Online dating scams format

Bear in mind, any such legitimate contact would be dealt with in person or at the very least by mail. While many of the other scams on this list could potentially be carried out through social media, a few very specific ones have popped up on social platforms. Scammers capitalize by posting ads for such a feature. This scam involves a clickbait-style headline on Facebook relaying some fake celebrity news, such as the death of a well-known star or a new relationship in Hollywood.

They can then reach out to your friends and family with friend or follow requests and once connected, pose as you.

Faking it — scammers’ tricks to steal your heart and money

These trusted connections can then be used for a whole host of purposes such as spreading malware or requesting money for made-up scenarios. One app released in called InstLike asked for usernames and passwords in return for follow and likes. In fact, they simply collected the credentials of , users and turned them into participants in a large social botnet. Basically, the app did deliver on its promise but used the accounts of those who signed up to do so.

A job offer scam might be run through email, but is commonly conducted through professional networking site LinkedIn. In some cases, these can lead to scams whereby you become the middleman for transferring funds. Many people purchase airline tickets, hotel rooms, and even entire vacation packages online these days. Scammers know this and there has been a rise in fraudulent travel sites selling fake tickets and non-existent vacations. Travel is usually a big-ticket item, which spells big bucks for criminals. There may be no record of you having a booking at all. These scams may be initiated via phone or email, but typically the target is told that they have won a vacation.

In order to claim, they either have to pay a small fee advanced fee scam or provide credit card details for a deposit. In the former case, the thief takes off with the money. In the latter, the credit card details can be used in credit card fraud. In this case, someone posts an ad claiming that they have purchased a ticket for a trip they can no longer go on.

They then sell the fake tickets for a much lower price than their face value. With insurance company agencies making it so difficult to get refunds on tickets, the fact that someone might be selling tickets online is made more believable, fueling the success of the scam. In a points scam, the target is called or emailed and informed that they have won a huge number of points, through a travel points card program or a travel credit card points scheme. All they have to do is provide some details to confirm the transaction. This may include account information, credit card details, or other personal information.

The vacation rental scam involves fraudsters posting ads for property in desirable locations for bargain prices. The victim is required to send a deposit or the full amount up front. Criminals look to exploit both taxpayers and the government using a range of tax-related scams. In a fake audit scam, targets are contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS or similar tax agency and told that an audit has identified a discrepancy.

Oddly, in Canada, it is reported that many of these particular scams involve payment requests via iTunes gift cards. This one targets people who are expecting a tax refund. Again, criminals pose as the IRS or similar agency and prompt targets to click a link through which they can claim their refund. However, the link leads to a phishing site where the victim is asked to provide personal information such as their social security number and banking details, which can be used in identity theft. This scam is a bit more sophisticated as it actually uses real client details stolen from accounting firms via hacking or phishing.

The information is used to file a fake tax refund request which is processed by the IRS, and the client receives the refund amount.

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The scammer then poses as the IRS or a collection agency, tells the client the refund was issued in error, and demands the money be returned. Of course, the payment is directed toward the fraudster, not the IRS. This case spells double trouble for the client. Not only are they short their refund, they could also be in hot water with the IRS for supposedly filing a false claim. However, the victim can be negatively impacted as failing to pay taxes can result in a conviction, including fines and imprisonment. Indeed, there are so many methods for scammers to choose from, and scams and hacks involving bitcoin and altcoins seem to be constantly in the news.

One example of a blatantly fake coin exchange is Internet Coin Exchange which simply lists cryptocurrency price details alongside Buy buttons. Other questionable operations include Igot , which later became Bitlio. Unfortunately, when exchanges are hacked by cybercriminals, both the exchange and its customers tend to lose out. This involves the organized promotion of a particular cryptocurrency, usually a relatively unknown coin.

The mass investment causes the value to spike, encouraging other investors to get in on the action. Mining of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies typically involves using computational power to support the network in return for a reward. Enter cloud mining companies, which enable you to invest in mining without having to actually deal with the setup yourself. Of course, where there are investors, there are scammers ready and waiting. Known as malicious cryptomining or cryptojacking , the malware is usually spread by a trojan virus.

Infected computers then form a larger botnet that mines cryptocurrencies. Investors are wooed with whitepapers and promises of superior security and broad application potential. They buy coins in exchange for fiat currency, hoping to get a return on their investment. ICOs in general are viewed as such a problem that China has banned them and other countries are imposing heavy regulation. For example, the legitimate Seele ICO had their Telegram channel hijacked by people posing as admins.

Nigerian Scammer Teaches How To Scam People Online

Investors were persuaded to pay for tokens before the sale had actually started and the funds were pocketed by the criminals. Other suspicious schemes include BitConnect, which shut down after receiving multiple cease and desist letters, and OneCoin, a reported global Ponzi scheme that is still going strong. When a cryptocurrency forks and a new coin is created, it can be difficult to find a wallet that can accommodate the new coin.

When Bitcoin Gold was first released, the mybtgwallet. More impersonators are taking advantage of the cryptocurrency market, this time in the form of wallet clones. Criminals make people believe they are depositing their coins into a legitimate wallet but are actually keeping them for themselves. It used domains impersonating the reputable Blockchain. Coin mixing services are used to mix coins in order to break the connection between the sender and receiver, making transactions more anonymous.

