Internet scams are quickly becoming familiar, with victims losing thousands of dollars per day. Individuals and companies are at risk of online crime. Studies show that older adults are at a higher risk. Did you know you can use the internet safely? One of the best ways to be secure while browsing the internet is to understand common internet-based scams. Let’s find out more information below.
Social Media Scams
Apart from the never-ending comic and how-to videos nearly everybody is posting, social media has been awash with many posts. Including false vaccination data, sham coronavirus tests, and counterfeit Covid-19 cures.
According to researchers from the University of California, approximately 2,000 unethical social media posts were connected with financial scams. This was associated with the pandemic between March and May 2020. To avoid social media scams, refrain from deals that appear overly good. Be on the lookout for very cheap products that promise overnight results. Also, promotions that feature bulk sales or rapid and limited stock. All those could be a scam. Watch out for imported products because not all of them are legitimate.
On healthcare-related matters, imported medicine, COVID-19 tests, and vaccines can be risky. Users should be careful before trusting and even using them. Apart from being risky, selling such coronavirus-based health products from abroad is not legal.
It’s about time social media sellers adopt real stores to protect their businesses and keep potential customers secure. Avoid buying products directly from social media pages. Instead, search for their store or move on to the following advanced online seller with a legalized store.
The pandemic forced many people to remain at home. Many of these scam callers act as charities or government agencies. Citizens may trust such organizations with their financial and personal information. According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), over 131,000 complaints on pandemic-related fraud calls were reported. Still, that is a small proportion compared to the over three billion robocalls that American residents received at the pandemic’s peak. To avoid robocall scams, consider ignoring any call from unknown numbers. Allowing the call to go to voicemail is one way of knowing whether or not the caller is genuine.
Friends, for example, will leave you a message. However, if you can’t recognize the number, proceed to block and report it as a robocall scam. Always filter scam calls out. Many mobile phones come with an app or feature that allows you to filter. Use this to filter unknown numbers and callers that may be scam robocalls. The FTC has a detailed guide that you can use to block landline, iOS, and Android phones.
The existing pandemic has affected day-to-day life in various ways, including threats to internet security. A rising trend is the increasing scams pretending to be the CDC (centers for disease control and prevention). These offer deals on Covid-19 related products and selling fake cures.
One of the most effective ways of avoiding this scam is to strengthen the security of your devices. Whether you use mobile or iOS devices, you can improve their security by installing a robust VPN (Virtual Private Network.) Did you know VPN can be used on Windows to boost the security of your personal computer or laptop? A reliable VPN hides your IP address from third parties and your ISP. It also blocks any loopholes denying cybercriminals any chances of compromising your information or forwarding you scam emails.
You can avoid Coronavirus-related scams by deleting emails claiming to be from an official origin. Consider visiting the organization’s website or official pages for genuine and up-to-date information and current news. Do not click links in emails from suspect sources. Look for good and genuine deals to avoid safety threats.
What Action Should you Take if you get Scammed?
As technology advances, hackers are using new methods of scamming people. To be on the safe side, be careful when browsing through the internet. If you are a victim of a cyber scam, collect all the required information about the scam. Secondly, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). An expert will analyze and research the complaint and spread information to the relevant regulatory and law enforcement agencies.
Discuss popular internet scams with your loved ones and let them understand the importance of reporting similar cases. Recommend reliable antivirus software and encourage them to use VPN for enhanced protection.