The creation of the internet has made it possible for people to connect with one another across great distances at the speed of data. It has allowed for our daily lives to become streamlined with services like Uber, DoorDash, Amazon, etc. However, when the internet first arrived to home computers nationwide, most were extremely cautious of what information was available. With use comes a feeling of security as we willingly allow strangers to deliver our food or pick us up in their vehicles. Though most users online are normal people like you, we can often forget that there are inherent dangers associated with the internet. Cybercriminals often prey upon our comfort and create scam websites or online scams to trick people into giving away personal information. Read on to learn about the three most common online scams.
Common Online Scam #1 – Phishing
Phishing is one of the oldest and most common online scams, but it is still extremely effective. A phishing scam takes place when someone impersonates someone who is trustworthy like a government agency, a security company, or even just a convincing person whom you grow to trust. The impersonator will attempt to get you to hand over personal information by various means. Phishers can use a malicious link via email, social media messaging, or other messaging apps like WhatsApp. However, the most common medium phishers use is email. If you see a suspicious email requesting your personal information like a password, social security number, or bank account number, it may be a good idea to delete it.
Common Online Scam #2 – Fake Anti-Virus Software
If you have ever been browsing the internet and have seen pop ups claiming that your “computer is in danger”, it’s most likely a scam. These pop ups will most likely take you to their website to download their software which is designed to look like a real, reputable security software. Unfortunately, this downloadable software proves to be the exact opposite. Once you download it, your computer or phone could become exposed to malware, ransomware, and other cyberthreats. If you come across any of these types of pop ups, simply disregard them as they are most likely a scam. Luckily, there are many trustworthy antivirus software options for purchase that will protect against scams such as these. Some of them are:
Common Online Scam #3 – Tech Support Scam
Contacting tech support when you have an issue is frustrating enough but getting scammed in the process can send anyone over the edge. Tech support impersonators will contact a user to tell them that their computer or device is infected with an ambiguous malware. They will then prompt the user to download software that lets the impersonator take control of their computer or device. Once the impersonator has control, they will insert a virus or give the illusion that something is wrong and ask for money to fix the issue. Big companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc., will never call you stating that there is an issue with your device. In most cases, they may send an email stating for you to call them. So, if you ever get a call, messaging pop up, or email from someone claiming there is an issue with your device, it’s most likely a scam.
Defending Consumers Against Online Scams
The internet has become a fact of life for Americans, but online scams shouldn’t be. McCune Law Group, McCune Wright Arevalo Vercoski Kusel Weck Brandt APC (MLG), has more than 30 years of experience litigating on behalf of wronged consumers. Our team of Government UDAP Civil Penalties attorneys specialize in protecting the rights of customers in the marketplace against unscrupulous companies large and small. With more than $1 billion recovered for our clients, we can assist you in attaining justice.
Contact us today by calling (909) 345-8110 or by completing the form to talk to a team member if you believe you have fallen victim of an online scam!