Have you ever been conned or scammed on the internet? If the answer is NO, then count yourself lucky.
Today, scammers and con artists have pulled up their socks and moved from old school habits of knocking doors to stopping strangers in malls or parking lots – they are now aware that the internet is where vast chunks of money lie.
Even though the internet has turned out to be an incredible platform to share ideas, learn, and engage, sadly, it has turned out to be a risky/dangerous place, especially if you fail to use it carefully and safely. Unlike before, where scammers were few, such is not the case as of today. Lately, online scammers are on the rise.
Today criminal minds have managed to infiltrate into our homes, private lives, and work centers. Surprisingly, there seems to be little or nothing that we can do about such. The attack tactics are overwhelming, with new tricks being invented on almost a daily basis. Internet scams seem to be continually evolving, with more and more people reporting being scammed online.
If you happen to have dodged or avoided a scam before, maybe it’s based on the fact that you are somewhat in tune regarding what’s going on. Additionally, perhaps it is because you keep following some of the latest tech information. However, your friends or a member of your family may lack the same level of awareness as yours – especially your parents and grandparents.
While there are plenty of internet scams that a lot of people currently fall victim to, there are some of the most common internet scams to watch out for, especially next year in 2020. Here is a list of some of the internet scams that you need to watch out for come 2020.
1. Disaster Relief Scams
Fraudsters strike almost immediately a disaster happens. An apt example of such was witnessed quickly after Hurricane Florence in 2018. By disguising themselves as actual aid firms, scammers will take advantage of a natural disaster or a tragedy to con you out your hard-earned cash.
Sadly, such is bound to increase further in 2020 with disasters and other catastrophes (especially those brought about by global warming) expected to hit the globe next year just like all these other years.
Learn about Canadian internet scams and how to stay secure.
2. Travel Scams
There is no detailed report indicating that individuals will travel less come the year 2020. Many people all over the globe are expected to travel and visit new places. Again, this is where a big problem lies since scammers have gone ahead to add social media platforms to their back of tricks.
Through posting some of the most enticing photos and videos on sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, scammers have gone ahead to fool even the savviest of travel enthusiasts. Such is expected to grow exponentially in 2020, especially as the globe awaits events such as Euro 2020, Winter Youth Olympics, ICC World T20 Cricket tournament, and Tokyo Summer Olympics, among others.
3. Debt Relief Scams
Over the years, more and more people have fallen into debt, and the year 2020 promises nothing good. There will be hundreds of thousands of people who will be in debt come the year 2020, and there’s study to back that up. According to Reuters, global debt will top record and reach a staggering $255 trillion by the end of 2019. Again, this is where scammers will seek to make money out of desperate people.
Individuals who happen to be down on their luck can be easy victims for messages and emails purporting to help them relieve their debts. Such is bound to increase come next year with a lot of people expected to fall prey into such an internet scam.
4. The Pre-Approved Notice Scam
Here, a potential target receives an email or a letter declaring that they have been pre-approved for either a bank loan or a credit card. If you are experiencing some financial strain, there are chances that you will quickly fall victim to this type of scam.
The catch here is that you first have to pay an upfront fee during sign-up. Sadly, this type of internet scam has continued to be reported over the years, and the year 2020 is expected to witness the same trends.
5. Lottery Scam(s)
Human beings love to gamble and try their luck on almost anything. Some of the latest reports indicate that betting and gambling are bound to increase over the coming years. Have you ever received a bogus email out-of-the-blue claiming that you have won a lottery? Surprisingly, many people have fallen victim to them.
Again, the catch here is that you are supposed to send a certain amount of money as processing fees, something that a lot of people have done before. Unless you have participated in a legitimate lottery, then there are chances that you are dealing with a scammer. Again, this is equally another internet scam to watch out for in 2020.
6. Money Transfer or Fake Check
As expected, this is another internet scam that is bound to witness an exponential surge in the year 2020. Again, this is based on the fact that there has been no reverse of such a scam in the years that have passed. This type of fraud happens in a very effortless way.
For example, a seller lists something to sell on an auction-based platform/website. After that, s/he gets a message that a bidder is willing to pay more. Immediately after receiving a counterfeit check from the scammer, the target is conned to send the difference using bank wire then pay the bank in full after the fake check bounces.
The Bottom Line
Scammers are everywhere, and the internet is where many of them are found. Again, it is safe to live on the assumption that the moment anybody begins inquiring for personal or bank information, they are probably scammers.
If you are to make a financial transaction while using online platforms, then you have to make sure that you are doing so using a secure server or through a reputable site. All in all, though, the year 2020 will not be anything different in terms of online scams.