There is always someone trying to make a cheap buck at the expense of another. Unfortunately, there are a ton of scams (especially online) and new ones are being created frequently. As a result, you need to always be on the defensive. Here are the 7 most often used dirty tricks to steal your money:
#1: Phishing Scams
Phishing is when cyber-criminals install malicious software onto your device after you click on a link that requests login information for a specific website. The problem is the messages can look extremely legitimate so it is important you follow-up with the actual company before providing any details.
#2: Wi-Fi Danger Zone
Unfortunately the desire to connect with Wi-Fi in public places has becomes so common that people often forget it makes you extraordinarily susceptible to your personal information being accessed by strangers, including crooks.
Skimmers are often discreet little devices placed on a card reader (such as one at a gas station) that reads all your credit card information once you run it. The thief returns later to snatch the skimmer and now has access to your credit card.
#4: False ‘Computer is Infected’ Warnings
No one wants a ‘Computer is Infected’ warning to pop up on their screen so naturally people panic when they get such a warning, even if it’s fake. The problem is the legitimate sounding antivirus program making the claim wants you to click so it can then scan your computer for login information that could eventually steal your money.
#5: Fake Social Media Profiles
Fake profiles are especially prevalent on Facebook and can even infiltrate monthly subscription services for dating. These scammers create fake profiles to try and befriend you then have access to all your personal details you share with actual friends.
#6: Fake Checks
A lot of transactions are made over the Internet including purchases made on eBay and Craigslist on a daily basis. The problem is the checks look extremely authentic. A common practice is the scammer ‘accidentally’ writes the check for a higher amount than the agreed sale. You deposit the check and everything runs through. The buyer than writes back asking if you could wire the extra money back. Weeks later the victim learns that the check is counterfeit, the wired money is lost and is now responsible for paying the bank back for the counterfeit check.
#7: Falling For Free Offers
Remember that nothing is really ever free. It is especially true on the Internet where if it sounds too good to be true — it almost certainly is.