This year 2018, if we have learned one thing, it’s that hackers and scammers are more resourceful than ever. From phishing schemes to scams for text messages, these smart criminals have turned the digital world into a minefield of malicious links and seedy behavior.
Fortunately, we looked for you by keeping an eye on scams that came out this year and helping our readers to keep track of all online scams that could block their inboxes.
In the past year, we have encountered a number of creative, elaborate and stupid online scams that have made the rounds. Here are some of the top offenders from 2018.
Check out some of the worst offenders we have found and make sure that your personal information is safe in the new year!
1. Google Maps Meddlers Google Maps
Whether you’re looking to beat traffic or try to avoid losing yourself, Google Maps is the go – to app for you. Sadly, hackers took advantage of the confidence of users in this handy app.
All a scammer has to do is to change the contact information of certain companies for a long time to steal the money from your account. The Google Maps scam that occurred in India just a month ago is painfully simple.
Since Google Maps allows users to edit business details, scammers can change a local company’s contact number for themselves. You then expect unsuspecting callers to collect their banking information in the hope of booking the service. The last step? You drain the bank account and you are left to question the trustworthy app that can get you from A to B.
2. Charity Donation Cheats
The role of charity is more important than ever before in natural disasters and economic crises all over the world.
However, tragically, these kind gestures are often accompanied by online scammers who try to take advantage of them. And yes, 2018 was a banner year for a deplorable behavior of this kind.
Online scams through charities have actually become such a problem that the Federal Trade Commission has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the best ways to give charity to people. The campaign also established the first International Week of Charity Fraud Sensitivity to ensure that people are not regularly used.
3. Netflix and Steal
It’s terrifying to have your Netflix account go down in the middle of a binge session, but rest assured you don’t have to worry. This scam, which occurred in June, became all too common in inboxes throughout the country, as phishers followed the personal information of Netflix users by claiming that their accounts had to be verified to keep watching.
Equipped with the Netflix logo and a brand name “Netflix Support Team, “the email screams a mile away for phishing scams.
When the scammers threaten to “suspend your netflix membership” (seriously, they did n’t even capitalize on Netflix), they ask you to send all your payment and billing information to get your account up and running. They use it to steal your identity, of course.
4. Free Two-Day Scamming
Amazon is the go – to source for online shopping, making it a very attractive destination for scammers who want to access the account and payment details of people.
Scammers and phishers use the world’s largest retail website to try and steal everything from personal information to banking information. And e – mails are one of the ways they do that. This scam in March revealed that phishers sent phantom Amazon invoices to users to check the purchases they had never made. Once you click on the email, you will be directed to a phishing site that will steal all your personal data as soon as you enter it.
5. I Didn’t Buy – Apple iTunes
Don’t! Don’t! If you’re still using Apple iTunes to buy songs, apps and games, you’re gonna watch out for this classic trick. Since nothing is worse than being accused of buying something you haven’t done, this scam works pretty well.
It used to, at least! You’re going to receive an email in your inbox saying you bought something unrecognizable.
When in August they tried to scam us, we never heard of a $ 50 game. Once you click on the link to cancel the purchase, you are asked for a lot of personal information to steal your identity and collect your data.
No free skin surfing on the web is an inherently dangerous place for online scams, but video games are safe, right? Wrong! Wrong! If you play Minecraft, be sure to keep an eye on an online scam that infiltrates a number of systems by means of malicious links that offer a free skin deal.
Skins are the images which determine the appearance of your character in the game. When we found this scam in May, players received spam messages from bots that offered “custom – made skins ” free of charge along with a link.
Unfortunately, this link would enable hackers to reformat the hard drives of users and delete backup data and system programmers.
6. A WhatsApp Trap
Everyone loves to travel, making it even harder to spend a free airline ticket when it comes. It is usually too good to be true when it comes to free travel. This is at least the case with this WhatsApp-based phishing scam, which occurred in May.
The scam gives you two free Virgin Atlantic tickets to your choice of destination. Users receive a simple text with an offer with a Virgin Atlantic link that looks very real. If you look a little closer, however, you will notice that the “r “has a small dot below it, a clear indication of a malicious link. Like all phishing scams, you will be asked to enter your personal information in order to benefit from the deal, but it will be too late by then.
7. Mr. Bean’s Bogus Bereavement
Don’t be afraid; Rowan Atkinson, a British goofball actor Mr. Bean, is still very much alive. Last August, however, a video claiming to originate from Fox News claims to show the last moments in the life of the popular actor.
That’s as long as you download and buy new software to view the video… it’s an online scam, of course.
Once you have purchased and downloaded the video software, the scammers will have their way to your bank account, leaving you with nothing but an empty wallet and a remarkable relief that your favorite British actor is still alive.
While online payment platforms like Venmo and PayPal offer a lot of security, online scams that take their branding aren’t a lot they can do. This means that you must be more vigilant when dealing with e – mails from these services. And this July online scam is no different. If you are targeted for this scam, you will receive a text message insisting that you pay a certain amount of money via PayPal to someone. The message explains that if you got this in error, you should follow the link to cancel it. This link, unfortunately, leads you to a surprisingly sophisticated phishing site that looks like PayPal (and does). Ensure that the text is deleted and reported to “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Caller ID Spam
Spam calls are nothing new, but what if your phone number was yours? Would you answer it? How could you not?! After all, it could be you from the future warning you not to bet the house on the Steelers! Unfortunately, in this situation, it’s just a really clever scam.
This scam is undeniably genius, as your own number is likely the only spam call anyone would pick up.
Once you do, you’re treated with a voice message that says,“ Your account has been compromised by AT&T. Please enter the last four digits of the social security number of the main account holders.
“Do not follow these instructions. This will give someone clever enough a very valuable piece of guarded information to make the last big phone scam; the worst in 2018.
The sad truth is that in 2019 online scams will not be much better, so be careful and check back with cybersguards.com for more guides on how to handle hackers.