How to Protect Yourself From the Most Common Online Scams

The recent pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digitalization. However, this shift comes with increasing cybersecurity risks. Besides small and large organizations, many threat actors target individuals like you. Hence, it is vital to educate yourself about all the typical online scams and avoid them.

Identity Theft

One of the biggest scams targeting individuals is identity theft. The concept refers to stealing personal information to create fake identities. However, the recently emerging fraud is to create synthetic identities.

Fraudsters steal genuine information and combine it with fake details to create synthetic identities. They usually use these identities to open bank accounts and apply for loans.

Preventing Identity Thefts

The first thing to take care of to protect yourself from such scams is to avoid giving any personal information to anyone. The second thing is to use trustful digital platforms that leverage identity verification solutions.

Digital identity verification solutions, like the one provided by AU10TIX, come with several technology capabilities. For instance, they use deep learning and biometrics to ensure that the people you communicate with are who they claim to be.

Besides knowing who you are dealing with, you can also consider the following to safeguard your identity:

  • Secure your email
  • Use strong passwords and change them regularly
  • Keep an eye on your credit statements
  • Purchase only from reputable websites
  • Install anti-virus and other protection software
  • Avoid oversharing

Phishing or Vishing

Phishing refers to the process of duping a victim into taking some actions that lead to data theft. Scammers usually pretend to be someone you trust and try to steal data. The standard way to deploy phishing attacks is through emails and SMS. However, there are chances that someone might call you, which is called voice phishing or vishing.

For a phishing attempt, scammers will contact you like someone you know or can trust. For instance, the scammers will deceive you by saying they are from your bank, government, or popular companies like Amazon and Apple.

The message will have an urgent request and a link or attachment. If it’s a link, it will take you to a website where you will be asked to enter sensitive information. An extension is mostly a malware file that can corrupt your system.

Avoiding Phishing Scams

The best way to prevent phishing scams is by improving your email security. Another way is to closely read and analyze all the emails or messages you get with urgent action requirements. Also, carefully read the sender’s email address. Most trustful organizations use specific domain names. Hence, it can be a warning if a sender claims to be from a reputed organization, but the email address doesn’t have a domain name.

You should also avoid opening any unexpected link or attachment. Even if it seems like you are receiving the link or attachment from a known person, confirm it first using any other means of communication.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solutions can help you here. AI can scan and analyze emails or messages to detect spammy keywords based on historical data. It can also alert you if it identifies any email or message as spam.

Online Shopping Scams

Ecommerce is on the rise, especially after the recent pandemic. With social distancing norms in place, many people tried online shopping for the first time. It has created perfect bait for fraudsters.

Today, you will find several fake online stores that promise you quality for a price that is too good to be true. Some websites also go on to take personal information for delivery. The data then helps the fraudsters to create synthetic identities.

Avoiding Online Shopping Scams

Most online scams occur on too good to be genuine deals. Scammers pick popular items and give them at half or even lower prices than retailers. They are tempting enough to lure you into the trap. Once you fall prey, they will ask you to send a small amount of advance fee and also steal your financial information in the process. Hence, the best way to prevent online scams is by avoiding such deals.

You should also stick to making purchases from known and reputable eCommerce sites. Another way to prevent shopping scams is by researching about the website. Moreover, you should also use card alerts from banks and fraud detection technology solutions.

Conclusion

These are just some of the many possible ways fraudsters can scam you. With digitalization acceleration, they have endless opportunities to commit frauds, and they will embrace them with both hands. It is up to you how quickly you learn about these scams and educate yourself to avoid them.

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