Knowing what the most popular online scams are is a good way to keep you and your details safe online.
Fraudsters are criminals. They can be any age, gender or race. Their aim is to steal personal information, money or both. They prey on situations where someone may have let their guard down because they are acting on emotion, or trying to recover from a difficult situation.
They will also work long and hard to gain trust, but in truth they are engineering a situation for their own criminal benefit. As the internet become more sophisticated and widespread, so sadly do the scams that exploit innocent people.
|Advance fee scam (419 scam)|
|419 scams are designed to look convincing. Some go to the trouble of producing fake advertising, phoney application forms and forged share certificates. Fraudsters will go to these lengths to fool people into sending them money or handing or their bank details. Sadly, there is little that Standard Life can do to stop 419 scams happening. But by being aware of the types of scam that have happened, you can keep yourself safe online. .|
|Social networking accounts|
| Fraudsters try to break into their victims' accounts and add posts about being in danger. They plead for money to be sent by money transfer.
|Dating websites - 'Romance fraud'|
| Fraudsters pose as single people looking for love. In fact they are looking for personal details to access bank accounts or for identity theft. In extreme cases victims have travelled overseas to meet their 'date' only to be kidnapped for a ransom.
|Auction sites/payment sites|
| The most common scam is to email people who have successfully bid for an item, to tell them that their payment has been declined. They ask for bank details to be re-supplied using a fake link. