How to identify fraud or scam on the internet (Part 2)

6) Do not verify the email address of the senders

The fact that a message includes its real name does not guarantee that it is genuine, as there are several ways to obtain this type of information from malicious agents. Therefore, analyzing the return address can help us to interpret whether we are in a suspicious situation or not.

For example, if an email that arrives in our inbox has a sender that appears to be a bank that we are not a customer of, it should be considered suspicious. The same should happen if we receive an email in which the sender is presented as a representative of a company or service and the domain of the message is a free email service, such as Gmail or Hotmail, for example.

It is also common (in order to pretend that the email is from a legitimate company) for cybercriminals to send a message in which the domain includes the name of a legitimate company, but which is filled in by other characters, such as a domain that was used in a phishing campaign that was taking place at Apple: “@”. Some companies, like Apple, offer a guide for recognizing whether an email on behalf of the company may or may not be legitimate.

7) Fraud with lotteries and prizes

This scam usually begins with a potential victim receiving an unsolicited email, phone call or text message saying that she has won a large sum of money or a valuable prize. Typically, the user is advised that there is a time limit for claiming winnings and that he must pay taxes, shipping charges or other fictitious fees. As such lotteries are false, after paying the fees indicated by the attackers, the victim does not receive the expected “prizes”.

To avoid losing money with these online fraud schemes, it is worth enabling a spam filter to help prevent most of these fraudulent emails from reaching your inbox. If any of these emails arrived and you know you haven’t entered any contests or lotteries, simply ignore them and flag them as spam.

However, if you are still interested in reading them, pay attention to the signs above, including additional fees to receive your prize or winnings. Also, check the details of the company or the promoter that organizes the competition. If these activities are illegal, you will find little information about them or complaints from victims caught in scammers.

8) Shares personal information through social networks

Many users are not aware of the risks of overexposure on social networks and share personal data, such as number of documents, date of birth, telephone number, home address, among many others. Sometimes, a simple image that contains this information can reach an individual of dubious ethics. The same happens when we go on vacation and involuntarily inform everyone (who can see our profiles) that we are not at home.

Therefore, in addition to thinking twice before sharing something on social networks, it is important to properly configure the privacy of each of the platforms we use to filter who can see our activities. Otherwise, we may be exposed so that a cybercriminal can create a very accurate profile about an attack target, simply by gathering information from profiles and shared activities.

Finally, think in the same way as an attacker: can the information I share be used against me? If the answer is yes, it is better not to share them.

9) You trust a website just because it has HTTPS

Unfortunately, it is no longer sufficient for a website to have HTTPS and a padlock to determine that it is a secure website. Although fraudulent web pages previously used the HTTP protocol, attackers can now do the same and obtain a valid, free SSL / TLS certificate.

10) Tax scams

To carry out this scam online, attackers use phishing emails posing as a local tax authority to obtain confidential financial information from victims. As a rule, scammers point out an error in filing an income tax return or an overdue invoice that must be paid immediately to avoid penalties.

Therefore, if you receive a suspicious and threatening call, ask for the name of the service employee and check the veracity of the information received at the appropriate institution. It is important to note that a real service representative will not use threats, but will simply inform you of any errors on your part.

  • We recommend reading Scam Me If You Can, where Frank Abagnale reveals the latest tricks that scammers, hackers and con artists use today to steal your money and personal information using the Internet. Observation Frank Abagnale is one of the most respected authorities in the world in terms of fraud, forgery and cybersecurity. Click the button below or the link to view the book

  • Attention we divided this publication in 3 parts, so it doesn’t get too big. If you want to see the others just click on one of the buttons below.

We are very grateful to have your precious attention. I ask you to follow us on our social networks and spread this publication so that it makes a difference in the lives of many people.

bruno costa