With the dawn of the Information Age, internet scams have been on the rise. It’s easy to assume that you know every trick in the book when it comes to this kind of con, but it doesn’t take long for internet fraudsters to come up with another. These are a few of the most common internet scams to watch out for as you go about your daily browsing activity.
Phishing and Spoofing
This particular scam covers false electronic documents, whether they’ve been forged or are completely fake to begin with, and is probably the most common type of internet scam. Phishing generally comes in the form of fake emails or texts, and the goal is usually to get personal information that can be used against you, like passwords, bank account information, or other personal data. Spoofing is usually the falsification of a website, or trying to pass one site or document off as another. Most of the time, the scammer will attempt to pass themselves off as a specific company that you do business with, or someone who would be sending “URGENT!” emails to your inbox.
This is one of the most widely known type of internet scam. Malicious software can come in the form of malware or scareware that is meant to damage or disable your computer. Scareware specifically covers the types of malware that use scare tactics to con money out of victims. Ransomware is a form of this, usually delivered via phishing in the form of a computer virus. Once it takes over, the perpetrator will usually follow up with a demand for a ransom to be paid before the “system” is unlocked, or their virus is removed.
There are many types of privacy breaches that can occur. Many of them focus on email account compromises, whether they’re aimed at businesses or individuals, in an attempt to transfer funds or request fraudulent payments. Business email compromises (BEC) tend to be more sophisticated, while email account compromises (EAC) are usually aimed at the general public, and professionals who work for larger firms.
Data breaches can also occur at any level, personal or corporate, when secure data is spilled or leaked to an untrusted environment. These breaches are more likely to affect a large, random group of customers, depending on how they’re leaked and where they’re leaked from.
Denial of Service
This kind of attack is geared towards individual users, blocking them from accessing systems or networks that they’re authorized to access. Denial of service (DoS) attacks, or distributed denial of service (DDos) attacks, are generally aimed at a larger platform, preventing all registered users from accessing it or trying to crash the system’s servers entirely.
Internet safety has become even more important, now that such tools are available to scammers. It’s important to watch your personal information, and be careful with the types of emails and links you open. Tools have gotten more sophisticated, allowing scammers to impersonate loved ones or legitimate businesses, and as such, we need to respond in kind.
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