfront to help them and receive a reward. This still works!

4. Crypto Scams

We go into this in more detail in our crypto scams section, but basically, you have to send money to a crypto exchange that guarantees you huge daily returns. Sometimes it involves startup investing in a company that doesn’t exist.

Only use a reputable crypto website.

5. Stock Scams

You get cold-called offering an amazing stock deal and you send money and in return either never hear from them again or they send you fake stock certificates. Later on, you might receive another cold call saying there is an issue with these shares and you need to pay to sort it out.

Ignore them and only buy stocks from regulated and insured stock investment platforms.

6. Mail Scams

This is where you receive a text message or letter through the post saying you have a package waiting and need to pay a fee to receive it. You give your bank details to them to pay the small fee and they have your bank card details.

Ignore them. You can also contact the company involved from their official website and see if this is legitimate. Do not use any links in the form the scammer sent.

7. Fine Print Scams

Yes, this is a thing. Some companies put something in the fine print that allows them to take money from you. Travel companies are notorious for this.

Always check the fine print.

8. Digital Ransom

This is where someone takes control of a social media account or even your computer and extorts money from you so you can get it back. This includes compromising cloud storage photos.

Always encrypt your files.

9. Illegal Sites

This is where you either receive an email saying the police will be contacted as you have viewed illegal online material. It can also be a popup on an adult site that demands you pay money to stop the scammers from contacting the police.

Ignore both.

10. Virus downloads

This is where you download from an unknown site directly onto your device and hidden inside is malware. Always use a VPN and antivirus software.

11. Romance Scams

These are very popular. You meet someone online that pretends to be an attractive person and they form a connection with you. At some point they need money or a plane ticket.

12. Fake Lotteries

You have won $1 million! Lucky you! This is usually done via emails or text.

13. Fake Charities

It is a pretty low person that tries this one but it has been around for a long time. These are especially common after a famous world crisis event has occurred.

Only donate to registered charities.

14. Free Stuff

Someone contacts you offering something free, but look out for the catch! Usually it is payment details or information they are looking for.

Our basic don’t get scammed tips

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If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

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Avoid clicking on ads and ensure you visit verified websites only.
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Always double check the domain name is correct
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Guard your personal information with your life.
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When in doubt – DON’T click.
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Use a VPN
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Stay off personal social media as much as possible.
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Do not store your password on your computer.
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Do not store your password on your computer.

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