Three most common internet scams and frauds

3 most common Internet Scams and Frauds


As Internet becomes more and more popular around the globe, internet scams and frauds are increasing exponentially as well. It is important that you are fully aware of these scams and frauds so that you won’t become a victim of them. In this article, I will discuss the most common type of internet scams and frauds.

Let’s look at what an internet scam or fraud is?

Internet scam or internet fraud

Any type of scheme which is fraudulent in nature and done online constitutes an internet scam or internet fraud. The most common online services being used for this purpose are websites, message boards, chat rooms, email etc.

Now I’ll explain the most common types doing the rounds on the internet.

1)    Nigerian scam

It is likely that you might have received an email telling you about some rich person’s money being held up in a foreign bank account. The sender will request you to give them a helping hand in accessing this money. In order to lure the recipient, it will be stated in the email that, out of this huge amount, the recipient will be given a huge sum as a sort of commission. The sender usually claims that they are sending this email from US or from the west but they are actually originating from Nigeria.

It might look funny but a lot of people have fallen victim for this internet scam over the years. Innocent people who respond to these emails will subsequently be told to deposit few thousands of dollars as a deposit. The truth is – Once you make the payment you won’t get any further correspondence from these people. So next time you receive such an email understand it’s an internet scam and don’t bother to respond.

2)      Phishing scam

Of all the scams on the internet, this is the most dangerous. In this type of scam, you will come across cyber criminals sending you legitimate looking emails or instant messages and make fraudulent attempts to steal your bank account username and passwords, credit card information etc.

You will be made to think that the email is being sent to you by your bank, legitimate shopping site or a similar institution. The logo and page elements will be an exact replica of the actual page and you won’t suspect anything. However, when you click on links sent by these emails and update your information, they will be sent to a server other than your bank and thus your security is jeopardized. By the time you have realized your mistake, the damage would have already been done.

Tip: Always verify the source prior to entering any personal information online. If you put your computer mouse on top of the link, you can easily see that it will take you to a fraudulent site. If you are suspicious, contact your bank or shopping site or the company that it is pretending to be over phone and confirm its authenticity. One other way to be a victim in this fraud is by manually typing in the web address in to your web browser such as internet explorer or Firefox.

3)      Lottery scams

The lottery scam is another common type of internet scam. You will receive an email which declares you as the winner of a particular online lottery and the amount will be an incredibly huge amount. In the scam email, it will be stated that your email became a random winner in the draw conducted.

In most cases, the scam email will also furnish details of the person to get in touch with, in order to claim the prize money. Apart from the email address of the sender, all other details will be fake. In the lottery scam there are usually two steps involved. Once you respond, they will ask you to confirm your personal details like name, address etc. Secondly, they will demand a small amount of money in the name of say, tax or handling charges etc. Once the payment is received, all communication with the scammers ceases and you will realize it’s an internet scam.

Be vigilant while you are on the internet. While the internet is a great tool, it can land you in trouble if you are not prudent enough. Always look to inform yourself about latest internet scams and internet frauds. Please let me know your comments or questions about this article.

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