Useful Tips To Avoid Online Scams

Monzo scam

Online scams such as the Monzo scam can be committed via email or messaging apps. They use emotional messages to lure victims into giving out personal information including credit card numbers. The perpetrators can use this information for identity theft or to make fraudulent purchases.

These scams also target people with financial problems, and they can lead to serious financial losses. Those caught are subject to traditional fraud and theft accusations, as well as restitution and fines.

Intimate extortion

Sextortion occurs when a criminal threatens a victim online with explicit videos or images. They threaten to release the images publicly or harm family members and friends. Cybercriminals often demand money, gift certificates, cryptocurrency, online game credits, or gift cards. They may also extort victims with hacked data. Depending on the type of extortion, criminals can even threaten legal action or physical harm.

Monzo scam

This type of sextortion begins when a criminal strikes up a conversation on social media or through a dating app. They will appear friendly and trusting, but soon begin to ask for intimate images or video chats. This can include upskirting or fake nudes. It could also be naked selfies or footage of someone performing sexual acts. They may make the person think they have evidence that they visited pornographic websites or have a picture with them of their friends or family at a wedding or birthday.

Criminals who target victims that they know well can overwhelm and shock them with these demands. They may know the details of the victim’s job, school or squash club, making them more susceptible to the criminals’ manipulations. Criminals also know how to use software to secretly record your screen or microphone, and have even used a camera in a public space, such as a train or mall, to spy on you.

The best way to prevent this type of sextortion from happening is to avoid sharing your personal information online, particularly with strangers. Set strong passwords and change them frequently for each of your accounts online. Use two-factor authentication to make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your private data. Consider using a pseudonym on dating websites and sharing your real name only with close family and friends.

If you’re a victim of this form of sextortion, it’s important to stop all communication with the offender. It’s important to report the offender on their social media or platform. This can help deplatform the offender and keep them from harassing other people. It’s also important to ask for support from friends and family.

Business email compromise (BEC), scams

Business email compromise scams (BECs) are the most common cyber attacks that target organizations around the world. BEC attacks usually involve wire transfers and falsified invoice payments. Cybercriminals pose as high-level employees to demand large sums of cash from companies. This type of attack requires minimal resources and technical skills, making it a favored strategy among bad actors.

In order to carry out a BEC, the attacker must first gather intelligence on employees of a company. You can do this by collecting publicly-available information about their names and titles from websites, social media accounts and press releases. Once the criminals have this information, they will send phishing emails or spoof email accounts to gain access into an employee’s account. Once inside the system, they will send targeted requests to coax employees into transferring funds or revealing sensitive information.

These requests usually come in the form emails that look genuine and appear to have been sent by a supervisor or colleague with authority. They can ask for wire transfers or checks to be sent, divert payroll, or change bank details for future payments. BEC attacks may also involve the theft of personally identifiable information such as W-2s or tax forms. In one of the most prominent examples, a hacker posed as Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel to trick employees into sending him payroll data.

Small and medium-sized companies are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks, as they lack the resources necessary to recover. It’s vital to educate your staff about these types and how they operate.

In addition to educating your employees, you can implement data loss prevention and email authentication protocols to prevent this type of attack. These tools analyze incoming emails to look for red-flags such as suspicious email attachments, unusual sender address, and keywords associated with BEC scams.

Nigerian letter scam

The Nigerian letter fraud (also known as the 419 scam) is a popular but old method of deception. It targets both businesses and individuals. The criminal sends a letter, email or fax to someone asking for assistance in transferring large sums of money. The criminal will pretend to be an official from the Nigerian military, government, or bank and ask for help in transferring money out of Nigeria. In return for their assistance, they will offer a generous commission. The scammer may also provide documents that appear “official”, such as letterheads of companies and bank account numbers. They can even use pro forma invoicing to convince victims that a transaction has been completed.

The scammer will often start by telling a tale about millions of dollars that have been illegally acquired or frozen due to corruption, war or political instability in Nigeria. The scammer will explain that the funds need to be transferred overseas in order to avoid confiscation and other legal issues. The scammer will ask the victim to pay bribes, tax and other fees to complete the transfer. The scammer will often promise a large portion of the total amount to lure gullible people.

Over time the scammer will learn more about the victim, and tailor their scheme to meet the needs of that person. People who are not confident about online security or those with limited finances are common targets. Once the scammer has a good understanding of the victim, they can request additional fees and create a more complex con.

The scammer may eventually be forced either to stop contacting their victim or to disappear. The victim will lose money and valuable information. Criminals only need a few gullible victims to make their time worth while, so it is important to be skeptical of any emails from unknown sources.

If you receive a suspicious email, contact your local FBI office or the U.S. Secret Service. You can also file an online complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Donation scams

Donation scams are designed to take advantage of Americans’ good intentions, stealing money and stealing personal information from their unsuspecting victims. These scams may be delivered via emails, texts, social media posts and phone calls. To avoid donation scams, it is best to verify the legitimacy of any charity before sending money. This can be done by contacting the organization directly or using a charity evaluator website.

Beware of solicitations that put you under pressure to donate, particularly during holidays. Legitimate charities never pressurize you to donate right away. Scammers will also try to trick by thanking you in advance for a donation you do not remember. You can avoid these types of scams by asking for the organization’s name, website address, contact information, and donation policies.

You should be wary of any fundraising campaign that is not listed on an established crowdfunding platform. These scams use fake pictures and names to confuse donors. In addition, they may use fake logos or government seals to make their solicitation appear legitimate. You should also be aware that some crowdfunding platforms permit donors to fund projects even if they are not registered charities.

Scammers may also steal funds from legitimate charities. This is especially common when fraudsters create fundraising pages across multiple platforms in order to collect money from donors unaware that their donation would be used fraudulently. This type of fraud can be difficult to detect but it is important to be aware.

The FBI warns the public to be careful of fundraising campaigns on Facebook and social media sites. These scams can use misleading images to promote their campaigns and steal your credit card and personal information. Moreover, they can divert much-needed donations away from charities and other causes that need them.

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