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Internet scams: how to recognize and protect yourself from them?
Internet scams: how to recognize and protect yourself from them?
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Internet scams: how to recognize and protect yourself from them?

August 12th, 2020
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9 minutes of reading time
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Browsing on the Internet is sometimes not without risk. Unfortunately, you can unfortunately come across fraudulent sites and malicious people who use various means to set up scams on the Internet, most often with the aim of recovering your personal information or to get money out of you. What are the different scams on the Internet? How to spot the most common online scams? What can you do to avoid them?

How to recognize an Internet scam?

** Avoiding Internet scams** is not necessarily easy. Anyone can be confronted with them, by email, on social networks or via pop-up ads when visiting an online site. Before you can report an Internet scam, you have to be able to spot it and learn how to stop being fooled. Here are the characteristics of the current major scams and our tips on what to do in case of an online scam.

The different types of Internet scams

Phishing or phishing

It is one of the most common scams. This Internet scam, often spread by email, consists of sending you a message, similar to one you might receive (from your mobile operator or bank, for example) asking you to click on a link or open an attached document. To get you "bitten on the hook", the subject of the email is designed to attract your attention: transfer refused by your bank, problem on your customer account, need to confirm your bank identifiers, ...

Whatever the subject of the message in question, always remember to check the sender's email address to make sure it is reliable. E-mail scams** are usually sent from a suspicious e-mail address that is not connected to an existing company. Another detail: the spelling mistakes often left in these fraudulent emails should give you a heads-up and encourage you to double-check before taking the message seriously. In any case, if you have the slightest doubt, don't click! If you think you're dealing with an online scam, it's best to call the alleged sender of the message directly to avoid potential scams.

Lottery scam

"Congratulations, you just won 10000 €!". Everyone has received at least one such message at least once, about a contest you've never entered before. If it sounds too good to be true, that's just because it is! The lottery or raffle scam is a modern-day scam that continues to circulate widely on the Internet. The pattern is often the same: you receive an e-mail from someone posing as a representative of a gaming company informing you that you have won a prize or a large sum of money in a raffle. This announcement is usually followed by a message asking you to provide your bank details so that you can collect the money or prize.

As many **gambling company websites state, you cannot win a contest that you have not entered. If, on the other hand, you had gambled through this organization a few days before and are in doubt, keep in mind that the companies themselves never contact you when you win. In order to collect your prize, you will always be asked to go to the organization in question with your winning ticket and not the other way around. If not, it is a scam for sure!

Scams on dating sites

Often well known to those who frequent them, the dating site scams or love scams are current scams and can be dangerous if they are not unmasked. In order to interfere with the most popular dating sites, online scammers use fake profile photos and invent a whole identity (profession, location, ...) to get in touch with their victims. After a few weeks of conversation, without ever seeing each other, they usually find the pretext of a trip to a foreign country to ask them for help to pay for the plane ticket or the hotel, promising to meet them when they return.

The end of this scenario is unfortunately predictable: the victim sends a sum of money that he or she will never see again, nor the alleged person whom he or she will finally never meet. Any request for sending money on the Internet, and especially on a dating site, should draw your attention to the fact that it is most likely a romance scam. Even after weeks or months of conversation, it is important to remember that online scams are done by professionals and should be treated with caution.

How to avoid Internet scams?

Solutions exist to protect yourself from the common scams and avoid being tricked online. Here are a few tips to avoid Internet scams.

Install an ad blocker

A good ad blocker like Shelblock will help you avoid a lot of fraudulent online ads and Internet scams. This effective ad blocker will have a double interest: **It will also block the trackers that follow you in order to recover your personal data.

Its parental control also allows you to block malicious content if your computer is also used by your children. These precautions will help you avoid dangers on the Internet and surf with peace of mind.

Use an antivirus software

The use of an antivirus is recommended to protect against cyb threats. It will allow you to detect and counter a number of malware and fraudulent files that could expose you to data theft, for example. Although it will not prevent all online scams, such as email phishing, the antivirus software will nevertheless be able to protect your personal files and block the flashing pop-up windows that sometimes appear and most often hide hidden online fraud.

Update your devices

The automatic updates that your computer, tablet or cell phone offers you often contain patches and technical improvements to better protect you. It is therefore essential to update your devices when this is offered to you in order to avoid exposing yourself to risks that could have been avoided.

Change passwords regularly

Get into the habit of changing passwords regularly and always think about making them more complex with capital letters, numbers and special characters. If you are being scammed on the Internet, changing your entry codes on your various sites and social networks will limit the fraudster's browsing and prevent identity theft.

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