A scam is what? how to keep from becoming a victim

December 11, 2022
Criminals create scams like spam, spoofing, and phishing to steal your money, login information, and identity. Here’s how to recognize when you’re being conned.

How exactly does one pull off a con?

Scams can be carried out in a variety of methods, but their end goal is often to steal money, property, or sensitive information. Criminals have refined their strategies in response to the growing amount of time individuals spend on the internet. The following are some frequent cons that you have to be aware of.

A variety of fraudulent schemes

Each year, frauds such as vishing, phishing, pension theft, gift card fraud, and cryptocurrency fraud take millions of dollars from their victims. Here is a list of nine frequent cons that you have to be aware of.

what is a scam

Phishing and vishing are forms of online fraud.

Emails containing malicious links are often sent to victims as part of a phishing scheme. When you click on one of these links, malware might be downloaded into your device or you could be sent to a phony version of a website. To trick you into providing sensitive information, the crooks who sent you the phishing email can make believe they are from a bank, firm, or other legitimate institution. In the first three months of 2022, according to a research compiled by Check Point Research, 52% of all phishing attempts made an attempt to pose as LinkedIn.

Scams that employ the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, such Skype and other websites with a similar function, are known as vishing. Scammers may pose as someone you know when they phone you in an attempt to steal your personal information using a technique known as vishing. They may even appear to be calling from a real company, bank, or government organization.

You may be speaking with a genuine person on the other end of the line, or you could simply hear a voicemail from a faked number requesting that you contact them again. After you have done so, you will be prompted by a machine to submit your information before being connected to a human assistance. In point of fact, you will be transmitting your information directly to a hacker.

Pension frauds

Scams involving US and UK pensions might result in the loss of your retirement assets or the imposition of a significant tax liability. Someone trying to steal your pension money can cold call you, send you a text message, or send you an email out of the blue. It’s possible that:

  1. Make it appear as though you are aware of tax loopholes that will allow you to get a larger portion of your pension free of taxation than the standard 24%.
  2. Make your retirement fund available as a “loan,” “savings advance,” or “cash back” option.
  3. I would advise you to put all of your money into a single investment rather than dispersing it across a number of various opportunities. They will have an easier time stealing a large quantity of money from you as a result of this.
  4. You should make it clear that they will assist you in accessing your pension prior to the age of 55. This is only permissible if you are suffering from a major illness or if you have a particular kind of plan.
  5. Put you under pressure to make a decision as fast as possible.
  6. Have only a cell phone number or a post office box address as your only form of contact information.
Note: If you wish to claim your pension early, you should research whether or not there are any penalties associated with doing so. If you are eligible for a pension through your place of employment, you might require the permission of your employer.

Fake technical support

Even though it falls into the category of “vishing,” this fake tech support hoax deserves to be brought to your attention.

  1. Scams involving technical help prey on our natural inclination to comply with superiors and are so simple to carry out that even Apple has been tricked by cybercriminals posing as law enforcement.
  2. A criminal will phone a victim and pretend to be a customer support employee from a bank, firm, or authority in an attempt to steal their personal information during a fake tech support scam.
  3. They could inform you that your computer is plagued with a number of viruses and that in order to get remote access, they require your password. The con artist may then install a keylogger onto your device, which would record every click and keystroke you make once they have access.
  4. They may also tell you that unauthorized transactions have been made using your bank account and that you need to recite the data of your debit card.
Note that con artists are increasingly adopting spoofing techniques, which involve imitating real phone numbers in order to pull off port-out frauds. Therefore, always be on the lookout and keep in mind that legitimate businesses would never ask for critical information over the phone.


Scammers who doxx people steal your private information using deceptive computer practices and publish it on the internet. It might include photographs, your home address, the details of your debit card, your place of employment, or other confidential data. Doxxers may either sell parts of your identity to criminals who commit fraud or use those parts themselves to annoy you. They are able to acquire this information via stumbling onto data leaks, hacking into your device, or following your social media activity closely.


Every every day, billions upon billions of unsolicited emails are sent. Whether it’s a “Sale Now On” fraud, a “Google security alert” hoax, or a scam message about Google Docs, 94% of spam contains malware that might steal your information or crash your device.

Spam messages and emails typically contain links that, if clicked on, take you to websites that contain harmful software or direct you to download malware onto your computer. Your email address or phone number could have been obtained by a third party due to a data breach at your employer or because you joined up for a “free” service. Instead of clicking on links that are contained inside spam, you should call the firm directly if you are concerned.

Advance-fee fraud

Convincing their victims to pay for services that never end up being provided is the goal of fraudsters that engage in advance-fee schemes. Consider fraudulent job opportunities, loans, clairvoyants, or even virtual private network (VPN) services. Google the firm online and see what other people who have used their services have to say about it on reliable review websites before you pay any upfront fees.

