5 Most Prevalent Online Scams You Should Be Wary Of

Online Scams

Frauds have been present in this world since time unknown, and newer ways of cheating people are being applied day in and day out. Swindlers are continuously devising scam schemes to cheat simple consumers of their earnings. However, fraudulent activities are on a rise and people fall prey to online scams more often than ever. It is high time people should get to know about the same in order to protect themselves from being robbed of their money.


A lot of publicity is being done at present against these scams, or scamming websites, and the internet is filled with information regarding such scams. There are various types of online scams that are into play at present. Folks should get to know them and avoid falling in such traps ever. The most common online scams are given below:

1. The Nigerian Email

One fine day, you checked your email, and the first thing you get is a message like this:

“I am Wumi Abdul; the only Daughter of late Mr and Mrs George Abdul. My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan,the economic capital of Ivory Coast before he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outing to discus on a business deal. When my mother died on the 21st October 1984, my father took me and my younger brother HASSAN special because we are motherless. Before the death of my father on 30th June 2002 in a private hospital here in Abidjan. He secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of $12.500.000 (Twelve Million, five hundred thousand dollars) left in a suspense account in a local Bank here in Abidjan, that he used my name as his first Daughter for the next of kin in deposit of the fund.”

These mails want you to be their accomplice, and they would transfer a part of the total money in your account! Why? No one knows! You might be asked to travel overseas to complete the “paperwork” and meet the scammers. But, before that, you would be repeatedly asked for money, thousands of dollars to be precise, in the form of “attorney payments”, “bribes” and others!

What happens after this is that you obviously don’t get anything in return. No money, nothing at all! Moreover, people who travel overseas run a serious risk of being robbed and killed.

The name happens to be so since this first originated in Nigeria, and is also called the Nigerian 419 letter, because it violates section 419 of the Nigerian penal code.

2. Auction scam

Auction fraud is the most common fraud among online scams. There are three eBay chicanery types, but the most common is where you don’t get anything. You send in the money and win an auction, but the product never really arrives. Investing hundreds and thousands of dollars, what do you get in return? Grief, and a lighter wallet!

In auction scams, you either don’t get your product, and even if you do luckily get it, it doesn’t match the one which you actually won. Vague, incomplete and fake descriptions are the main standpoints of an auction scam. You may win a Rolex watch in the bidding, but the product given to you will be a cheap duplicate of the one you won.

How would you avoid yourself the hassle? Well, just ask yourself how could a person just give you a $500 item for $50?

3. Phishing Scam

Phishing scams are on the rise today. You receive an email that apparently looks like coming from your bank, and you are then warned about theft of identity. To protect yourself from this identity theft, you need to log into your account and verify all your account details. It also says that that bank would permanently terminate your account if you don’t do it quickly!

Common Online Scams

The mail may look completely authentic, with logos and branding, but it’s all fake. The website to which you are directed is also a fake one. Once you provide all your details, your account information will be used to drain all your money from the account.

How would you know that it is a scam when the mail looks authentic? – This might be your question now. True. But why wouldn’t the bank call you up if the matter was so very urgent, isn’t it?

4. The Girlfriend Scam

Ah, this one is for those who are so lonely that they would do anything just to have a girlfriend by their side! There are several dating sites around, and these sites are one of the most fraudulent online scams to be in, if you don’t have brains that is!

Suppose you are into one of these dating sites, and get to know a girl who you think is perfect for you. She’s beautiful and smart, and cares for you! So you fall for her. And then she wants to meet you, but for that you need to send her the transportation money, which may be hundreds of dollars. You are so deeply in love with this girl that you give the money, and wait for her to come. And you never get to hear from her again. Why? Because she doesn’t even exist, and a clever fraud artist has fooled you into believing that a stock photo was your soul mate!

5. The “Congratulations! You’ve Won..” Scam

One of the prevalent online scams, you receive an email congratulating you for winning a hot gadget, such as an iPad or an iPhone or an Xbox. You just need to get these items “shipped and delivered” at your doorstep, and so you need to just provide your debit card number and its PIN to cover the “shipping” costs!

So, you provide your debit card credentials and wait for your new Xbox to arrive. Months pass by and you don’t get anything. Strange charges start showing up in your transactions, and all your money gets drained out surprisingly. So what are you effectively left with? A stolen identity, and stolen money if the charges aren’t disputed!

It’s after all this that you ask yourself, “When did I enter a competition for which I had won an Xbox?!” If only you had asked this before falling prey to this scam!

Desire and greed are the two main aspects of human nature that are targeted by these scammers to extract money wrongfully from people. In order to avoid these scams, we must need to control our greed first. When we control our desires and greed, it makes it easy for us to recognize these scams and avoid them.

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