Internet fraud is perhaps the most common form of cybercrime. These hackers have constantly utilized the Internet to steal the identities and personal information of their victims. Hackers can also use unsolicited emails, Websites, forums, message boards, chat rooms, and social media Websites in order to gain access to their victims’ personal information.
The reason why Internet fraud is so dangerous is because of the fact that these hackers use different techniques each time they perform a crime – But there are still a bunch of patterns that you need to keep an eye out for. And when you’re armed with the best advice and common sense, it’s highly possible for you to prevent yourself from falling for an Internet fraud.
Internet Fraud Cases in 2016
- Fraudsters have disguised themselves as people who work for the government, in order to convince their victims into installing forms of malware and ransomware. These files can encrypt themselves into their victims’ computers. Fraudsters can also start calling education establishments, and tell them that they’re from the Department of Education, when they’re not. They will ask their victims to hand over their personal email addresses or phone numbers, telling them that they need them to send out guidance forms to a higher authority. These guidance forms will vary from exam guidance, to a mental health assessment.
Internet fraudsters will also claim that they have to send out the forms to an authority, and not to a generic inbox, since they supposedly contain sensitive information. These emails will contain an attachment – A Zip file disguised as a Word or an Excel document. It turns out that these files actually contain ransomware, which has the ability to encrypt files and ask for the victim’s cash after downloading. Similar types of scams have actually been made recently by hackers who claim to have come from the Department for Work and Pensions and telco.
- Police departments have warned the public to keep an eye out for a ‘Secret Sister’ exchange gift scam, which is currently making its rounds on popular social networking Websites such as Facebook. These scams will start off as a Facebook post, asking the victim to purchase them a gift costing $10 or more. They will ask for your name to add it to a list, and promise to bring back 36 gifts in return. These scams are highly popular on Facebook at the moment, especially since it’s still the Holiday season.
This type of Internet fraud is the same to how a pyramid scheme works. The Police Department actually calls this scam a modernized version of the ‘chain letter scam’, and is considered to be illegal. Chain letters are considered to be a form of gambling, and sending these emails actually violates postal laws.
This is how the form of Internet fraud works: If a customer ends up buying one gift for a stranger, they will end up receiving lots of gifts.