What is Internet Fraud? Different Types of Online Scams
What is Internet Fraud? Different Types of Online Scams

In the age of rising digital empires, the Internet has become an integral part of our everyday lives. It is hard to imagine doing business without it. Hence, anonymous online scammers saw an opening to run deceptive schemes and rob unsuspecting individuals of their funds.

Since internet fraud is becoming frequent, it is important to learn what falls under that concept, how financial swindlers carry out these operations, and why it is crucial to report online scammer cases. Find out what you should do if you have fallen victim to online schemes.

What is an Internet Fraud?

“The term ‘internet fraud’ refers to any type of fraud scheme that uses email, web sites, chat rooms or message boards to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme,” according to the Australian Federal Police.

Internet fraud refers to the use of online services and software – that have internet access – to deceive or exploit unwary victims. The term is quite broad and encompasses various internet scams and subtypes of cybercrime conducted online aimed at stealing money from individuals.

Each year, virtual scams targeting people through online services result in the losses of millions of dollars in fraudulent activities. As internet usage grows and cybercriminal tactics become more sophisticated, the above-mentioned figures are expected to increase.

Common Types of an Online Scam

As mentioned, cyber scams can take various forms. Devious minds seem to have an inexhaustible source of ideas when it comes to fraudulent tactics. Out of the sea of deceptive methods, four seem to stand out.

We shall take a closer look at email phishing scams, romance fraud, credit card trickery, and trading deceptions.

Email Phishing Scams

Email phishing scams pose a serious threat to individuals, companies, and organizations. Up to 95% of attacks targeting business networks were spear phishing attempts, per reliable sources. 

These schemes, which constantly shapeshift, often involve cybercriminals pretending to be trusted individuals and personas to trick victims into clicking dubious links or downloading harmful attachments. 

The cyber cons typically create a fake website, and then send out emails to a list of targets. The emails aim to create a sense of urgency, instructing recipients to click a link or download a malware-infected file. That way, they are able to obtain login credentials, financial details, and access to various networks.

Romance Scams

Online romance scams are a form of deception where fraudsters target potential victims via dating sites, social media, or email. The majority of online dating scams involve fake accounts used to develop a relationship with the victim and gain their trust over time. 

If successful, the frauds ask for money or personal info under false pretenses, such as needing funds for medical reasons. Many romance scams online have left victims in a devastating financial situation and emotional distress.

It’s imperative to be cautious when interacting with individuals online, especially if they quickly profess strong feelings and affection. Verify their identity while on the lookout for red flags such as them asking for your personal data and money.

Credit Card Scams

In online credit card scams, digital swindlers aim to steal card information from unwary individuals. They plan to carry out these operations using various means – some of which we explained previously – including phishing emails, fake websites, or malware-infected software.

Scammers tend to use stolen credit card information to make unauthorized transactions online, which will cost cardholders big time. Victims face challenges in recovering their money and may have to deal with hampered credit scores.

Therefore, do not share any credit card information with anonymous accounts or unsolicited emails and messages. Keep that info confidential.

Online Trading Scam

When it comes to online trading scams, cyber imposters base their deceptive practices on manipulating the online trading of currencies, stocks, commodities, crypto, or any other financial instrument group. 

Scammers lay baits for potential victims by promising high returns on investments or guaranteed profits through fake trading platforms. Expect aggressive sales tactics, non-responsive customer service, and fund withdrawal issues.

Once the user deposits funds into his/her account, the fraudster seizes it and disappears with the money or keeps manipulating trades to cause further losses to squeeze out more loot.

To avoid online trading scams, exercise extreme caution and research the company offering you the deal. Make sure they are subject to regulatory oversight.

Reporting Internet Fraud

If you believe you have been a victim of online scams, please file an internet fraud report promptly. Doing so helps law enforcement agencies such as the FBI track and investigate these crimes. They uncover the operations to help prosecute the perpetrators and protect others from falling victim. 

To report online fraud, you can file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 is a partnership between the feds and the National White Collar Crime Center that accepts online internet crime complaints from either the person who believes they were defrauded or from a third party to the complainant.

“Reporting internet crimes can help bring criminals to justice and make the internet a safer place for us all,” the IC3 website states.

In case you have suffered financial loss due to internet fraud, we advise you to contact your financial institution – bank or credit card issuer – immediately and report the incident. That way, you will mitigate any further financial damage and potentially get your money back. More on that in the following section.

What Can I Do If I Was a Victim of Internet Fraud?

If you have fallen victim to internet fraud, try to stay as composed as possible. Professional assistance can help you fix the situation.

After reporting the incident and telling your bank about how your funds got compromised, there are more steps you can take on the fund recovery front. Here are some of the key things you should do to ensure your hard-earned money returns where it belongs:

  • Report the fraud to the relevant financial authorities: Aside from law enforcement, you also have to inform market regulators about the scheme to increase your chances of retrieving your funds.
  • Consult with a qualified internet fraud attorney: These individuals specialize in online deception cases. They can outline all your legal options and best instruct you on what to do. You may even be eligible to press charges against the perpetrators if they get caught.
  • Hire a chargeback company: You don’t have to deal with the stresses of fund recovery chargeback procedures on your own. Get in touch with a company engaged in getting victims their money back.

In case you have any questions, please book a free consultation with Scam Brokers Reviews. Our professional team can assist you with the chargeback and make sure you see your lost money again!

Unfortunately, many users start reading reviews only after falling victim to scams. We sincerely hope that you are not one of them!
However, if you're here because you suspect that your investment isn't in a safe place, know that you have the right to claim funds back!

Report a Fraud Case & Claim a Refund from Scammers

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