Five common types of internet fraud

The internet snowballs as more people and companies get online. We use it to work remotely and promote our businesses. However, this expansion has also led to an increase in internet fraud. As more people access it, the risk of getting scammed increases. 

According to Cox customer support, knowing the types of internet fraud can help you avoid them before losing your hard-earned money. In this article we outline five of the most common types of online fraud.

1) Email scam or phishing

Email scams or phishing are frauds in which the perpetrators steal personal information. In this fraud, the perpetrator will send an email that seems to come from a reputed or genuine company. The email aims to get your personal details like bank account number or social security.

Phishing is a form of click fraud in which the scammer tricks you into clicking a link that redirects you to a fake site where you’ll then enter your personal details (all while thinking you are dealing with a genuine company). 

2) Online shopping scams

Online shopping scams are the most common internet fraud because fraudsters have realized people like to shop virtually. In this scam, the fraudster sets up a fake shopping website, complete with photos of goods and payment options. 

The scammers will display attractive images of various products at affordable rates to entice buyers on the website. After placing your order and making payment on such a site, they’ll deliver a fake product or nothing at all. Such websites don’t have refund or return policies, nor do they have a customer support system to contact. 

3) Work from home fraud

With high unemployment rates globally, scammers are well aware that millions of people are looking for online jobs that allow them to work remotely. They also know that even those in employment are looking for a way to earn some extra cash on the side. 

In this fraud, scammers create a website claiming to recruit people to work from home and earn handsomely. Then, they create a system in which victims deposit some money for registration. After registering on such a site and paying, you’ll never receive any communication from them again.

4) Tax scams

Tax fraud typically occurs during the tax return filing season. For example, you may receive a fake refund email or SMS claiming to be from the IRS.

The email or SMS will ask you to send your personal information like bank details and login details to your income tax department site, ostensibly to process your tax refund. Once you provide the information they need, the fraudsters will transfer money from your bank account to their account. 

5) Identity theft

Identity theft is a case in which a fraudster steals your personal information and then pretends to be you. For example, the scammer can use your personal information to apply for a loan.

The loan will be in your name, which means you’ll have to repay it. If you fail to repay the loan, it will hurt your credit score. Also, scammers can use your personal information to create a fake account on social media and start soliciting funds from your friends and family members. 

Protect yourself from scams and fraud

The internet frauds mentioned above are the most common, but many other scams go on the internet. To protect yourself against these frauds, don’t form the habit of submitting your personal information.

For example, if you receive a suspicious email or SMS from someone claiming to be from the tax department or bank, you can call the official line to confirm. Always be wary of something that sounds too good to be true.