Last Updated on February 25, 2020
© Pittsburgh Magazine
If there is one thing that we can say for sure is that scammers are very creative people. That creativity combined with strong social engineering skills is able to create ingenious schemes to rob people in every imaginable way – from lottery scams to charity frauds.
Given the speed with which information is spread in this technological age we live in, it should be easy for everyone to identify a scam with a simple google search. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Even today, there are people still falling for the famous Nigerian prince scam that has been around since the 1990s – the living proof that online scams are as old as the internet itself.
Information is key. The best way to avoid being scammed is by knowing different types of scams. In this article, we are going to cover different scams and quickly explain to you how they work. Just remember, if you are suspicious about something, your best option is to search the internet to understand whether the situation you are in is legitimate or not.
1. Greeting card scams
You may have never heard about this one. The e-greeting cards scam tries to take advantage of the popularity of electronic postcards. A few years ago, people started sending these postcards to their loved ones by email to show their love and affection. It is kind of sweet to combine the email technology with a demonstration of love as old as postcards. So, how does this scam work?
It’s simple. The scammer sends you an email posing as a legitimate e-greeting card company claiming that a family member, friend, or co-worker has sent you an e-card (he can easily find their name through your Facebook profile, for example).
You will be asked to click on an external link to open your card and surprise! Your computer will start downloading malicious software. Depending on their skills, hackers will then be able to do whatever they want with your computer.
The core of this scam can be used in several other different ways. But while we are on the subject, it is also worth mentioning phishing email scams (or text message phishing scams).