While coin mixing services can aid illegal activity, they can have legitimate use cases, too. Popular sites include Bit Blender and the now-defunct Helix by Grams. These two were involved in a phishing scam on the dark web where a coin mixing tutorial used links to fake websites for both of the services. Users following the steps and visiting the links simply handed over their coin to the thieves.

This was clearly unattainable and the site disappeared in November after stealing an unknown amount from investors. Aside from all of the above, there are many more online scams to look out for. Here are some of the most popular plays making the rounds right now. We mentioned popups in the tech support scam earlier. A common occurrence you might have already seen are popup windows prompting you to download anti-virus software.

However, when you follow the prompt, you could end up with malware instead. Fake websites are usually used in phishing scams. Typically, a replica of a legitimate website is used to encourage targets to enter details such as credentials, banking information, and personal details. For example, the above image from the Expr3ss blog shows a very convincing fake Facebook login page. This is a more specific example of a fake website and is a big problem. Replicas of reputable websites may be used to make counterfeit goods seem legitimate. For example, brands like Ugg, Coach, and Michael Kors have had their websites copied almost exactly to make consumers believe they are purchasing genuine goods from the real brand.

In fact, in the US, romance scams account for the largest financial losses of all internet crimes. Fraudsters may contact targets through phone, email, text, social media, or dating sites. They typically pose as a different person, including creating completely fake profiles this is called catfishing , and often work in groups. The ultimate goal might be to get victims to pay money , hand over personal information, or even aid in illegal activities. We mentioned travel ticket scams earlier, but would-be concert goers and sporting event attendees are also common targets of ticket scams.

The rental scam preys on those desperately searching for a place to call home. Rental ads are posted with below-average prices, attracting plenty of buyers. The fake landlord may also have renters fill out a form which includes banking information along with other personal details. SMS scams smishing scams are variations on phishing and vishing scams and involve the use of a text message. SMS, or text messaging, is built into just about every phone on the planet. As phones become more internet connected, many of us have transitioned to instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

But good old SMS messaging is almost always available. Scammers know that and can use it to target you. A smishing text message will usually have much the same aims as any other kind of fraud. Scammers may want you to click a link to download malware or adware, or bring you to a convincing looking phishing page in order to trick you into providing your login credentials for a website. Others might provide a number to call as a transition to a vishing scamming method. While these often follow similar plays to email and voice scams, there are some more specific cases, such as trying to get you to activate a new credit card or telling you an account is expiring.

In this rather complex scheme, targets order products on Amazon from third-party sellers. The seller prompts the buyer to complete the transaction outside of Amazon, so gets paid and has access to payment information. This is a slightly different angle to the one above, but is also orchestrated by third-party sellers.

In this case they ship empty packages to wrong addresses where they are signed for by someone who is in on the scam.

Top Online Scams Used by Cyber Criminals to Trick You

Since the package is signed for, the victim often has problems when trying to make a claim with Amazon. Astroturfing has been around for a long time and its definition can be loosely defined as a company creating fake support around its product in order to attract customers.

One famous example was McDonalds paying employees to stand in line to create buzz around the release of the Quarter Pounder in Japan. With the persuasive power of online reviews, these have become a means for digital astroturfing. Companies simply pay people to write fake glowing reviews on supposedly unbiased review sites. There are even Facebook groups dedicated to swapping online reviews for specific sites like Amazon or specific product types, for example, books. Consumers rely heavily on these reviews when making purchases and ultimately end up with a subpar product or service or nothing at all.

There are a broad range of continuity scams out there but they typically follow similar patterns. Popups for surveys offering free gifts or amazing deals lead victims to enter credit card details to pay for minimal fees or shipping. Often hidden in the small print are exorbitant ongoing monthly fees that can be near impossible to cancel. This is another reason to always check your statements as these could easily go unnoticed.

This scam is along the same lines as astroturfing and is conducted very much out in the open.

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It involves articles or other methods and materials which persuade potential investors to contribute funds based on exaggerated predictions. In April , the SEC enforced actions against 27 individuals and entities for such fraudulent promotions of stocks. Some scammers are using a tactic whereby they fake a pending payment to encourage the release of goods. This might be a bogus PayPal or email transfer message to say that payment will be released once tracking information is received. Once you do actually send the goods, no payment is ever received.

15. Loyalty points phishing scam

The overpayment is another one for sellers to watch out for. It usually relates to the sale of items or services, often through classified ads. The scammer sends you payment for whatever you are selling but sends too much. They ask you to refund the difference. This just makes it even more important that you watch out for tell-tale signs. Many scams require a legitimate looking website for victims to interact with and provide the information the scammer is looking for. This is a good question which we cover in detail in a post about recognizing scam or fake websites. There is no single silver bullet that can indicate the trustworthiness of a site, but there are a number of things you can check that will help you make a judgement call.

Scammers can be clever, though, and it can be hard to spot the fake phishing emails sometimes. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you.


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If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.

We also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help. Phishing Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out your personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers. Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else's identity to steal money or gain other benefits. These scams offer you the false promise of an inheritance to trick you into parting with your money or sharing your bank or credit card details.

While these scams originated in Nigeria, they now come from all over the world. Skip to Content Skip to Sitemap. Enter a search term. Home Types of scams Listen. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information Related news From the web. Identity theft Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else's identity to steal money or gain other benefits. Inheritance scams These scams offer you the false promise of an inheritance to trick you into parting with your money or sharing your bank or credit card details.

Don't friend a scammer this Valentine's Day. Making a Western Union refund claim. Victims scammed via Western Union may get refunds.