Scams are all over the internet. All of them socially engineer vulnerable people into believing them. Here is a list of how to spot some of the most common used on the internet!
- Websites that say “You have won the lottery” or something similar are almost always scams. There are rare cases where it just redirects you to another site, but in a nutshell, lottery winning popups are untrustworthy.
- Websites that say “You have a virus on your computer” or “Your computer is infected” are scams. Often they are accompanied by a phone number, which when called, results in a fake tech support center. These fake technicians often claim they are from Microsoft or some other reputable company, and make false claims about the security of your computer.
- Websites that say “You have won a free iPad” or “Click here to win a free iPhone” are scams.
- Websites that say that you need to clean your computer or intall drivers are probably scam websites that want you to install a malicious “cleaner” application.
Out of all the scams I looked at, I noticed that most of them have the following features:
- The use of generic terms such as “valued customer” or “client”
- A command (Example: “Click here”)
- A warning sign or a check mark.
- A fake logo representing another company, usually to create a sense of authenticity or trustworthiness.
- Ratings (Example: “Rated 10/10 by customers”)
- They make the victim panic in order for them to download / install malicious software
Email Scams / Phishing Attempts
You may get an email from a company that you know, saying that they need to perform an action. These actions can be resetting the password or testing a new feature. Always watch out for this:
IF THE EMAIL OR WEBSITE REQUESTS THAT YOU TYPE IN YOUR PASSWORD, IT IS MOST LIKELY A PHISHING ATTEMPT! DO NOT TRUST IT AND DO NOT ENTER YOUR PASSWORD OR ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION!
Most companies will never ask you for your password if they need to test something out!
I hope this helps you to spot scams and phishing attempts. You can always contact a specific company and ask them if a certain email or webpage is fake.
Thanks to @ISniffingWolf for providing me with the iPhone popup website screenshot.
If you think I missed anything out, contact me here