Avoiding Online Scams: A Comprehensive Guide

Avoiding Online Scams: A Comprehensive Guide


Today Internet is integral part of our lives, without internet we are nothing today, somehow we got trapped into this. But, this is one of the best thing human made ever. But, as we know every invention human made has two sides. “The Good and the Bad”

The good side is internet connected humans to each other. It helps in every situation possible. We are able to connect with each other easily. Every information about everything is at our fingertips. The internet provides endless supply of information about every topic we imagine.

There are so many bad things is about internet, like spamming, scamming and fraud, privacy concerns, exposure to inappropriate content, viruses and malwares, crime related , etc. but, the most common is ‘internet scams.’

What is online scams?

Online scams are also known as internet scams. Scammers and hackers use the Internet to deceive, trap and defraud potential victims to financial gain. Nowadays this is a common fraud happens with most of the people.

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How to avoid Online Scams?

Internet scams are an ever-present threat in today’s internet age, with hackers, scammers and cyber criminals doing their best to stay one step ahead of internet users. The best way to stay safe is to be aware of the risks and how to deal with them while on the Internet.

There are so many ways to scam people. But, the most common are:

  • Phishing Scams
  • Job Offer Scams
  • Lottery Scams
  • Tech Support Scams
  • Romance Scams
  • Cryptocurrency Scams
  • Online Shopping Scams

Phishing Scams

Today’s most common scams is Phishing {pronounced as fishing}. When a scammer contact potential victim and pretends like victim know him or a trusted organization and tries to get personal information or open a malicious website link or file from potential victim.

Most phishing scam attempts work via email, text messages, social media messages or even phone calls (vishing).

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

When you receive a message or an email look carefully and pay particular attention to the sender email address or sender of the message. If the message related to bank then confirm the bank domain name in sender address. If sender address is different from bank’s domain name then it can be a phishing scam attempt. Do not open any link or attachment from that message.

Never open any link or attachment you weren’t expecting. Always verify links and attachments from somebody you trust.

When you get a link that appears to be from your bank or other trusted organization, always open a new tab in your desired web browser and go directly to the organization’s or bank’s authentic website from your own saved favourite from web browser, from web search, or by typing the organization’s domain name yourself.

If you get an unexpected attachment, do not open it. Instead reach to the sender and confirm it via text message or phone call and verify its Genuineness.

There are so many tools to help you to block phishing websites. Some popular tools are SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge, Kaspersky Internet Security, Bitdefender Internet Security, etc.

Job Offer Scams

Job offer scams are jobs, work and employment related scams. In covid-19 pandemic job offer scams drastically increased. In this scam you receive an email offering a job or work of not your area of expertise. Scammer tell you he is from recognised organization and ask you   to join and will tell about benefits and offers. But, scammer will ask some money for joining process. This amount is not so big. Most of people will paid because of less money they have to pay for process. After payment done from victim scammer will simply block you.

How to Avoid Job Offer Scams

When you decide to accept a work or job, never pay checks or cash without ensuring the job authenticity of work.

Lottery Scams

Lottery scams were the fourth most common scams in the US in 2020. You will receive an email, text message, phone call or even WhatsApp Call or Message with claiming you have won a lottery, prize or contest. To claim your prize you have to pay fee.

How to Avoid Lottery Scams

It’s easy to recognize these type of scams. Just verify the sender. If it’s from another country, this is definitely a scam. Do a quick google search of the Lottery or contest. Also, the sender of message.

Tech Support Scams

What is tech support scams?

Tech support scams are computer or software related scams. Where victim receive a phone call, popup or email telling him that a problem with his computer of software. Scammers behind these pop-up messages, calls and emails, want to get access of your computer, your personal data, files, your credit card information and your money. This types of scams are very dangerous and will harm your PCs, personal files.

How this scam work?

Scammers are always waiting and trying to scam you in every possible way. Most of people use pirated software, applications or browse unknown websites while searching something on web. When people open a fake and fraudulent website owned by scammers, people see a fake pop-up messages claiming that your device has infected with virus, Your Data is at risk. These pop-up messages also include fake helpline numbers run by scammers. Victim will be panic and will make a call to these fake helpline numbers.

When victim calls these helpline numbers scammer will tell that he is from top tech company like Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo, etc. and ask you to give him remote access of device to run some scans to check device problems. Which will give them access of personal files also. Scammer will run some fake software and apps to show some files have problem and need to fix this problems as soon as possible. Then scammer will show you some fake problems or simply inject a malware and ask you to pay to fix these problems. Most of people will pay certain amount to fix these problem cause of their data and files. Once payment is done scammer will tell you that your device is fixed. The payment made to scammer is hard to trace.

