The Most Common Online Scams to Be Aware of and How to Avoid Them

Online scams can be incredibly convincing, so it’s important to know the top scams to watch out for and how to avoid them. In addition, pairing this knowledge with solutions and simple ways to avoid fraud can help you protect yourself from it while shopping, banking, or on social media.


Phishing is a scam in which a fake email, text message, or website poses as an official company contact and requests personal information from its recipients. This can be as simple as requesting login details or credit card numbers or as complex as stealing a person’s identity and bank account.

A phishing scam is often carried out through emails and websites, but other forms of phishing can be carried out by text messaging or social media. In some cases, phishing is even done through voice calls and voicemails.

It is important to remember that the phishing landscape continually evolves, so organizations must constantly train their employees on the latest phishing strategies to help reduce their risk and create a culture of cybersecurity.

When receiving a phishing email, it is most important to treat it with suspicion and not click on any links or attachments. A phishing attack can install malware on your device, steal personal data, or lead to a ransomware attack.

Nigerian Scam

The Nigerian scam is a type of fraud that occurs primarily online. This type of scam is known as 419 fraud and has become a major source of income for some criminals.

This scam involves someone from abroad claiming to be a royalty or an exiled politician asking for help to transfer money out of their country. They claim that the funds are urgently needed because of war, political instability, or corruption.

These scams can be difficult to recognize and can lead to significant losses. However, they do exist, and it is important to know how to avoid them.

Defending against these scams requires caution not to give strangers access to your accounts, login information, or private documents. It is also essential to understand how the scam works.

Advance fee scams occur when victims pay money upfront for a promise of something of greater value. This can include a loan, contract, investment, or gift. They usually receive little or nothing in return.

Copycat Accounts

Copycat accounts are an ongoing problem on social media platforms. They’re a low-cost way for hackers to gain a large following quickly and build a network of potential victims.

These scams often start with a spoofing attack. They take a profile of someone and use it to impersonate them on a Facebook or Instagram page.

This allows them to steal login details and personal information without breaking into the original account. Once they have this info, they can then use it to hack into other people’s accounts, drain their bank accounts, and make purchases using their credit cards.

Cloning scams have also been known to target people with a high following on social media. They are especially common on accounts offering spiritual services like tarot and card readings or those who have seen their popularity rise rapidly.

Some ways to avoid this scam include keeping your friends list private and blocking those you don’t know from contacting you through Facebook or other social media. This will help prevent them from adding you and gaining access to your details.

E-Commerce Scams

In an age of e-commerce, it’s never been more important to be aware of the risks that can impact your business. These threats can come in the form of unauthorized transactions, lost customers, and brand damage, which can cost you a lot of money.

One of the most common forms of e-commerce fraud is credit card transaction fraud. This occurs when a scammer steals credit cards from customers and uses them to make purchases online. The real card owner then notices the purchase and contacts their bank to get a refund.

Another popular e-commerce fraud tactic is card testing or “card cracking.” This occurs when someone illegally obtains several credit card numbers through theft or the dark web and then uses those to make small test purchases.

This is done to determine whether the credit card can be used successfully or not and its limit. When these initial tests are successful, the fraudster begins making larger purchases using the stolen credit card information.

Thankfully, you can do a few things to avoid these online scams and prevent them from affecting your business. These include ensuring that you use HTTPS when transmitting credit card information, checking the CVV on your payment processor’s website, and limiting the number of orders to the same address but different credit cards.

Fraudulent Websites

Fraudulent websites are illegitimate sites that use various disguises to deceive users into giving away personal and financial information. You can tell a scam website by checking its URL, domain name, and content.

Scammers use URL shortening services to create links that look legitimate but contain malicious code. These links can infect your device with malware, leading to identity theft or credit card fraud.

In addition, scammers often create convincingly fake websites that mirror login pages from banks and online stores to ask for sensitive information. This information goes straight to the scammers, who use it for identity theft or financial fraud.

The best way to avoid fraud is to be aware of these scams and report them as soon as you see them. This can help stop them from spreading on the internet and stealing your personal information.