Dear readers of Tecnogalaxy, today we will talk about of online scams. In general, online scams take advantage of the fear and greed of Internet users.

Some of these internet scams like phishing and the dreaded email ( Nigerian prince) have been around for many years. However, they are becoming more and more sophisticated, let’s see in detail the biggest scams present on the internet today.

The biggest online scams

The internet continues to expand touching every aspect of society, in parallel scams are becoming more sophisticated, from fake ticket sellers to phishing scams.

All online scams have in common the technique of taking advantage of their audience’s naivety and ignorance.

The most elaborate scams currently on the world wide web range from the YouTube page to your inbox.

As already explained, one of the most common online scams is phishing, this technique when successful, induces the user to hand over their passwords to the scammer on a plate (without him realizing it). Delivery often happens through professional looking emails that pretend to be from real companies.

According to a statistic made by the anti-phishing working group , there are about 100,000 phishing attempts per month.

Nigerian fraud

Now let’s see the Nigerian prince’s scam, one of the oldest tricks on the internet.

The biggest online scams to date

In the 1990s this scam came to the fore, dubbed by the FBI as Nigerian Fraud or 419.

The technique used is very simple, you receive an email where within the message a Nigerian prince, investor or government official offers you the opportunity to make very high financial gains.

You may wonder at this point where is the trap, simple! They will ask you to pay a small portion of the amount first, or hand over your banking or other identifying information, so that the money transfer can be made.

Obviously, as we can deduce, the unfortunate will lose the advance money and will not receive even a coin in exchange.

According to a 2018 statistic, this fraud has grown so much that the proceeds from the bad guys are around a million dollars.

According to James Bettke, a researcher at Secureworks, from a technical point of view they are not very sophisticated, they don’t know how to program, they don’t use a lot of automation. Their strengths are social engineering and creating quick and easy scams. The technique is to spend months sifting through inboxes, a silent and methodical technique.

Fake Ticket Scam

The other very popular scam is buying fake sports and music tickets, where the consumer is tricked into buying fake tickets for sporting events etc.

The bad guys usually aim for high-profile events, whose tickets are likely to sell out, so they can reap the benefits based on the increase in demand.

In most scams, the tickets that hackers send to the unfortunates contain counterfeit barcodes or are simply duplicate copies of real tickets.

Other times, consumers will not receive any tickets after paying.

Another fashion scam is the one in which the victim gets in touch via message with celebrity imitators and influencers.

In January, YouTube star Philip DeFranco had to warn his 6+ million subscribers of one of these scams.

The fake DeFranco sneaked into YouTube messages, promising users gifts if they clicked on a hyperlink. Obviously, the scammer’s purpose was that of identity theft for financial gains through the classic online phishing system.

More than 150 YouTube users on the community page said they fell into the trap.

Ransomware attack

The biggest online scams to date

This screenshot shows a request for WannaCry ransomware, provided by the computer security company Symantec.

In a ransomware attack, attackers install malware on a computer that restricts a victim’s access to their files.

The payment of a ransom, (in the form of bitcoin), is required to cancel it.

According to a Wired report, the Atlanta government was hit by a ransomware attack in 2018 that cost the city more than $ 2.6 million.

The bad guys have deliberately engaged in extreme 21st century digital blackmail, carrying out attacks by extorting money from vulnerable victims such as hospitals and schools. These attacks were aimed at victims who they knew would be willing and able to pay, said Brian Benczkowski, the head of the criminal division.

Ransomware fraud undermines the victim’s sense of security and privacy by claiming via email that they hacked a webcam while the victim was watching a porn movie.

The bad guys bet everything on pure manipulation, in reality the scammers have no documents or videos, they have never even hacked your information.

The password they bragged they had was in publicly available databases, which contain leaked passwords and emails, so there’s no need to cover your laptop’s camera with a plaster!

Then there are the scams that exploit people’s generosity.

Online scams on fake news

In 2017 there was a scam where a story was told about a couple who raised $400,000 for a homeless veteran who lent him his last $20.

Prosecutors found that the trio made up the whole story, and they were blamed by the feds, plus GoFundMe had to repay donations from all 14,000 donors.

The hoax news can obviously fuel the problem, through online manipulation scammers can go much further.

According to Buzzfeed, spreading fake news online is one of the most used “pump” tactics by scammers to rob the unfortunate in the unregulated forest of cryptocurrency.

There are many groups that have focused on disinformation, said Laz Alberto, a cryptocurrency investor and editor of the Blockchain Report newsletter.

All of this is obviously illegal, but as there is no regulation, they were able to do it undisturbed.

Since we now know a little more about online scams, as always, pay attention to the various news, emails you receive etc.

As always, make good use of it by testing your device / computer, doing them on devices / computers not yours is illegal.

See you next article!

NB: I do not take any responsibility for the use you will make of the guide, as it is drawn up for didactic and training use.

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