Semalt Expert: The Guideline To Avoiding Internet Fraud

The growth and integration of the internet into business and social life is a good and bad thing. On the good side are the many benefits the internet provides such as E-commerce. And on the bad side are really worrisome concerns such as cybercrime.

Among the most dreaded concerns is internet fraud. Internet fraud happens when a person uses the internet in the act of trickery aiming at gaining a dishonest advantage over another person. Often, the main motivation for internet fraud is financial gain.

There are many types of internet fraud, but some are more frequently executed than others.

One of the most experienced specialists of Semalt, Andrew Dyhan, defines the following types of internet fraud:

1. Fake Auctions and Fake Merchandise

Perpetrators of fake auctions target consumers of merchandise sold online. The criminal will post a product on an auction site indicating that they are selling it to the highest bidder. The product might either be non-existent or if it exists, it's different from what is advertised. The scammer tries to get the winning bidder to send full payment for the said product before shipping is done. Finally, the criminal doesn't send the product to the buyer (what is called non-delivery of merchandise), or the product that is sent is something else, often significantly cheaper than the price of the paid-for product.

2. Spams and Identity Theft

Emails are sometimes abused by scammers to defraud unsuspecting internet users or cause harm to the device they are using. Some fraudulent emails seek to lure one into giving out their personal and financial information, and others go to step further to tricking people into sending funds to dubious schemes.

These dangerous emails will crawl into your inbox as notifications for low-interest loans, charities looking for funding, sweepstake winnings, and social life-related issues. They'll contain a link that you are supposed to click to get what the scammers claim to offer. With just one click on the link, you could be exposing yourself to many risks including getting your computer or mobile device infected with viruses, revealing to strangers your passwords, credit card information, social security details, addresses and phone numbers.

Spams are often linked to identity theft because they can be, and are often used to access personal information which is then used for many purposes including impersonation. Stolen personal details can be used to commit other forms of internet fraud such as fraudulent requests or sales.

3. Credit Card Theft

Credit card fraud mainly preys on people who aren't careful enough when they use their credit cards. Other people are duped by super-clever phishing scams.

This type of internet fraud starts when a victim inputs credit card details on a duplicitous website. The criminals will then use this information to either make funds transfers or purchases using the credit card.

4. Investment Scams

Investment fraud is propagated through fishy investment schemes and is aimed at defrauding investors or stealing their identities. The scams come in the form of online bulletin boards, newsletters for a fee, or other forms of information material providing false inside information. When a number of investors fall for the scam, stock values are altered and the criminal then sells his stocks from an advantaged position.

Other forms of internet fraud include untrustworthy websites and advance fee scams.

Untrustworthy websites may mimic well-established sites and trick visitors into transactions and interactions as if they were the real deal. Advance fee scams are numerous in today's business world. You can identify this type of scam quite easily. If a vendor insists on having money upfront and promising to return the money, that dealing is highly likely to be a scam. Advance scams are very possible in online auctions, especially.

Everyone needs to be always updated on how scammers are perpetuating internet crime at any time. Here are a few tips:

  • Ensure that any auction site you want to use is trustworthy and avoid new auctioneers.
  • Using trackable and protected payment means.
  • Never click a link sent through email before confirming that the source of the email is trustworthy.
  • Never allow your credit card to be used out of your sight
  • Take great care when making big transactions or responding to offers made online.
  • Always check your receipts to ensure all amounts are correct.
  • NEVER write your credit card's pin number anywhere.
  • Have the card canceled in case you misplace it.
  • Always check to ensure the website you want to use your personal and financial data on has a URL starting with https://.