This is an era of the internet and everything has gone digital. No one can doubt that. The influence of the internet has increased to such an extent that a lot of people in the urban area are completely dependent on it.
But, you need to remember that it is not just ordinary people and office workers that have taken a dive towards the internet, a lot of crimes are done through the internet as well. Some of them are Internet Hacking and Internet Scams.
Sadly a lot of us are still unaware of these crimes. Today we will be discussing the What and How to detect internet scams.
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What is an Internet Scam?
In simple words, an internet scam is a fraudulent activity done that is designed to swindle and deceive ordinary people and get money from them. While scamming is technically illegal, since you will be tricked into giving your details and money by your own volition, once you have been scammed, there is not much that the government or your financial offices can do to help you.
This means that if you get scammed for a large amount of money, your bank and the government will be unable to help you recover your money. So, it is important to know how to detect internet scams.
Common Types of Internet Scams and How to Detect Internet Scams
Although the internet is vast and there are multiple ways on how one can scam you on the internet, all of them fall under a few common categories based on the way they function. Due to this, the way internet scams are conducted depends on their types.
Let’s see what they are.
1) Phishing Scams
This is the most common type of internet scam out there. The way these scams work is by making tricking you into visiting a fraudulent site and giving them money.
The modus operandi of phishing scam is, “You send us some money a few times and we will be able to send you a large amount of money”. This sounds feasible since a lot of investments work in a similar way.
Due to this small chance of feasibility, there are a lot of victims of these scams. To detect these internet scams you need to look out for:
- An offer that is too good to be true
- Requesting for transfer of money via gift cards or other non-standard forms of payment
- Grammatical mistakes
- Non-official tone
- You have never applied for the lottery or offer (in the case the scammer is using these excuses)
- Request for your detail when there is no need to
Needless to say, it can be a bit hard to detect for those who are new to the internet. But still, if you read your emails and SMS carefully, you should be able to detect these.
As a side note, these phishing scams can impersonate the contacts that you know. So if someone sends you random links and they sound somewhat suspicious, don’t follow them without asking for details.
2) Fake Antivirus Warnings
This is one of the serious scams that not only invites viruses into your computer but can also lead you to pay tons of money. The basic format of this internet scam is rather simple.
They create a popup on websites, the pop-up either downloads malware or leads you to their link or both, then you will be told that your computer is infected by a virus (which it probably is by this time) and you are either asked to download antivirus software that doesn’t work and or give your information for a survey.
Now the thing is, so far you don’t have to pay money for anything. But the fake software that you may have downloaded will ask you for your money while corrupting your files. As a cherry on top, some of these fake antivirus software get downloaded without your consent.
So this is basically double trouble which not only corrupts your data but also forces you to pay for a virus that didn’t really exist. So if you want to detect this type of internet scam, you need to:
- Not visit shady websites (including the shady pornsites)
- Watch out for random popups
- Keep an eye for files that you didn’t download
- Have trusted antivirus software at your disposal
If you do all of these, then there is a good chance that you will be either notified by the software or notice these links before you click on them.
3) Business email compromise and Shopping Scams
Business and shopping scams are not the same type of internet scams but are similar in a lot of ways. Both of these rely on your gullibility and emotions to commit fraud. While the Shopping internet scam relies on greed and enticement, the business email compromise scam relies on fear and urgency to commit fraud.
These scams make either lure you or threaten you into visiting their designated link and pay for products or bills that don’t exist. These scammers who utilize these types of internet scams pretend to be genuine and impersonate real organizations and their email/text format. So due to these, it can be a bit hard for you to detect business email compromise scams and shopping scams.
But regardless of how hard it is to detect them, you can always check for the following signs:
- Check for the Email ID.
- Check for subtle grammatical errors like the letter “i” and the the repeat of some words like “The”. Real emails from shopping sites and the ones requesting payment of bills go through a rigorous grammatical and structural checking before being forwarded.
- Check for words that induce urgency in you like “immediately” “last chance” “warning”.
- Doubtful links and attachments
- Payment requests from non-standard methods
But as you may have guessed, these things are not easy to spot, especially in Nepal as not a lot of people know much about internet scams in Nepal. But they have been rising in frequency since the onset of the pandemic.
While internet scams are not all that frequent in Nepal, they have been on the rise. Thankfully a lot of us Nepali cannot pay internationally so we are somewhat safe from these scams. In this case, our inability to make international purchases has saved us from a lot of scams. That being said, there are a lot of scams done from Nepal as well. So it is important to be vigilant.
Hope you found this helpful. If you have any suggestions for us, do let us know in the comments. And as always thank you for reading till the end.