The internet can definitely be a scary place, filled with scams and lures that try to con your hard-earned money away. But fear not — there is hope! Read on to learn about the most common internet scams and how to avoid them.
Phishing is one of the most common ways that scammers can easily find out someone’s personal information. The act of phishing is where someone lures a victim into giving their personal account information. The phisher then steals the victim’s identity. This is done by using pictures that are very close to their bank account login image.
It Affects Anyone Who Has Ever Done Online Banking
This can affect anyone who has ever set up their email with their bank account. This could also affect people who use apps for big banks, such as TD and Chase. The hacker will send an image in an email that looks like the bank’s verified login, but double check because most of the time, it isn’t.
The “hey grandma” scam is one of the worst cons out there because it preys on people’s families and the elderly. This scam is usually over the phone or through email. The message states that a grandchild is in desperate need of money to get home. They scammers hope that whoever they send their message to is a grandparent.
This scam only affects grandparents because that is the entire nature of the scam. Grandparents are easy to find. Anyone who is living in a retirement home or who uses a computer to search for the things that the elderly are interested in could be affected by this scam.
Foreign Lottery Scam
The foreign lottery scam is simply an email that states that if you give your personal information, you will receive a prize from a foreign lottery, which you have supposedly won. However, there are ways around this con. If the sender is one single person, or if the email asks for your information, most of the time it is a scam.
Most of the time this fake foreign lottery scam affects younger adults and teenagers who are not really paying close attention to their emails. Their email addresses are using spotted and found on their social media accounts. This means that every person should make their accounts private.
This common email is one of the most innocent-looking ones on our list. The survey scam is based on the social issues that you “like” on social media. Hackers are able to see that. They will then send you an email asking for your opinion on a current topic, and once you click, they can install malicious spyware to your computer.
This scam can affect anyone with a social media account. Be careful which emails you click on and no matter what, never click on an email when you don’t know the original sender. If you are interested in a cause, then you should investigate it on your own.
The Nigerian Scam, Also Known As The 419
This scam is one of the most specific cons, and also one of the most well-known. The 419 is simply too good to be true and states that a Nigerian family wants to leave a large sum of money with you, if you just agree to take care of the money. The more you agree to help with, the more that they will take out of your own pocket.
This Affects Women More Often
We hate to say it, but this scam usually affects women more often because the whole point of this scam is try to tug on the heart strings. Women tend to have softer hearts, and also tend to try to help the little children that are featured in these scams.
If you don’t know how to use PayPal, it could really harm you and your finances. The email that you will receive looks like it is from the PayPal company, however, it is actually from a hacker. Be sure to call PayPal if you get an email that inquires about your account, rather than just blindly giving money or your information to the hackers.
This Effects Only PayPal
This specific type of scam only affects PayPal, however as more and more people use online money transferring services, more people are getting burned. Before you ever give money to an online transferring service, be sure to call their number to make sure that you won’t lose any money.
Advanced Fees On Credit Cards Or Loans
A bank would never ask you for an up front fee if you are trying to get a credit card or a loan. So if you ever get an email from someone who asks for money before you get what you are signing up for, most of the time this is a complete waste of time and a scam.
College students are the people who are most affected by this scam because they are often the ones that are trying to get “free” or great deals on their credit cards. However, it’s best to never try to get a credit card through an email service — just go to the bank directly.
Mystery Shopper Scam
This scam simply offers you a job as a mystery shopper and states that you will be able to make at least $200 to $300 a day, without any experience. However, this scam also asks you pay many different costs up front and they “compensate” you with a fraudulent check.
Much of the time, it can be extremely hard for college students or people who have just graduated to get a job. This is because many of the jobs that students want require at least three years of experience. However, if you are a student, don’t believe the idea that you can make a ton of money online from the comfort of your own home.
Items For Sale
This one requires that you have something that you have out on the internet to sell. A scammer will discover that you are selling something and will offer you an incredibly large sum of money, more than what you are asking. You will then receive a fake check for the item, and wind up without your item. Wah-woh.
People Who Use Craigslist or Ebay
This scam is very specific and targets people that have recently put up something for sale. However, this scam could affect people who have not tried to sell something. The email may offer you a large sum of money for something that you own. Don’t trust anyone who is offering you way too much money for what you’re selling.
Hijacked Profile Scam
If you ever get a message from someone who you know on Facebook or social media stating that they have a great business deal for you, many times it will be a scam. A great way to spot this out is if the person who messages you is not more than a casual acquaintance.
