8 Biggest Online Scams
Are you most likely an Online person? Check the below mentioned details get aware and safe yourself from any kind of Online Scam that people most likely fall for.
Based on interviews with 1,408 consumers who sent tips to the BBB between 2015 and 2018, a new study carried out sheds light on the medium through which scammers rake in the most money. The respondents reported median losses to be $600.
Although scammers most often targeted potential victims using phone and email, relatively few people lost money from telephone and email scams as opposed to other network scams. By comparison, 91 percent of targets engaged in social media interaction by scammers and 53 percent lost money. Likewise, 81 percent of respondents who have experienced fraud through an engaging website and 50 percent have lost money.
Here are the scams people fall for online, rated from the least to the most likely to separate victims from their money according to the findings of the study.
1. Online Purchase Scam
One of the most widely reported and successful scams identified by the study was online purchase scams, with 84 percent of respondents reporting online purchase scams engaging with them and 47 percent losing money as a result. The scams are proliferating on many websites, which directly connect buyer and seller, and can take many other forms, according to the report.
Scammers list items on the basic level, collect payment from customers and then never ship the product. Conversely, often scammers would pay for products with a fake check to receive a refund for "accidentally" overpayment.
2. Fake Tech Support Scams
Interestingly, tech support scams usually take the form of ads, emails, or pop-ups that alert users that a bug or virus can infect their device. When users join, scammers then claim to be an IT professional and badger victim in return for fake tech support to hand over money.
Although not as many users participate in this scam as with work scams, it has a high rate of success in getting victims to spend money. Of respondents who reported tech support scams, 64% are engaged and 32% have lost money.
3. Employment Scams
Grifters act as potential employers in these scams and trick victims in believing they are being offered a job or considered for a role. From there, they trick victims into sending money to be spent on "training" or "equipment," or by using a phony payback to execute a fake check scam.
This scam was among the most effective in getting victims involved. Of those respondents who reported work scams, 81% included scammers and 25% lost money.
4. Fake Cheques or Money Order
Of those respondents who reported scams involving fraudulent cheques or money orders, 64% committed and 22% lost money.
This elaborate scheme is focused on scammers sending a fake cheque to victims, getting them to deposit it, and then asking for some of the "money" back via wire transfer due to a supposed overpayment – hoping banks will not notice the check until it is too late.
5. Phony Sweepstakes, Lotteries, and Prizes
In this scam, grifters trick victims into thinking they've won a sweepstake or draw, but first, they have to pay a fee upfront to claim the prize. This strategy has relatively high fleecing rates: 59% of respondents who reported witnessing fake sweepstakes involving scammers, and 15% lost money. This fraud has been overwhelmingly affecting people who report living with financial insecurity, according to the authors of the study.
6. Fake Debt Collection Scam
Close to bogus tax collection, this scheme focuses on grifters claiming to be debt collectors and threatening victims to pay debts they don't owe.
This strategy, however, has been significantly more effective in fooling people who make bogus tax collection scams. According to the study, 38% of respondents reporting debt collection scam interacted with scammers, resulting in a 12% loss of money.
7. Phishing Scam
"Phishing" is a catch-all word used to describe scammers claiming to be a trusted person, such as a broker, service provider or mortgage company, to trick victims into sharing private information that could be used against them.
Phishing scam was also among the most frequently reported types of scams despite their low success rate, the study found.
18% of the respondents who reported phishing scams said they were engaged and only 4% said they lost money.
8. Fake Tax Collection Scams
People are fairly good at sniffing out fake tax collection scams by this point, the study found.
The authors of the study describe this scam as one in which "imposters pose themselves as agents of government tax collection and use threats of immediate arrest or other scare tactics to persuade their targets to pay, often asking for the target to load money as payments on gift cards."
False IRS scams were one of the most widely reported forms of grift in the study but had the lowest participation rates and people were losing money – only 15% of respondents said they were associated with scammers, and only 3% reported losing money.