Scam is a phrase that we’ve become far too familiar with. As the digital revolution continues to accelerate, the risks associated with having an online presence are seeming to amplify. With a plethora of content available at our fingertips, users are now struggling to detect what is real and what could potentially be a pack of lies.
All these scams have one common goal – obtaining your data. Why? Because data is now the most valuable resource on the planet. When companies acquire huge amounts of information on a person, they can use this to their advantage. From targeting you with advertisements to predicting your behaviour patterns and even exploiting your character, they really can do it all.
For generations, scams have been happening across the world. But what are the most common? We look at the top five still happening today, and what you should be aware of.
The dangers of social media quizzes really came to light during the investigation into Cambridge Analytica – a data mining company that collected information on at least 87 million Facebook users. The firm designed its own personality quizzes to learn more about users’ online habits, uniquely target them, and guide their decision-making on a mass scale.
While finding out what Disney princess you are based on your Nando’s order might seem like a great way to pass time, the people behind the quiz could have ulterior motives. The answers that you submit can build up a character profile about your personality and your own interests. Very scary!
Aside from that, launching a quiz app could give developers permission to extract data from your profile and from there, the opportunities are endless. Next time you’re bored on social media, maybe think twice about clicking onto a quiz!
Telephone scams have been going on for years and are often targeted towards the older generation. They will often impersonate as a company familiar you know in a bid to obtain some confidential information. In many cases, scammers pretend to be your bank and give you an ultimatum that requires a quick decision without time to properly consider what is going on.
We’ve detected suspicious activity on your account with some large payments being made. To stop, we will need you to confirm some details.
– no one wants to feel as though they’re being the victim of a scam, but something like this is likely one itself.
When calls like this do come through, avoid giving any details over the telephone until you are completely confident that you’re talking to the right person. Any reputable person would not make you rush a decision and allow for time to process the circumstances. If your bank rings you, tell them you will ring them back and use the telephone number provided on your official documents!
Chain letters are becoming more popular by the day and have undoubtedly taken on a new lease of life on email platforms and social media sites like Facebook. Simply put, they are messages that attempt to convince the recipient to make a number of copies and pass them on to other people. Hence the name!
They can be a way for hackers to spread false news, hoaxes, and in some cases, viruses. If the message received contains an external link, then this is something that you should be looking to avoid at all costs. Links like this can lead to dangerous locations on the internet which could potentially compromise your account.
Online shopping has never been more prominent and with that comes a lot of company impersonations. Cybercriminals are now creating websites that are identical to the brands we all know and love in an attempt to take your money for products that they won’t ever deliver.
Although detecting whether a website is fake or not can be difficult at first glance, it’s crucial that you take some time to be completely confident. Especially when submitting your bank details! It’s also worth noting that types of adverts are usually promoted on social media and will very rarely rank highly on search engines.
There are some simple ways that you can spot whether a website is legit or not. The most obvious point would be checking the URL and whether it is labelled as secure. If it doesn’t look familiar, then steer away.
We’d all love a bit of extra cash at the end of the month, but if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Schemes like this are all about false promises and use language that convinces you they’re completely plausible. However, people behind these scams always have their own agenda and they won’t mind using you to achieve their end goal.
Think about it – the only way you’re going to be paid is by providing your bank details. Once you do this, they’ve got you exactly where they want you. The question that you need to ask yourself is that if this type of scheme was legit, why wouldn’t everyone be doing it?
We take security seriously which is why we’ve been assessed and certified for addressing cybersecurity effectively and mitigating the risk from Internet-based threats.