Online scams such as the Monzo scam text can steal money or your personal information. Here are a few tips to help you avoid them.
Always be on guard and only share personal information with messaging apps that are known to be secure.
Be careful with emails
If you receive a suspicious email, it is best to delete the message and ignore any links. Many scams contain malicious software and other files which can damage your computer or steal personal information. Emails can also spoof the return address, making them appear to come from a friend or family member when they really didn’t.
Many online scams involve phishing, which involves tricking you into sharing sensitive information with cybercriminals. This can include your credit card details, login information for your bank accounts and other services, or personal information. This is often done by email, but can also be conducted over the phone, through text messages, or via social media. These scams are usually designed to steal money or personal information. They can be very convincing.
Some of these scams make use of fake websites that look similar to those you regularly use from popular retailers or services. These scammers then try to trick you into clicking on a link that downloads malware or takes you to an illegitimate website to steal your information.
Other common scams involve impostor scams, where cybercriminals pretend to be someone you know or trust to get your money or personal information. This can be done over the phone, through emails, letters, text messages or faxes. They might even call you to claim a prize you’ve won or say you need to provide information to access money or pay taxes on a winning lottery ticket.
Cybercriminals may also take advantage your good intentions through disaster relief scams. They will use fake emails posing as charities or government agencies to convince you to donate funds for those affected by natural disasters. They will usually ask for your credit card number and/or passwords in order to complete the transaction. This puts your financial security at risk.
Check the domain name
If the domain name of a website looks familiar or similar to an existing brand, this should raise a red alert. Check to see when the website was created and who owns it. Then, enter the website address into a business lookup service to confirm whether it belongs to a reputable company or not.
You can also spot a fake site by checking its social media presence. If a website has no Facebook page or only a few followers, that’s a bad sign. Scammers will often create fake Facebook pages to attract the attention of unsuspecting people.
Fake websites can take many forms. They can be standalone sites or popups that appear on legitimate online shops (clickjacking). No matter how they are presented, their aim is the same: to trick you into giving away sensitive information or downloading malware. They can also make you buy products that don’t even exist, and take your money.
Website scams employ a variety tactics to trick users. The most common ones include using emotions, such as fear, urgency, and optimism. They’ll tell you about urgent car insurance or bank account issues, for example, and urge you to act quickly before it’s too late. Some websites impersonate government agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles to steal personal information, including driver’s license numbers.
While it is not a foolproof way to identify a fake site, you can check if a website is legit by checking its security certificate. The padlock icon will reveal the details of the certificate, including the name of the person who issued it. If the website looks like it represents a well-known company, but the security certificate states something different, this is a warning.
Don’t click on links
Scammers steal money and information using technology. They can pose as government agencies, businesses that you deal with, or even your family and friends. They can also adapt their tactics to the current times. They can also change their tactics to suit the times.
Scams are prevalent all year long and can affect anyone of any age. Some are very sophisticated, and they trick you into believing that they are legitimate. A website that looks like HMRC may ask you to pay money for documents or services you can get for free. Some scams include bogus ‘free trial’ offers, identity theft or phishing.
Others are more personal. Social media scams have been a problem for many consumers, with losses from this type of scam reaching $770 million last year alone. These scams often involve posts that look like legitimate competitions or aspirational vacation spots but are designed to get you to click on a link. Cybercriminals can install malware to steal your data or monitor your computer activity once you click on a link.
You should always be suspicious of links in emails or a text message, even those sent by family and friends. The smallest typo or strange characters may indicate that a link might not be what it appears to be. If you are unsure, contact the company using their official information or their website. You should also avoid clicking any links while using public WiFI, especially when logging in to financial accounts or doing online shopping.
Scammers will even target specific groups like the elderly or people with health conditions. They can pretend that they are a friend or family member who needs help, or someone from the local community looking for donations. If they get you to give them your personal details, then they can access your account or steal money using your credit cards and online accounts.
Don’t send any money
Never send money to someone who contacts you without warning, whether it’s via email, SMS, or phone call. Especially if they ask you to use a mobile payment app or wire transfer, which can be irreversible. This is one of the most common dating app scams, where fraudsters ask for money as a way to cover transportation or an emergency. Once you send them the first amount, they will probably ask for more. This can quickly add up to a lot of money and be difficult to track.
Also be wary of someone asking you for personal information, such as your credit card number, birth date or Social Security/Social Insurance number. This is a clear sign of identity theft, and it’s important to protect your personal information from criminals. If you have any doubts, contact your bank or credit card company directly, or bring your computer to a reputable cybersecurity provider for a malware check.
Another way scammers steal your money is to pretend to be a charitable organization. They will create fake emails, websites or phone numbers which look and sound real to trick you to donate to them. But they’ll be using the donations to make fraudulent purchases and put your credit card details and other personal information at risk.
If you receive a message, call or text that claims to be from a real charity, do a quick online search to see if others have been duped by the same scam. You should also only use reputable online shops and apps. Use comprehensive security software and only download apps, software and services from official vendor websites.
Scammers can fool thousands of people every day despite their best efforts. You can protect yourself if you are vigilant and follow these tips. If you have any questions about a particular communication, you should file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center. This centre can track and investigate complaints and share your report with the law enforcement. Keep your money moving by playing simple and interactive betting games at UFABET168.