If you ever feel depressed and happen to open your personal mail account at that time, you'll find mails from lottery companies giving you money, banks offering you loans, women/men seeking you from ages, and what not. These mails that make you feel so lucky pressed Google to create a separate folder for them called "spam". However, spammers do manage to fool Google's intelligence and succeed in reaching your inbox even now. While many adopt the smart way and ignore such spammy mails, a large majority of people fall for such scrupulous mails.
Not one email account is spared by these by these Internet Dacoits who aim to somehow lay their hands on your personal information like your bank account details. It is not easy to find a way to tackle them. If you happen to be their target, they'll adopt ways to fool you which you could have never thought of. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. So, instead of falling for those traps and then wondering how to get out of it, it is better to get yourself armed against it beforehand by understanding all the different ways of identifying different types of internet scams. To help you do that, we've got this little list containing of 10 of the most common internet and Email prevalent on the internet.
1. Random Lottery Scam
This is by far the most common type of Email scam you're likely to come across. In this, you receive an email from an account depicting some foreign lottery company with a congratulatory subject written to catch your eyes.
Firstly, you can check the sender's email address to check whether the mail has been sent by an individual or a company. Secondly, you can simply do a google check to see if the lottery actually exists or not. However, it might be a well documented scam that may come with the name of some genuine lottery company. Finally, the easiest way to figure it out is by checking if it is asking you to fill in your details somewhere. If that happens, the mail is just an attempt to phish you and leave you with an empty bank account.
How to Prevent
You just need to remember this simple logic, you can't win a lottery without entering it. Even if you do enter, the chances are next to zero. So, before jumping out of excitement and landing yourself in trouble, use your senses and save yourself from this Email scam.
2. Work-From-Home Job Scam.
This is one scam that has trapped many innocent people desperately looking for ways to earn money online. In this, you're offered a job with a handsome earning and all you're asked to do is some simple online shopping on some website or something.
Firstly, if you're asked to pay upfront then you're likely in to get duped by some online fraudster. Secondly, you might get a fraudulent cheque to make you believe it is true and then maybe asked to pay an amount to get you your training material or something. By the time you realise the cheque you received has bounced, you'd have already paid a handsome amount to the fraudster, handed in your bank details, and also caught yourself up with a penalty for trying to encash a fraudulent cheque.
How to prevent?
Again, simply by using your common sense. If you haven't applied for a job, you won't get one. Also, if you're asked to spend money upfront online, do not pay at all.
3. Fake Donation Scam.
Social Media has brought in a lot of new ways for online frauds to loot you. On your Social media account, you may often come across posts asking to get shared and the social media company will pay a certain amount for every share. Also, the post may contain some bank account details for you to donate. These posts are an attempt to earn money through fake donations or some phishing trick.
Detecting these scams are simple, you just need to look at it and make out if the account posting it is relevant or not. The best way to do that is to check when was the account created.
How to prevent?
Prevention is simple. Donate online only through registered Organisations like the Red Cross or UNICEF or any other trusted name. No matter how real the donation cry looks, you're not supposed to fall for it.
4. Nigerian Cheque Scam.
You may receive an email from some "Sir Arthur Von-Monsoon" or "Barrister Frank N. Stein" with a subject requesting you to help recover a large amount of money from some overseas bank. In return of your favour you're promised with a reward of some percentage of the amount which is enough to woo you reply with your bank details. In worse cases, you might be asked to send some processing fees again and again to get the big prize.
Accounts with such names exist in no part of the world. Royal names or services have many better ways of getting their problems sorted than emailing you. All you need to do to confirm that it is a spam is by simply doing a google check. Google's database has almost every royal services listed in its database.
How to prevent.
Once you receive these emails, report spam and you're not likely to see those mails again in your email inbox.
5. The Survey Scam
What can be termed as one of the most genuine looking scams fooling people across the internet, The Survey Scam has had a fair share of spamming people's email inbox. In this, you receive a mail asking you to undertake a survey for some company's promotion and in return you'll get a handsome reward. It all looks good as it is not asking for any of your personal info. However, it does ask you to pay some registration fees which makes it obvious that you're in with some trouble. The scam is way more serious than this at times, it attempts for an identity theft of the receiver.
