the tricks of internet scammers and how to avoid them

Faced with increasingly attentive Internet users and the proliferation of online scam prevention campaigns, scammers are increasingly ingenious in managing to steal money from their victims, underlines an investigation by the MoneyVox information site.

It is therefore necessary to redouble our vigilance and, above all, to know the main mechanisms on which they depend to carry out their scams. Focus on the two main operating modes used and ways to avoid falling into the trap.

Read too: A TESTIMONY. Bank scam: “I had no more control”

Method #1: The Banking Scam

The banking scam consists, for the scammer, of directly recovering the money from the victim’s bank account, most often by getting his hands on his bank card numbers. In most cases, it pays for purchases on an e-commerce site through the victim’s bank card (56% according to INSEE). More rarely, the value can be stolen through payment in a physical store (10%), by transfer (9%) or by withdrawal (6%).

In 2018, around 1.26 million people were victims of bank fraud, according to INSEE. This category of scams is the most expensive for victims: around 29% of them result in damages of more than €1,000. However, almost 8 out of 10 people were able to get a refund, usually through their bank.

Method 2: the blow

This time, the scammers are not directly attacking the victim’s bank account. There is no need to retrieve the victim’s bank details, personal identifiers or credit card numbers. Through maneuvers, they manage to induce them to deposit the money in their account. This is the case, for example, when buying counterfeit products or services, which are never delivered, or during blackmail or a false romance that leads the victim to make a transfer.

Compared to bank scams, the number of scams is roughly equivalent: 1.24 million people fell victim to them in 2018, according to INSEE. However, there is one notable difference: the amount of damage is usually less than that linked to a bank scam. Here, almost a third of scams cause losses of less than €50, and only 18% of situations cause losses of more than €1,000. On the other hand, very few victims manage to be compensated (only 6%).

How to avoid being scammed by online scammers?

To avoid falling victim to an online scam, you must first reduce the amount of personal data that scammers can use, as MoneyVox reminds us. Identity information, address, telephone number, passwords… all these elements must remain as confidential as possible.

Furthermore, it is advisable to be very vigilant in the face of requests that appear to come from organizations of public notoriety. Taxes, bank, CAF… the crooks don’t hesitate to use these names to gain the trust of their future victim, either by email, phone or SMS. This is called “phishing”. Fake and very similar websites may also have been created. To avoid them, it is essential to go directly through a search engine, and not through a link contained in an email or SMS.

Very attractive offers, for example, very high returns on an investment vehicle or an exceptional promotion, must also instantly awaken the vigilance of all consumers. This situation is usually accompanied by the creation of a sense of urgency, through a limited time offer, in order to encourage the potential victim to conclude quickly, without thinking.

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