Over a $100 billion of private and company capitals and assets is lost to internet fraud & online scams annually. Plus, millions of complaints are piled up annually. In this article, I will be unveiling the Top 10 Most Common Scamming Format, how to avoid online scam, and what you should do if you have been scammed online.

Whether extortion, blackmail, insurance fraud or alleged inheritance from a forgotten relative, the tactics of those scammers are pretty diverse. But there is a common group used to distinguish these scandals.

Top 10 Most Common Scams And How To Avoid Them

Here are the top most common scams and ways on how to avoid them (with real-life scenarios)

Top 10 Most Common Scam and how to easily avoid them

1. Dating & Romance Scams

Dating & Romance Scams is the most popular scam technique on this list. In this case, a person opens a fake social profile (usually a male posing as a female). In less than 5 minutes, you can easily create a Facebook profile and start working.

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Scammers will create fake profiles on legitimate social media & dating websites. This is an example of the popular Nigerian scammer email & dating scam.

Since the site has no means of confirming the authenticity of the information the scammer filed, the whole network just goes with it. Once they send you a friend request, they become close and intimate with you, the journey begins. They would use your emotions to get your information, personal details and of course money.

How the Scammer Approach You

Victor just received a message on Facebook from a white woman saying “Hi, I fell in love with your picture, you are too sexy, I want to be with you all the days of my life”. Would this really be true love? No it is not.

How to Avoid this Scam

This is obviously a scam. Do not reply to this message and if this “soul mate” is persistent, unfriend her or risk being trick into sending money.

2. Advance fee fraud

This is another common scam to watch out for. It is very prominent when trading cryptocurrencies.

Here, a scammer poses as a trader of some sort of good or service and makes a deal with his victim. After bargains and the deal has been made, the requests fees upfront in return for his wares. Once you pay, that the scammer never supplies.

How the Scammer Approach You

Hannah just saw a trader selling Bitcoins almost 40% off. She has made the deal all that’s left are payments.

How to Avoid this Scam

Before you make a payment to this trader; you must know the type of trader such person is. Let the payment be done in cash in a restaurant nearby or his office/branch close to your location or use an escrow service for the payment of that cryptocurrency coin. If these 2 options are unavailable, skip the trade to avoid losing your money to an unknown stranger who poses as a crypto trader.

Aside from that, he is a stranger that should not be trusted. Resist the pressure to make a decision straight away, calm down and think things through.

3. Lottery and competition scams

This is another common scam techniques which scammers have used to exploit millions of people all over the world. You simply receive a call, an email, a text message, letter or message from a company out of the blue saying you’ve won a certain amount of cash or fantastic prizes in a lottery, sweepstakes competition, prize draw or job alert that you did not register or participate in.

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This scam is a ploy to trick you into paying some money upfront or giving away your personal details in order to receive the prize.

How the Scammer Approach You

Tunde receives a call stating that she just won an iPhone. We just need you to enter your personal information, credit card info and some cash for shipping & delivery.

How to Avoid this Scam

Like I say, even in Freetown, nothing is free. Free giveaways are never free, just ignore. Remember you cannot win a prize you didn’t apply for. Use an online tool like kiwisearches to verify a phone number, kiwisearches is a free scammer phone number lookup. With a scammer phone number lookup, you can easily avoid this type of scam.

10 Common Scam & How to Avoid Them
Atm Card skimmer with a scanner and nano camera

4. Card Skimming

Almost anyone can make a fake document and even an ATM card. Card skimming is the forgery of information from the magnetic stripe of a debit card, credit card or automatic teller machine (ATM) card. This is the latest scamming format used in duping people of their money.

Scammers clone/skim your card by putting a hidden camera/bug/discreet attachment on/around an ATM or EFTPOS machine and use this camera to capture your card details and pin.

Once your card is cloned, the scammer will create his copy, giving him access to the money in your bank account. If they can’t make an exact copy, they will try to acquire the code on & behind the card to make online purchases.

READ MORE: How to Resolve a Mistaken Bank Transfer

How the Scammer Approaches You

For instance, Jane’s ATM card was captured with a camera and all the money in her account have been used up. She is sure going to go broke.

How to Avoid this Scam

  • Report to the police, so they can track where it has been used. Don’t wait for all the money in your account to be used up, the moment you see an unusual purchase, report to the bank or disable your card and order for a new one.
  • Secure your bank card & PIN code.

5. Banking & Account Scams

This is another everyday scam. A scammer would clone a message to look like it was from a financial institution, in need of your bank credential to solve an immediate problem.

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Using this technique, a scammers sends email messages or text messages that appear to be from the bank (or a financial institution or an online payment service) claiming that there is a problem with your account and request that you verify your details by sending a text of the required information or on a given link with the replica version and display of the bank’s website. This is one of the most effective scamming techniques

Phishing emails & sites are cloned replica of the landing page of an organization that you know and trust. This is another snare scammers used to lure their victim. Site & phishing Email are similar to Banking scams.

A website phishing/spoofed site is a site set-up by a scammer to steal your account password or other confidential information. You can also enter a phishing site by mistyping a URL (web address).

