Five Online Scams to Watch for in 2018
Online scammers never rest. They always find new ways to trick people. You must be vigilant. If you are active online, it is important to stay educated about the scammer’s methods. Here are five scams to watch out for in 2018.
Netflix Phishing Scam: Netflix has a customer base of over 100 million users. That makes it a frequent target of scammers. Some users have received an email asking them to update their billing information before their membership is suspended. If you receive such a message, be cautious. It is always risky to follow links in an email. Before updating your information with Netflix, go directly to the official website and log in from there.
Google Chrome Browser Freeze: Google Chrome is the most widely used browser, which makes it a frequent target of scammers. Upon visiting certain infected websites, Google Chrome will begin to download thousands of files. Soon after, your Chrome browser is likely to become unresponsive. Next, you receive a pop-up with a toll-free number to a fake technical support line.
This malware spreads through the use of infected ads on reputable websites, so using an ad blocker will prevent most attacks. Make sure that your computer’s virus protection is up-to-date. If your browser freezes, you can still close Chrome through the task manager by selecting Control-Alt-Delete on your keyboard.
New 2018 Microsoft Phishing Scam: Many Microsoft Hotmail, Live, and Outlook users have received fraudulent emails claiming that their account will be frozen if they don’t update to 2018 Microsoft. If you follow the link in the email, you are asked to enter your username and passwords. If you do as the scammers request, they will have access to your login information and can take control of your Microsoft-related accounts.
If you receive this message, go to Hotmail, Live, or Outlook directly. After you log in to your account, you will receive instructions if there are indeed any problems. Remember: don’t ever follow a link in a suspicious email.
FedEx Parcel Scam: Many FedEx users have received phishing emails with a subject line stating “FedEx: Delivery Problems Notification”. The scammers have created an email template almost identical to FedEx’s official email template, so beware. If the email asks for information about credit cards, invoices, or account numbers, it is not a genuine email from FedEx. If you have any questions about your FedEx account, go directly to the FedEx website and log in from there.
$1,000 Amazon Gift Card scam: This scam has been around for years, and is still a problem in 2018. Infected ads at reputable websites install adware that shows pop-ups. Once infected with the adware, you will receive a message claiming you have won a $1,000 Amazon gift card. If you click the pop-up, it takes you to a short survey. After you complete the survey, you are asked to provide personal information, such as banking details and contact information.
Never click any pop-ups that claim you have won an Amazon gift card.
Online scammers are very creative, continually developing new tools and methods. But the criminal’s best weapon always remains the same: exploiting user complacency. Even if you know the site is reputable, be suspicious when you receive emails and pop-ups. If you have a question about one of your accounts, go directly to the website and log in. Don’t ever follow a link in an email unless you are 100% certain it is authentic. Keep up-to-date on the latest scams. Be smart and stay safe. Contact Elevated Tech today for user awareness training!