Cons involved in online dating

Be wary of anyone who try to take advantage of you through online dating, since your potential new partner might be a con artist. Scammers who use online dating sites will work rapidly to develop a rapport with their victims in order to earn their confidence. These con artists may arrange to see you in person, but when the time comes, they won’t be there. It’s also possible that they’ll pop the question of marriage on you out of nowhere to reaffirm their commitment to you.

What kind of fish is a catfish? In most cases, the objective of the catfish is to get you to part with your money. Therefore, you should avoid communicating with anyone on dating apps who claims they need money from you to fix an issue.

Postal scams

During the course of the epidemic, it was all too usual to get messages and emails requesting you to “reschedule your item delivery.” Scammers were able to find new victims everywhere since a significant portion of us now buy our food and other necessities through internet shopping.

Never click on links that are contained within e-mails or postal mailings. Visit the website of the postal service and make your inquiry there. In addition to that, you need to check the sender’s address. A few typos here and there are a dead giveaway that you’re being taken advantage of.

Cryptocurrency frauds

According to a research by the Federal Trade Commission, con artists operating in the cryptocurrency space have stolen more than one billion dollars since 2021. Theft of bitcoin frequently occurs through fraudulent websites and applications, as well as through pump-and-dump scams.

  • False websites and mobile applications. Fake bitcoin wallet applications may expose your personal information to con artists. Trading platforms with poor security and privacy can potentially be hacked and mined for information if they are not properly protected.
  • Pump-and-dump schemes. Take a step back and gather your thoughts before investing in cryptocurrencies or tokens that have suddenly gained a lot of popularity. Fraudsters will incite a buying frenzy in order to push up the price of the currency they are targeting, at which point they will unload their holdings. It goes without saying that this leads to a crash, and as a result, the value of the asset drops significantly.

How to determine if you’re being taken advantage of by someone else

There are five telltale signs that you are the victim of a scam. If you get an email, text message, phone call, or letter that makes you suspect, follow these guidelines.

They ask for information that might be considered private.

Companies and government agencies are required to adhere to stringent privacy regulations, which ban them from inquiring about sensitive information from consumers. This contains complete phone numbers, information about bank accounts, and login credentials.

The sender address seems odd

If you have received an email purporting to be from PayPal but the name of the company is misspelled, you should assume that it is a fraud. Legitimate businesses won’t misspell their name, and this seemingly insignificant detail might end up saving you a lot of time and energy in the long run.

They feed off of the feelings you have.

An organization that is run professionally will not engage in unusual forms of manipulation. Customers will not be subjected to coercion or intimidation, and you will not be asked to take quick action if alternative methods of communication have not been used to make contact with you first.

They make unannounced touch with you.

When someone contacts you out of the blue concerning a pressing matter, you should never take them at their word. Make a direct call to the firm using a phone number that you know for a certain is recognized. And keep in mind that, just to be on the safe side, you shouldn’t provide any sensitive information while you’re on the phone.

Things don’t appear to be what they seem to be at all.

If something sounds too good to be true, then there’s a strong chance that it isn’t as fantastic as it seems. Make an effort to avoid falling for frauds involving gift card giveaways, outrageously large discounts, or just announced product prizes. Malvertising may take you to a bogus website that is set up to steal whatever information you provide while you are visiting it.

How to avoid being taken advantage of by con artists

If you want to prevent yourself from being taken advantage of, follow these three pieces of advice.

Reduce the amount of your digital imprint.

Make an effort to reveal as little information as possible about who you are. Make use of a disposable email address while signing up for random websites and online shopping accounts.

Imagine all of the online services and websites for which you have signed up for free accounts and the number of times you have done so. Your personal information, like your name, phone number, and email address, may be found all over the internet. You are not maintaining the level of privacy you believe you are, whether information about you is stolen from corporation databases or from criminals operating websites.

Use your banking app

If a fraudster uses your card data to make purchases, the app that you use to manage your finances will notify you. You can keep track of your spending by installing the mobile app offered by your bank. Con artists frequently defraud their victims of modest sums of money over extended periods of time.

Make use of a VPN as well as a password manager.

It is possible for someone else to get your credentials if you do not save them in a password manager. Scammers could be able to get access to your credentials, for instance, if the device you use is infested with spyware or a keylogger. Your passwords are stored in an encrypted vault that only you can access when you use a password manager . It is also able to fill them in online, sparing you the trouble of having to learn them off by heart.

A virtual private network, or VPN, is one of the most helpful tools you can employ to lessen the digital footprint you leave behind and prevent your information from being shared over the internet. Your data will be kept confidential and encrypted while you surf the web thanks to FreeZone VPN’s excellent security and privacy features. You are now able to prevent malware as well as websites that contain malware thanks to enhanced Threat Protection. The FreeZone VPN app is compatible with desktop computers, mobile devices (including smartphones and tablets), and laptops.