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Common Internet Scams

Common Internet Scams

The month of October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. As we become a more technologically reliant society, it is important for us to remain vigilant with our online security. Releasing certain information over the internet can put you at serious risk for identity theft. Here are some common online scams that you should be aware of:

1. Phishing Scams

Phishing emails are disguised to look like legitimate emails that trick you into believing they are real. These emails will often ask you to respond with personal information or have you follow a link to an insecure website. To combat these fraudulent emails, you should always make sure to verify the email. If you ever receive an email from a company and aren’t sure if it is a phishing scam, play it safe by not clicking any links and by calling the company directly to verify the email.

2. Scareware Scams

Scareware scams are pop-up advertisements claiming a malicious virus is installed on your computer and the only way to remove it is to buy a ‘full version’ of their software. In this situation, don’t purchase the software. Instead, take your device to a local computer store and they can verify whether you have a virus or not and can assist you in cleaning up your computer.

3. Greeting Card Scams

Greeting Card scams can be misleading because how could something so friendly be so harmful? If you receive a greeting card from an unknown sender DO NOT open it. Immediately delete it or mark it as spam. These emails can contain links that lead to Trojans and other malicious software that can harm your computer.

4. Hijacked Profile Scam

E-mails aren’t the only thing you should be weary of. Social media sites should also have you on guard. Any friend requests or messages from unknown profiles should not be accepted. Do NOT click on links from profiles that are mere acquaintances or that seem out of the ordinary. This could be how the initial profile was hacked in the first place and could be trying to hack yours!

5. Online Romance

Looking for love online has become extremely popular in recent times; however, even in the realm of love people still fall victims to scams. Do not send money or buy items for any one you have met online. Also, if you intend to meet in person make sure it is during the day at a public place for safety reasons.


  • Landesman, Mary. “Don’t Be Fooled by One of These Common Online Scams.” Lifewire, 8 Oct. 2018, www.lifewire.com/top-online-scams-153134.
  • Heidel, Jaime A. “10 Common Email & Internet Scams – How to Avoid Them.” Money Crashers, www.moneycrashers.com/common-email-internet-scams/.
  • Chianis, Alexia. “3 Common Internet Scams & How to Avoid Them.” SafeWise, 5 Mar. 2018, www.safewise.com/blog/internet-safety-avoid-online-scams/.