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The 10 scam trends of 2019

At Scamadviser.com, we receive hundreds of scam reports every day. Here is an overview of the 10 most common reported scams in the last year.

10.     Hacking services

It is possible to find on the Internet some services offering to hack other people’s data for you. Many scammers are promoting those not only illegal but also fictitious services. It is very likely that, by answering to such an offer, you will get defrauded of your money with nothing in return. We even received reports that using such software results in installing malicious software on your own computer. Beware and if you have doubts over someone in your surroundings, the easiest solution remains not to talk to them!

9.       Employment/Training scams

People most likely to be targeted by these kinds of scams are aged between 18-24. This type of scam can come under many forms but has the same purpose as any other. Finding a Master degree for less than $ 199 is very unlikely to happen. People have paid for expensive courses, CV services or simply jobs that don’t exist. If you find yourself in an unusual situation involving what you think is a scam, make sure you report it on Scamadviser.com.

8.       Computer hacking

Scammers can proceed to the installation of malicious software (malware) on your system, giving them control over your device, or making you believe so through an untimely and unclosable tab of your browser. Their next move will generally be asking you for money in exchange for the solution to the issue they created. It is normally possible to get rid of this problem without giving the scammers what they want, a quick search on the Internet should do the trick. If not, ask your 14 year old nephew or niece to help you clean your computer.

7.       Debt collection

Some scammers have time to spend in repeatedly calling people, and harassing them, also threatening them and telling them about a debt they owe. Do not fall for it, and never communicate your credit/debit card details by phone to a stranger. Contact your national consumer protection agency to get help.

6.       Romance scams

Dating apps and websites are gaining popularity worldwide, which gives scammers a platform to lure money from love-searching individuals. These scams, like many others, can be executed anywhere in the world, thus people must be very careful who they decide to trust online. Check their social media profiles. How long has the profile been up? Also use google image such to check the pictures. Are they really theirs? 

5.       Fake prizes / Unexpected winnings

The lure of money can attract more than one internet user. However, how many times have you received emails claiming that you won a prize or an iPhone, but you don’t remember participating in any contest? This is what we thought. Another criteria which can help you identify the scam is the grammar and orthograph of the email. If you spot even one mispelling, you should drop it. Once again, if it is too good to be true… Do not waste your time on it.

4.       Threat email / personal content

Some of you might already have received this type of scam, where the sender claims to own some personal content involving you. The scammer will generally threaten you to disclose the-said material if you do not use the following link to wire them money. Once again, be smarter than them. It is very unlikely that they own such compromising content involving you, and they only try to convince those will easily be. Always contact the police, they can help you anonymously.

3.       Fake / Non-existing goods

Consumers in some countries are getting more aware of the fake webshops, however, the threat of not receiving a good or service is still very much real. Moreover, counterfeit goods sold online are increasing significantly and the majority of goods coming from China, even though the website states it is based in the UK, the US or another country heavily protected from counterfeits. The best way to avoid these websites is to check the location of the server on Scamadviser.com before making a purchase.

2.       Phishing

Quite common practice but ever deadly, this technique has been used by scammers for a long time. Only that, with time, they keep finding ways to improve their credibility to better trick us. It all can start from an email, text message or phone call originating from someone pretending to be your health insurance company or such, and claiming that (this time) they are the ones owing you money. However, watch out, as the replicas of the websites scammers are impersonating are very thought-through and detailed. Always check the URL of a website before entering your personal or banking details, and most of the time, these organizations will not ask you for it!

1.       Investment scams

Investment scams are the most popular and most impactful type of scams nowadays. Indeed, these scams will generally involve small amounts of money at the beginning, but quite important ones as you get into it. Thanks to their very elaborate schemes, where they give false hopes to the consumer, they can take big amounts of money from their targets. They can do so by helping the consumers make some money (at the beginning) out of small bets and sums, which will convince them to invest more money in the scam. This is when things will go wrong, as the scammer will claim that your latest investment made a lot of profit, but that it is somehow impossible to withdraw it (therefore convincing you to pay even more to withdraw that money). Most of the time, scammers stop replying after they took the most they could from you…

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