What are the current online scams?
There are many different types of online scams, and new ones are constantly being developed. Some common examples include:
- Phishing scams: These are attempts to trick individuals into giving away personal information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers, by disguising as a trustworthy source (e.g. bank, social media, etc.)
- Investment scams: Scammers may attempt to convince individuals to invest in fake or non-existent businesses or products.
- Social media scams: Scammers may use social media platforms to impersonate friends or family members in order to trick individuals into sending money or personal information.
- Tech support scams: Scammers may pose as technical support representatives and attempt to convince individuals to give them remote access to their computers or pay for unnecessary technical support services.
- Online shopping scams: Scammers may set up fake online stores or sell counterfeit products, or may take payment for goods or services and not deliver them.
- Lottery and sweepstakes scams: Scammers may claim that individuals have won a prize or lottery, but in order to claim the prize, the individual must pay a fee or provide personal information.
- Business email compromise (BEC) or Email account compromise (EAC) : Scammers can use sophisticated tactics to gain unauthorised access to an organisation’s email account and use that to impersonate a company executive or vendor to trick employees into transferring money or sensitive data to the attacker.
It is important to be aware of these and other types of online scams and to take steps to protect yourself and your personal information.
What can I do to avoid online scams
- To avoid online scams, you can take the following steps:
- Be skeptical of unsolicited emails or messages, especially those that ask for personal information.
- Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown sources.
- Use a reputable antivirus software and keep it updated.
- Be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true.
- Use secure websites and check for the padlock icon in the address bar when making online transactions.
- Be careful of phishing scams and look out for suspicious messages or emails that ask for personal information.
- Do research and read reviews before doing business with an unfamiliar company.
- Use a credit card for online transactions as it offers more protection than a debit card.
- Avoid public WiFi networks when entering sensitive information.
- Keep your computer and mobile device updated with the latest security patches.
Who should I contact if I am a victim of an online scam
If you are a victim of an online scam, you should take the following steps:
Report the scam to Action Fraud: Action Fraud is the UK's national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, and they can provide you with advice and guidance on what to do next. You can report the scam online at Action Fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Contact your bank or credit card company: If you have provided your financial information or used your credit or debit card to make a payment, you should contact your bank or credit card company to report the fraud and request that they cancel your card and issue a new one.
Inform the company or website that was impersonated: If the scam involved a fake website or business, you should inform the real company or website that their name and details were used in the scam.
Inform the relevant regulatory bodies: If the scam involved a specific sector such as investment, insurance, or regulated profession, you should contact the relevant regulatory body to report the scam.
Inform the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if your personal data was compromised in the scam.
It's important to keep any evidence of the scam such as emails, text messages, and any other correspondence that you had with the scammers, as this will be useful when reporting the scam to the relevant authorities.