College Kids Get Hit Hard With This One
Since college kids and graduate students have so many Facebook friends, it would be hard to ever really notice if someone was acting fishy in real life. The key to avoiding this scam is that you can never really trust anyone who isn’t in your immediate circle. Clicking those links could be the worst thing you ever do online.
The Gmail Scam
Gmail is extremely useful, but it could really cause a problem if it is your only way of communicating. If you ever receive an email from a random gmail account asking you for money, you’d better not give them your gmail account information. Google has all of your search history, and the passwords to every site that you have ever visited.
People Who Are New To You Gmail
Gmail users might not be prepared for their entire search history to be in the hands of someone else. Luckily, there are ways to make sure that this never happens. Change your password at least once a month, making it virtually impossible for people to keep up with your history .
Employment Search Scam
This one is particularly hard to figure out these days, because most hiring is completely done online. If you ever get an email from a random company stating that they want to hire you based on commission and with a high salary, double check to make sure it’s legit. Also, never give anyone any money up front.
Anyone Looking For A Job
If you have put your résumé out their on any type of job forum, you can definitely expect some job offers. However, if you are looking for a real job, the employers should always be in contact over the phone or through a direct email process. Never pay for anything when it comes to a job.
Quizzes can be some one of the most fun things to do on the internet, however, they can also ruin your financial future. Quizzes that ask for your personal information in order to attain more lives or more points will ultimately drain your credit card. Be sure to know that the site that you are playing on is secure.
This Affects Older Gamers
This game scam and quiz scam affects people who have been playing games for many years. This scam is not one that affects people right away, but over many years in small increments. You’ll never notice a little bit every month, versus a huge lump sum.
Online gaming, including gambling, is one of the biggest money-making scams out there. Gambling sites that are both illegal and “secret” can cost you a tremendous amount of money, because the site can take all of your information. Don’t give an “offshore” site money at all.
Guys Who Gamble
This affects many men who gamble on the internet, because most of these sites will allow players to gamble on any sport they want. They can even gamble on international events so that they can make the most money from their initial bets.
Disaster Relief Scams
This a prominent scam that is also a terrible way to profit off of someone’s misfortune. These fake charities ask for online donations and credit card information. These fake charities will steal your money — and your identity as well.
People In The Area
These particular online fake charity scams ask for donations for people who are living in the area of disaster relief. This is to ensure that they will get as much sympathy as they can, which in turn garners more donations.
The suspicious photo scam preys on everyone’s insecurities about what is out there about them on the internet. If you ever receive a chat or a message from someone stating that they have a “scandalous” photo of you, do not click the link. The link will give your computer a virus and spy ware.
High-Schoolers And College Kids
This particular scam affects people who are very particular about their online presence and their reputation. Most of the time high-schoolers don’t want people to see any revealing or potentially harmful photos of themselves, and will be so scared that they click the link.
Travel scams are one of the oldest cons in the book, but people fall for them every day. Travel scams will send you an email stating that you have won a big trip to someplace exotic, trying to convince you that if you provide personal information that you will receive the prize.
Retired Men And Women
Travel scams are mostly emailed to people who are no longer working or are of retirement age because those are the people who are doing the most traveling. But don’t fall for it — there is never a time that a trip is ever going to cost less than the retail value. Sorry to say it, but traveling is just expensive.
Sick Baby Scam
This one is truly the worst one on our list. Not only does it tug on the heart strings, but it also makes people question whether or not charities are genuine at all. On social media, dishonest people will post a picture of a baby asking for money. Bu the baby isn’t sick, the people just want to take your money.
This scam is usually aimed at mothers who are on Facebook or social media, because they are the people that are really going to feel the sadness of having a sick child. Even though we hate to say it, only give money to people that you know personally or that you know for sure need it.
The Go Fund Fake Account
Similar to the sick baby scam, the Go Fund Me fake accounts are also asking for money for various, bogus causes. Go Fund Me is a website that profits off of charitable donations that people provide, so be careful with your handouts. Sometimes the scammers will also keep your personal information — not a good thing.
Social Media Fans
Since Go Fund Me became popular on the internet, many people who are familiar with the charity website are prone to giving money. Again, you have to be sure that you are giving money to the right people and not just giving out your credit card information to a scammer.
The Dreaded Chain Emails
Chain emails are the worst! You remember the ones from middle school, and scam chain emails are no better. The classic pyramid scheme is not something that anyone should get involved in, no matter how many emails you get saying that you can “make money fast.”
This Can Affect Almost Everyone Trying To Make Money
These dreaded chain emails can affect anyone who is trying to make money. The best thing to know about the internet is that there is no legit way to make money fast and from home. It’s best to understand that these scams rely on people thinking that they’ll get their big break over the internet.