Online Scam & Fraud – Semalt Expert Knows How To Minimize Exposure

The website plays a major role in people's lives in the world today. Many websites offer genuine content and products. However, there are also others that online users should look out for all the same. The reason is due to the increased fraud and scam activities conducted online.

Oliver King, the leading expert from Semalt, provides the issues that can help to tackle online fraud and scam.

Most Common Internet Scams

The manner in which scammers try to gain information from unsuspecting users continues to diversify. The following is a list of ten top internet and email scams.

1. Nigerian scam

These are emails from a Nigerian who claims to be of royalty and expecting an inheritance and needs help to acquire it.

2. Guaranteed Credit Card Acceptance or Loan

They offer guaranteed acceptance of a credit card or loan. They may look believable since some credit card companies do charge a fee.

3. Lottery Scam

These are where victims continue to play sweepstakes but never win.

4. Phishing

These are links used to redirect users to websites where they try to convince them to part with personal information using tempting offers.

5. Overpayment scam

It involves stolen non-authorized money orders provided for expensive items. Once deposited into the bank, the scammer asks for the balance together with the item. Later is when the institution notified of a declined payment.

6. Career opportunities

Scammers offer an opportunity for employment and request bank details for commission payments. They take this opportunity to steal identities for further fraud.

7. Charitable donations

These benefit from the charitable nature of individuals where people send money to non-existence charities.

8. Free holiday

Travel scams may seem free, only to realize that they are expensive endeavors upon sign up and arrival.

9. Pyramid scheme

These are rich quick schemes with a slight variation that scammers reach out through emails.

10. Make money from the comfort of the house

These are sometimes genuine, but some scammers may want to take advantage such as sending money in exchange for juicy tips. They may also send programs which run multiple ad windows which are more advantageous to spammers.

Online Scam and Fraud Stats

Fraud involves pretenses, using a false identity, or creating counterfeit services or products. People are asked to care about minding the instance of this happening since it affects their security as well. Cybercrime is a constant threat and can be as damaging as someone breaking into one's home. The average cost per individual has gone up by 50% from $197 in 2012 to $298 in 2013 with attacks increasing in sophistication. The cost to the US is $113 billion.

Recognizing Online Financial Fraud

The most common types of online auctions and e-store cries are non-delivery, misrepresentation, and the triangulation or mule scam. These involve some form of payment, and the goods arrive with no problems. Later, authorities inform that payment was illegal.

Other forms include:

  • Black market and counterfeit goods
  • Shill bidding in auctions where owners, together with accomplices, bid on their property to hike prices
  • Escrow service fraud which involves fake websites
  • The counterfeit payment plot

Contest and Romance Fraud

  • Online lotteries, Contests, and Sweepstakes
  • Prizes and Sweepstakes scams
  • Online dating scams
  • Foreign lotteries
  • Reshipping using U.S. residents
  • Mail Order Bride scams

Exploiting Human Nature

Spammers and fraudsters understand the human nature and exploit it for their advantage. Some of the scams used against people in difficult situations include:

  • Advance fee scams
  • Charities fraud
  • Internet pharmacy fraud
  • Other online frauds such as job scams, investment fraud, Nigerian scams, pyramid scams, online advertising fraud

Younger and Older Internet Users

Although online fraud and scams may be worrying and sometimes confusing, it is imperative that all individuals remain proactively protected by being alert, skeptical, and always questioning things that seem odd. To protect kids and older adults, one must trust nobody, lock down information, always be aware, defend all the gears and gadgets, seize teachable moments.

Online Fraud Risks for Business

Any business that does its activities online is at risk of fraudulent activity. Some of the tips to prevent it from such risk include:

  • Secure and protect all assets
  • Do not mix business with pleasure
  • Lock down the IT infrastructure
  • Dedicate a single computer to banking
  • Close any points of entry into the company
  • Conduct basic background checks on employees
  • Coverage is crucial

Fighting Back

Members can make use of the National Fraud Information Center, The National Cyber Security Alliance, The Business Software Alliance, and GetNetWise. The FBI recently teamed up with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).