As 2016 has just started, it’s time to look back at the past and the famous internet scams we’re still falling for. The internet has been around for decades, as have internet scams, which is why we’re expected to develop immunity against these frauds. However, recent events show that people are still actively falling for internet scams, and the only way to stop this trend is to learn as much about scams as possible in order to recognize and avoid them. Check out these 5 popular scams of 2015 and never fall for them again!
1. 419 Scam
This scam is the classic example of an offer that is too good to be true. Usually you get an email from a member of a wealthy family, offering you an insane amount of money for a seemingly easy task. The only condition is that you have to cover the legal and processing fees, so that the author could send you a money transfer. Obviously, this whole offer is a complete scam, and the person writing to you doesn’t come from a rich family – he just wants to rip you off your money. Whenever you get an email like this, simply ignore it, delete it from your inbox, never engage in a conversation with the author, and never give any of your personal details.
2. Lottery scam
If you have used email for a few years, you have probably gotten at least one email that is supposedly telling you that you’ve won a lottery and can now claim your prize. Usually these lotteries are based in foreign countries. The truth is that there is no lottery at all, especially if you’ve never submitted your email address to any online lottery. There are a few signs that this lottery email is a scam: if the address looks like [email protected] (rather than [email protected]), or if a simple Google search tells you there is no online lottery under this name, it means that the offer is likely a scam – most commonly, an attempt aimed at obtaining your personal data or money.
3. Job scam
This scam is usually addressed towards people who signed up for job search websites and responded to job ads. A person contacting you tells you there is a great position waiting for you at their company, with a competitive salary and other benefits. However, then you are asked to pay for training materials, application processing, or cover some other fees, and as soon as your potential boss starts asking you for money, you know it’s clearly a scam and no money should be sent to this person. If you’re currently looking for a job, we recommend searching jobs on JiJi – there are thousands of genuine job ads on this website.
4. Business investment scam
One day you get an email from a stranger that offers you to take part in a brand new investment plan. The author says this opportunity cannot be missed, because for a minor investment you get a surefire chance to get wealthy really fast. Nevertheless, the author of this email usually cannot provide you with any details about his identity or the nature of the investment, including the contact info of the people in charge. Overall, entrusting your money to a person that came out of a blue and tells you about a great investment opportunity is not a good idea – you will achieve a much better result by working with a person you know and trust.
5. Phishing email
Phishing emails usually include a link to a website that looks like a normal website you usually use, like Facebook, Google, or Twitter, but instead of, for example, google.com, the address bar says something like goooogle.com. If you’ve not noticed the altered address, you risk going to the scam website and leaving your personal data to the scammers, who can in turn steal your information, credit card data, email address, social media account, and anything they can lay their hands on. Avoid falling for this scam by carefully checking every link you’re about to open and determining that it is fully legit.