5 Types of Internet Fraud to Watch Out For

Anonymity, for starters, is one of the best features of the Internet. Unfortunately, this feature is also the one that is most abused. Prowling amongst the billions of users who are online around the world in every single day are scammers.

These people are responsible for a variety of crimes committed online under the veil of anonymity that the Internet provides them. They target a wide demographic – but most of their victims are people who have significant financial reserves and can afford to shell out some money to someone they thought they can trust.

Being an investor, you need to be aware of these 5 types of fraudulent scams on the Internet so that you can avoid them entirely.

Romance Scams

They say love can find its way to you by whatever means, but a scam is not one of those. Romance scams are perpetrated by individuals who look to take away thousands of dollars from gullible people under the guise of starting a long-distance relationship.

The scam starts off like any relationship would: the two parties will “accidentally” meet through their social media profiles including dating sites. They will get to know each other and, when they get comfortable, the scammer will seek financial assistance and promise to pay the money back. Of course, they won’t do so.

Investment Scams

This type of scam is even more dangerous. It is similar to all those fake, “get rich quick,” pyramid schemes that have been existence for more than a century now. Scammers will pretend to present people with a way to raise the value of their money significantly in just a short time. In reality, they are just using other people’s money to pay off their early investors.

As the scam grows, more and more people will invest but they won’t be able to pay off everybody. The scammers then disappear, taking with them most of their investors’ money.

Merchandise Scams

Merchandise scams are prevalent in e-merchant sites like Amazon and eBay, where people can bid to purchase a product. Criminals post a highly attractive product and invite people to bid. When there’s a winning bidder, the scammers will then demand for the full payment first before they supposedly ship the product.

When they do, it’ll be a different product and one with a very low value. However, they’ve already gotten away with the price that the winning bidder had to pay for.

Identity Theft

Have you looked at your email address’ Spam folder lately? There’s a good reason why your e-mail provider filters those messages, because they’re a haven for phishing scams. Phishing sites pretend to be legitimate sites and will ask for your sensitive data – so that they can impersonate you and use your details to perpetrate other crimes.

Inheritance Scams

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Inheritance scams target people by sending emails or even letters to physical mailboxes telling people that someone wants them to inherit an insanely huge amount of money. All they have to do is just give a bank account along with some personal details and the money will be wired.

Instead of getting the inheritance money, victims instead have their own savings siphoned away from their accounts.

Of course, these are just five of the many scams that are perpetrated using the Internet. It pays to be informed so do your research, read whatever news and informational materials you can find, and be meticulous; it goes a long way.

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Photo credit : pixabay.com

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