Remember the days when online scams were quite common? A lot of people were very naïve during the baby years of the World Wide Web, especially since internet transactions became available. We all remember the email offers from the ‘Nigerian’ banks or the ones from ‘wealthy’ individuals who decided to share our wealth with us. As a result a lot of people became aware of the dangers and were a lot more cautious, especially when dealing with online payments.
Financial institutions as well as other organisations that receive payments online, such as online casinos also became a lot more cautious and increased the security level of their websites, programs and applications. As a result, nowadays people can make transactions and play casino games online without being scared that a third party might obtain their financial details. It is still important to choose the best casinos and best online games if you want to win money, of course. These are some of the best online slots for Australians developed by one of the most reliable development companies – Microgaming.
If you thought that the time of online scams is behind us, think again! There are people who still fall for these scams and here are 5 online cons that still work and get people tricked into losing their money.
1. Nigerian Scam (419 Scam)
This is not the end of the nineties, right? Surely, people don’t fall for this anymore. Well, some of them do. Nigerian scam still works. Just imagine, there are so many people who are new to the internet, people who lived in remote areas where there was no access until recently, or people that simply didn’t need to use the internet until now (yes, there are such people!). These scams are also known as 419 Scams, as 419 is the article of Nigeria’s penal code which they break. The US Embassy in Nigeria has issued a warning regarding these scams.
All Nigerian scam emails are written in a similar fashion. A daughter or a lawyer of a very rich late Nigerian prince/businessman/aristocrat asks your help in order to transfer a massive sum of money to your country. S/he is more than willing to share the money with you and you are promised to get the lion’s share. There’s always one problem do. The money remain frozen until bank provisions are paid or some local officials are bribed. However, the ‘money’ of the person in question can’t be used for this purpose and you’d have to send your Nigerian ‘friend’ some money first, in order to take care of the transaction details. It is not more than few hundred, but then more money is needed for something else. Eventually they’ll drain all your money and you won’t receive a penny.
2. Phishing Scam
The phishing scam is called that, because the conman tries to ‘fish out’ your banking information by sending you an email. Typically, you’ll get an email from your financial provider, or an online shopping site where you have an account. There’s one thing, the email is not genuine and it was not sent by the company. Usually it will claim that there’s some problem with your account and that you need to log in, unless it will be closed or suspended. The problem is that the link provided in the email will take you to a fake website and once you select log in and type in your name and password, some shady guys will have access to your account and take your money. People haven’t learnt not to click such links. If you receive such email the best thing open the actual website of the company in question not via the link. It’ll most likely turn out that there’s nothing wrong with your account.
3. Robbed Friend Scam
This is a bit more sophisticated variation of the phishing scam as the criminals claim to be someone you know. They already managed to hack your friends account and the email that you’ll receive will be sent from your friend’s actual email account. Probably a lot of people in your friend’s address book will receive such an email. The plot is always the same. Your friend has been a victim of a robbery, usually somewhere abroad and everything they own was stolen. Now they plead you to send them some money so they could by a plane ticket and come back. This is a trickier scam as the email comes from a genuine account. The best thing to do is try to reach your friend on the phone and see if they’re alright. Often, the hackers take over people’s Facebook accounts as well and may have information where your friend is at the moment. By doing so, they can wait for the moment when your friend is actually on holiday which might get you even more confused.
4. Fake Charity Scam
Natural disasters happen all over the world, all the time. There are always people in desperate help, and many people like to help. As human beings we have a natural tendency to solidarise and sympathise with fellow human beings. Unfortunately this is often taken advantage of by online conmen. Just like with most other online scams, everything starts with an email. You will receive an email asking for your donation in order to help people who were victims of a terrible earthquake, a flood, or a tsunami. Banking details will be provided and you will only need to send some money. Alternatively, like in the phishing scam, the email might include a link to a fake charity website where you’ll be asked to provide your banking details. People often are eager to help and may be unwary of possible scams. Always send money directly to reliable charities.
5. Dating Website Scam
A lot of people use dating websites in order to find their perfect partner. Unfortunately, some of these people are either too eager to find somebody, or too naïve and they become victims of this scam, which is also called – ‘dream girl/boyfriend’ scam. Although, it has to be noted that guys fall for this trick more often. Basically, after so many days of looking and browsing you finally find the girl of your dreams. She’s very beautiful, young and with a great personality, witty, funny and you share common interests. She’s willing to meet you, but she lives far away. As ‘she’ also likes you a lot, she’s willing to travel to your town/country, but she can’t afford the plane ticket. So, she asks for some money for a plane ticket. She also may have a dying mother, or problems with her car. Can’t put a price on love, right? Except, you’re not in love with a real person, and your ‘dream girl’ is probably a guy.