While Phishing emails are email messages sent by scammers to trick you into giving them access to your account. This email will typically redirect the victim a website where they would be asked to update personal information, password, username, pin, credit card, social security, or bank account numbers.

If you provide your account details they require, the scammer will hack into your account and have full control over your profile. Skilled phishers can create incredibly accurate site copy, so be very very careful.

How Does the Scammer Approach You

For instance, Wale received an email from his bank, asking for your login name and password or else they will close his account.

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OMG, it Sounds urgent, right? No, it’s another common scam called phishing.

How To Avoid This Common Scam

No reputable bank or any other online organization would ever ask for your login information & personal account detail. Instead, they would rectify the problem without alerting you. Simply delete or ignore these texts & messages, no matter how many serious the message may be.

10 Common Scam & Ways To Avoid Them

6. Computer Hacking

Computer hacking is another prominent scamming technique prominent all over the world. These hackers seek for your personal details by encouraging you to click on a link or attachment.

When you do click, malicious software will be installed on your system and the hacker will have access to every file stored on your computer.

How Does the Scammer Approach You

For instance, David just saw an Email on this computer, with a bold banner sign “Click this link, to win $100,000“.

How to Avoid this Scam

Wow, that a lot of money to be won just by clicking a link, besides the link has been cloaked and shortened. This link will download malicious software and should be deleted immediately.

7. Charity and medical scams

This is another common scam. Scammers also take advantage of people who want to donate to a good cause. This scam has one of the biggest income potentials of all scamming format.

Charity scams involve a scammer pretending to be sick, abused, a victim of a recent natural disaster, crisis, accident, find a solution to a health issue, contributing to orphanages, etc. This arouses your emotions and you support their claim. The scammer basically collects money by pretending to work for a charity or a cause.

Medical scams are simple scams pulled off by a scammer by offering a range of products and services that can appear to be legitimate by promoting false testimonies & result.

How Does the Scammer Approach You

Tunde saw an ad that states “The WHO needs $400,000 to feed 3 million children in Africa, we need your support“.

How to Avoid this Scam

Check into money requests, verify its tax status, emails, check its spending, check the official site and see it plans, missions and accomplishments before donating.

8. Business & Employment Scams

The working class and investors are the major victims of this common scam. Business and Employment Scams are scams pull on a person or business seeking investment or partnership with a scammer.

An investment scam begins with an unexpected phone call or message from the scammer offering a convincing high return deal or guaranteed investment in shares. Once you make a purchase, the scammer will take your money and block you from reaching out to him.

While Employment Scam is an interesting promise of a job, high salary and benefits after you pay following initial upfront payments.

How Does the Scammer Approach You

They claim that the payment is for a business plan, training course, software, uniforms, security clearance, taxes or fees but once you pay, its deeds are done. Samuel just got a text saying “Invest in Johnson real estate at Lekki. You are advised to reply to this message to get a plot“.

How to Avoid this Scam

Do reply. The moment you do, you’re hooked.

9. Online Shopping Scams

10 Common Scams & How to Avoid Them

Online shopping scams are also common ways scammers separate you from your money. Scammers use fake websites and social media accounts to defraud their victims.

When you purchase a product from these scammers, they send faulty product/inferior quality item, or nothing at all.

Some of them sell on reputable sites and ask you to pay outside the sites secure payment facility to a more personal one. When you do this, your money will be lost and the site will not be able to help you get it back.

They may also pretend to sell a product online just to gather your credit card numbers or bank account details.

How the Scammer Approach You

You come upon an incredibly cheap Gucci handbag on abestores.com. This bag is worth over $120 on Amazon & Jumia but be stores sell it for $50 with free shipping & delivery. It seems reasonable right?

How to Avoid this Scam

  • Counterfeited products are a fact of life, the picture in the site and the product delivered might be different. So, Be wary of highly discounted luxury items that may seem undamaged.
  • Contact the seller to verify the item authenticity
  • Read the customer reviews and make an educated judgment.
  • Search for the average online price and use your common sense.

10. Counterfeit Payments

Counterfeit Payment is another common scam targeting people worldwide.
When doing business that involves a lot of payment in cash, there are bound to be counterfeit notes in there. But a counterfeit check is too scary.

When you sell a product to a scammer and they pay in check, they will pay more than the agreed-upon price and instruct you to return the extra amount later. The check may look authentic, even the bank may clear the check and transfer the money to your account, but it’s counterfeit.

Once that check is found to be fake, the bank will take back the money from your account and you will have to pay all the money you wired off. It’s a no-win situation.
There should not be a story for this, 2 or 3 counterfeit note may be allowed, but falling to a scam like this shouldn’t.

Like I said internet fraud is responsible for the loss of more than $100 billion worth of private and company capital and asset. There are no foolproof methods to avoid being scammed. Anybody can fall victim to an online scam. Spam is a ticking bomb just waiting to go off.

While this may sound scary, just balance the way you leave online and be very smart about your transactions. These are 10 Common Scam and How to Avoid Them.

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