Scammers will try you to enroll in a fake and worthless computer/device warranty and service program. Also will install malwares to get access of your computer, important files, personal data, usernames and passwords.

Scammers will tell you join a free service that only needs credit card info. They will convince you that these services are free of cost only need credit card information for user verification. They will also try to sell you software, apps or services.

A 2017 study of technical scams shows 85% scams run from India, 7% from US and 3% from Costa Rica. Research also shows that millennials and those in generation Z have the highest exposure to such scams; however, senior citizens are more likely to fall for these scams and lose money to scams. In October 2021, Top Cybersecurity software company ‘Norton’ named these scams as the top phishing threat to consumers.

How to avoid tech support scams?

If a caller or message or pop-up message window says that you device has problem then just ignore it. Never call to mentioned helpline numbers, even if the number is local or looks legitimate. Also never open link in pop-up message or direct message you received.

If you’re worried about virus or your device feels infected or not working well; then contact to authorised service centre, or consult a well knows service professional, or call on helpline numbers mentioned on official website of device manufacturer, sales receipt.

Never give remote access of your device to unknown people.

Romance Scams

What is Romance Scams?

Romance scams are a type of online fraud where scammers adopt a fake or someone’s online identity to gain victim’s affection and trust and uses the illusion of a romantic and close relationship to advantage and to steal from the victim. These type of scams often occur on most of dating sites, apps, social media sites, etc.

To gain and build trust from victim’s side, scammer chats and talks with victim several times a day using a fake or someone’s identity. He may tell the victim that he lives and travels in another country; will tell to the victim all about his work, such fake things help in gaining the victim’s trust.

Once they gain access from victim, they’ll ask for help from victim to pay for things like medical expenses, travel, visas and other things.

Scammer ask for payment through wire transfer, cryptocurrency, gift cards, money transfer apps. Once payment is made, it’s hard to trace and recover victim’s money.

How to Avoid Romance scams?

To avoid these type of scams, never send money of gifts to someone you haven’t met in real life or in person. If you suspect a romance scam, stop all the communication immediately and report it to the app or dating site or social media site. Always verify the details about the person you are chatting with like his/her profile and photo. If someone seems too perfect or quickly asks to leave the platform (dating site or app or Social media site) to communicate directly.

Cryptocurrency Scams

What is cryptocurrency scams?

Cryptocurrency scams are related to cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc. where scammers uses various fraudulent ideas to steal victim’s money.

Some types of cryptocurrency scams

  • Investment schemes

In investment schemes scammers run various fake investment schemes. They pretend like experienced investment managers. This so-called investors contacts real investors to invest in cryptocurrency claiming millions of people invested in this profitable scheme. Most of people falls to victim to earn money in short time.

  • Rug Pull Scams

In these type scam, scammer run a fake project and ask people, investors to invest their money claiming huge profit. After getting so much money scammers disappears from with money. Most of these projects are NFTs, Coins. The coding of these projects prevents people to sell their assets (NFT, Cryptocurrency Coins), so investors are left with a non-valuable investment.

  • Phishing Scams

Scammers make fake crypto websites, apps, payment gateways to get victim crypto wallet keys, details, banking details, credit card information. Scammers send emails including link of fake crypto website, app login page. When victim opens that link and enters digital wallet key to login. Scammers uses that key to hack his digital wallet and transfer the fund (crypto assets, coins).

Users get only one private key to access their digital wallets. But, if the private key is stolen and changed, it is not possible (in most of cases) to recover or change the key of that particular wallet.

Online Shopping Scams

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Photo by Art Rachen on Unsplash

What is online shopping scams?

Scammer posts fake ads on various ecommerce sites like ebay, olx, quikr, etc. They post on fake ecommerce websites and genuine ecommerce sites. Also, scammer uses latest technology to set an ecommerce website looks like a genuine website or like a popular ecommerce platform. They sells fake products and victim may receive a fake products or most of time nothing: also they stole credit and debit card information from victim.

People are often in search of good products available for less money. Scammers take advantage of this and by putting fake ads pull people towards them and cheat them.

How to avoid online shopping scam?

To avoid these types of scam, always verify seller and the ecommerce platform you are using. Always use trusted sites to online shopping like amazon, flipkart, etc. verify return and refund policy and consumer rights. Always be careful while shopping online. Use trusted platforms. Verify and buy products available at any time.

Report Online Scams here


In conclusion, always be cautions when dealing with unwanted calls, emails, messages and links and never share your or family’s personal details, information without verifying the source first. Stay online, stay safe!

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