Firstly, do a google check to see if any such survey exists or not. Secondly, unless and until you've enrolled for some survey list, you'll never get any survey mails from any company.
How to prevent
Prevention is highly sensitive in these scams. The moment you click on the link in the mail, a malware gets installed on your device which signals their success in their attempt of your identity theft. The most important thing you're supposed to do is avoid clicking on any links you receive from unknown senders.
6. Online Banking or Payment Wallet Scams
This is by far the gravest scam you're likely to come across on the Internet. In this, you receive a mail from an account that has a similar name to the official Bank name or any official wallet you might be using with a subject like “Act now, or your account will be deactivated,” or “Security breach on your account.” The moment you read this, you tend to panic and open the link in the suspicious mail and go on filling in your details on a fake website.
Detecting these scams is a tad more difficult. First you need to go to your official bank's or Wallet's website and check if that matches with the link you've just received. Again, you gotta trust google with its database as the website it redirects you will actually be the genuine one.
How to prevent.
Detecting the scam is almost as good as preventing these scams. For sure once you've detected that the mail is a scam you're not likely to fall for it the next time. However, once you detect it you should immediately report the sender, mark spam, and delete the mail.
7. Hijacked Profile Scam.
Social Media profile hacking is easier for the scamsters than we imagine to be. You might receive a message from one of your known person asking for your personal information. These scams are difficult to figure out and mostly has the person successfully trapped.
The first thing you're likely to do is open the account or profile you're receiving the messages from and check if it's the real person or someone pretending to be that person. Secondly check if there is a sudden change in the person's activity. If yes, then you're good to reject your fake friends messages.
How to prevent.
Facebook constantly reminds you to only add people whom you know personally. The reason being these scams. You might think it is some cool dude or funky babe but it is just another account trying to jump on your account and personal details. So, to avoid these troubles you need to ensure your friendlist has people you know personally.
8. Quiz Scam
More recently you might have come across different posts such as "know which character resembles you" or "what movie resembles your life story" in your news feed. When you click on it you and check the answer you get some random bot generated reply which is almost common for all and you end it with a tinge of excitement. In the process, you end up giving your mobile number to the quiz provider and in return you find a certain amount charged from your mobile account.
The link/app/post is suspicious enough to identify it as a scam. So, all you gotta do is not fall for it.
How to prevent.
Do not click on suspicious ads that appear in your timeline. Also, suggest your friends who do that to avoid doing it.
9. Hidden URL Scam.
Because of Twitter's limited word count, many people use TinyURL to shorten the length of the links they wish to post. However, scamsters use this to land you on a website that gets a malware downloaded on your device.
Simply visit the account first that has posted the link before you click on the link itself. Check if the dp and cover of that account are good enough to declare them suspicious. Check their previous posts and decide whether they're spamming your timeline or not. If yes, then do not click on the link no matter what the link promises to show you.
How to prevent.
In a bid to stretch your followers list do not simply allow anyone to follow you or follow back people to get yourself some followers. Keep a check on who follows you and remove/block people whom you find suspicious before they end up taking over your account.
This is by far the most dangerous scams prevalent across the social media platform. In this, you get a message from someone in your friend list saying "OMG! Is this a naked picture of you?”. You tend to panic and open the link without a second thought. By the time you realise what is happening, you return to the log in page and log in again with your credentials thinking it's one of Facebook's glitches or something. However, you don't realise you've just left your details with some fraudster with your last login.
Messages from people who are not likely to click your picture are obviously going to be something wrong. Checking the profile you get the message from before opening the link is enough to give you a hint that something is wrong.
How to prevent.
You simply need to follow the rules of using Social Media to protect yourself online and enjoy a safe experience. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all other social media platforms are designed to help you share your moments with the people you want to share it with. So to protect yourself and enjoy the social media experience in its true sense, include people in your account whom you know personally.
More and more people are joining social media everyday and not all of them have any knowledge of how to use it properly. To help our people enjoy the seamless benefits of internet, we at the Indian Cyber Army try our best to educate people about the possible threats and spams that threatens to spoil their experience and protect themselves from all such stuff. We hope this little piece of text helps you stay protected from all the major scams and spams spoiling your mails and social media accounts. For any further assistance, drop us a mail on email@example.com and call our cyber crime helpline number 9868600000 we will get back to you with the best possible help.