Internet scams are constantly changing and evolving to attempt to trick people into giving out their personal information, financial account details, and even their money. Internet scams are huge business for scammers that easily cost people and businesses billions of dollars every year.
Top Scam #1: COVID-19 Scams
Anything related to COVID-19 and the global pandemic has become a new opportunity for scammers. They are taking steps to make their scams look like they came from a legitimate source in emails, text messages, and pop-up ads on websites. Some of the more common COVID-19 scams include:
- Fake websites that feature face masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and other products in high demand.
- Fake financial offers like ones to refinance your home, easy approvals for personal loans, and so on. Many of these scams look real and were sent by legitimate financial institutions.
- Fake health organizations that are attempting to obtain your personal information by offering free COVID testing, vaccinations, and other such medical services.
- Fake government agencies that claim to have details about stimulus payments, tax payments, and so on. The most important thing to remember is a government agency will never call, email, or text. They will notify you by mail when they have information to share that affects you directly.
- Bogus nonprofit organizations that are seeking donations to provide financial relief, food, and medicine for those in need. If you want to donate to a nonprofit, do so directly, never through a link provided in an email or text message.
Top Scam #2: Disaster Relief Fund Scams
Many scammers are disguising their scams as disaster relief funds to help those in need. They may look legitimate and real, but in reality, if you unwittingly make a donation, you have just given the scammer your personal and financial information.
Top Scam #3: Fake Tech Support Pop-Ups
This scam has been around for quite some time, but scammers are taking advantage of more people working remotely from home. If you mistype a website address, you may be taken to a page that says your computer is infected or specific threats have been detected.
There may be a phone number on the pop-up or a link to click on for remote support. However, DO NOT call or click the link.
Some of these scams even make it impossible to close the web browser without shutting down the computer. After rebooting your computer and reopening your browse, DO NOT restore your previous session.
Top Scam #4: Grandparent Scams
Grandparents are being targeted more so by scammers during the pandemic since most are socially distancing from their children and grandchildren. One particular scam is sent by text or email and looks like it came from a family member. It states the person currently has COVID and to please send money to help pay bills, buy food, etc.
Scammers are always seeking potential vulnerabilities, and new ways to exploit them. All users of all digital devices, including all those near to you, at all times (even now, as you read this) are targets. By being aware of these current scams, you can safeguard your personal and financial information.
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