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Watch Out For These Top Internet Fraud Scams

top internet fraud scams

As technology advances, scammers adapt and become more sophisticated. The internet is a ripe field of targets as it provides an anonymous, remote platform for scammers to find new victims. As these scams evolve, they become harder to identify. Knowing the warning signs of a scam, and what actions to take if you suspect you’re a target, will help you avoid being taken in. It may even lead to a scammer being caught.

These are some of the top internet fraud scams to watch out for in 2024:

AI Enhanced Scams

As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly integrated into everyday life, AI-powered scams have leveled up. AI opens up opportunities for refined twists on scams that have worked in the past. Using AI, scammers create images, videos, or authentic voices to make scams more believable.

If a scammer sounds just like your loved one in distress, it’s natural that your emotions may cloud your discernment. AI scams exploit the new technology by allowing scammers to:

  • Create persuasive text messages and phishing emails that sound natural and convincing.
  • Persuade victims to invest in fake companies or projects by creating deepfake celebrities.
  • Obtain personal information by pretending to be an employer.
  • Ask for money by impersonating a relative or close friend.

Warning Signs Of AI Scams

Look out for these signs to help you identify and avoid becoming a victim of an AI con:

  • Suspicious links in text messages or emails
  • Request for personal information that isn’t relevant to the situation
  • Extreme situations accompanied by high drama and urgency
  • Imagery that isn’t quite right. For instance, someone with too many fingers

Tips To Avoid AI Scams

These simple tips can save you from heartache and financial loss. To avoid AI scams:

  • Create a secret password for family and friends to use to prove who they are. Don’t share it outside your immediate circle, and never post it anywhere online.
  • If you receive a distress call from your loved one, contact them straight away.
  • Never post about upcoming trips before you go, as this opens up opportunities for scammers.

Student Loan Forgiveness Scams

Student Loan Forgiveness Scams

Playing on students’ hopes of being let off the loan repayment hook, scammers use emotional manipulation for personal gain. You might receive a phone call or text message, directing you to a phony application site where you can supposedly apply for student loan forgiveness.

They aim to get you to fill in your details so they can steal your bank account information or Social Security number. They may insist you pay an expensive application fee.

Student Load Forgiveness Red Flags To Watch Out For

It’s easy to be taken in when someone promises to remove one of the biggest stresses in your life. But before you accept the offer, be wise to these warning signs:

  • Applying for student loan forgiveness costs nothing. If they’re charging a fee, it’s likely a scam.
  • The US Education Department doesn’t call students over the phone.
  • Scammers create a sense of urgency by telling you to apply quickly, before “it’s too late.”

Visit the Department of Education website to apply for loan forgiveness. Don’t trust any organization or website that expects you to pay a fee for applying on your behalf.

Text Scams, AKA Smishing

text scams

You get a text from your bank notifying you of suspicious activity on your account. You know you need to act fast to stop what’s happening before they clean you out, so you click the link in the text message or call the number. By doing this, you step into their carefully laid trap.

Scammers impersonate organizations such as online retailers, delivery companies, banks, or government agencies. Their messages relate to the company they’re masquerading as, for example:

  • a bank might notify you of suspicious activity on your account;
  • a delivery company lets you know your delivery was unsuccessful;
  • a government agency may notify you of a refund due to you.

All these scams aim to get you to either click a link or call a number. The goal is to either install malware on your phone or extract personal information from you by sending you to a fake, malicious, website.

Warning Signs Of A Text Scam

You can recognize a text scam by signs such as:

  • incorrect branding in the text;
  • unidentified sender number;
  • messages containing links that urge you to follow them;
  • urgency to take action immediately;
  • messages that say you won something.

What To Do If You Suspect A Text Scam

Resist the pressure to respond urgently and take time to think it through before taking action:

  • Don’t respond to the message. Even replying “STOP” to opt out lets the scammers know that your number is active.
  • Contact the institution directly to check the contents of the message.
  • Never share passwords or account recovery codes via text messages.

Fake Dating Or Romance Scams

romance scams

Romance scams have been around for years, but they are as popular as ever in 2024. Playing on emotions, scammers use social media or dating sites to create fake profiles, or steal identities and pose as real people. They use the connections they make to extort money from their targets.

Romance Scam Red Flags

Trust is an important part of building a new relationship, and scammers take advantage of that. To outsmart a romance scammer, consider the following:

  • Romance scammers can never meet with you in person. Excuses may vary: they’re traveling overseas, or they’re in the military, working on a ship or oil rig.
  • They ask you for money. The reasons for needing money vary, such as helping you invest in cryptocurrency, medical expenses, covering the cost of their flight or visa to come see you, or help with fees for some trouble they’re in.
  • They’ll give very specific payment instructions. Their motivation is to get your money quickly and make it hard for you to get it back. They may tell you to send money through a transfer app, wire money, or put money on a gift card and send them the PIN codes.

Avoid Falling Prey To A Romance Scam

If you’re picking up on romance scam warning signs, here’s what to do:

  • The moment you suspect a scam, cut off communication.
  • Do an online search for their job and “scammer” to see if others have fallen prey to the same story.
  • Reverse image search for their picture to see if it links to a different name and information than what they’ve given you.

Employment Scams

employment scams

If you’re unemployed and job-hunting, you are vulnerable to falling for an employment scam. Scammers aim to get personal information, money, or free labor from job-seekers. Some common employment scams include:

  • Fake job listings: Candidates have to pay a fee to apply or get started in the position.
  • Email job offers: Scammers pose as recruiters who ask for information such as your ID number, or bank account numbers.
  • Career consulting: A fake career consultant makes contact with you regarding your exceptional resume. They then offer to improve your resume for a fee.
  • Remote work equipment purchases: The scammer offers you a remote position, but requires payment for equipment such as a laptop or monitor, promising reimbursement once you’re on-boarded. Once they receive payment, they disappear.

Employment Scam Red Flags

While searching for your next job, be wary of:

  • Requests for money, or upfront purchases before work can begin.
  • Offers that sound “too good to be true,” as they are likely scams.
  • Unprofessional emails, persistent pressurizing phone calls, unfamiliar software.

How To Avoid Employment Scams

You can avoid employment scams by resisting urgency and doing your homework.​​​​​​Before responding to employment offers, research the company online by checking out their current vacancies and employee’s names. Look for complaints in the review section of job sites.

Stay Informed About The Top Internet Fraud Scams Of 2024

One of the ultimate ways to be safe from internet fraud scams is to stay informed. As technology evolves and scammers get smarter, knowing the red alert signs of each new breed of scams can help you recognize and avoid them. Bookmark or follow Anti Fraud News on Facebook to avoid becoming a victim.