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According to recent data from an online survey conducted in December 2020 of 8,653 U.S. consumers, the highest percentage of consumers (30 percent) of all identity theft victims were between 35 and 44 years of age. If we look at overall statistics, 37 percent of consumers have been victims of application fraud and 38 percent faced account takeovers just in the last two years. The total losses from frauds and scams are estimated to reach a staggering $721.3 billion in 2021. IT Support Joplin can you help you stay protected from online scams.

Most Common Online Scams

Phishing email scams

Phishing emails remain one of the most popular forms of disseminating malicious attachments, according to recent data. Phishing scam techniques are constantly evolving as scamsters look for new ways to dupe targets into revealing valuable or sensitive information such as credentials for bank account, social network, work account, cloud storage and more. In general, any attempt at phishing including emails, spoofed websites etc. are made to look exactly like a known source to the victim. These could appear to be from official sources such as an email from a company leader, influential industry leader, bank institutions or other financial authority, well-known brands, companies, non-profits or social networks representatives for users. Not only are these emails doctored to look and sound exactly like those from the genuine source, the hackers also use additional social engineering techniques to convince you to click on the link, spoofed website, webforms or, the attachment contained in the email. Hackers also use a sense of urgency or try to manipulate the victim emotionally in order to get them to respond as quickly as possible. Managed IT Services Joplin can provide enterprise-grade protection against phishing scams.

Greeting card scams

Getting scammed through a greeting card may be one of the meanest experiences one can have, but unfortunately, it is on the rise. Greeting card scams are typically used to inject malware into the target system and harvest users’ personal or work data. These scams are usually successful because unwary users often click on the link without bothering to double-check. This kind of scam is also popular in order to harness computing resources to launch botnet attacks and for other types of crimes involving identity theft and data breach.

Bank loan scam

It is becoming increasingly difficult for laymen to discern between genuine bank offers and “too good to be true” pre-approved schemes that seemingly guarantee large amounts of money with little or no collateral or even background checks. The trick the scammers use in Online Scams for Money to dupe people is the “mandatory” processing fees.

Lottery scam

Won a huge amount of money in a lottery or sweepstakes that you never signed up for? This scam is probably older than the Internet itself and usually involves the winner paying some small fees just for processing the winnings. If we were to talk of popular Online Scams Examples, lottery scams will top the list.

Fake antivirus software

Pop-up warning screens on your computer can give a pause to even the most seasoned Internet users. This is especially true if the warning screen tells you that your computer has been infected. There is probably some subconscious element in most users’ minds where the old Windows type of warning screens used to pop up in the exact same way to warn of system failures. Many online scams are designed specifically in that manner in order to elicit the exact same reaction of panic and urgency from users. The number one thing for users to keep in mind in such situations is to never click on the pop-up window. Instead, they should run the antivirus software that their system is hopefully equipped with.

How to avoid an Online Scam?

Always verify contact information

If you have genuine doubts about the sanctity of a website, it is generally a good idea to double check the phone number and the email address listed on the site. If you get no response or they just don’t work, you should avoid the site as you may end up getting your information stolen.

Protect your personal information

Most people who have grown up in the era of handing out business cards to everyone, have trouble understanding the concept of keeping their digital information completely private. But as online risks expand, it is necessary for users to safeguard personal information much more carefully and only give them to sources that they absolutely trust. Always remember that digital identity is extremely valuable and can be hard to recover once stolen.

Always update your antivirus software

Making use of antivirus software should be second nature to usuals by now. If you’re not already using the software, it is past time to sign up for a reliable antivirus program. It is always preferable to choose a paid program over a free antivirus software as the former are historically more dependable. Although these can’t protect you completely from all forms of cyber-attacks, they are very useful in containing low-level attacks, common online scams and will always warn you of sites that are not trustworthy and block malicious downloads.

Use reliable VPNs and avoid public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi may be cheap or free to use, but they should never be used when you are dealing with sensitive information related to your person or work. Just avoid using public networks when dealing with information such as bank accounts or work information. Additionally, you should also consider using a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that can safeguard your Internet usage from all sorts of prying eyes. Managed Cloud Services Joplin can help you choose the right VPN for your business or individual needs.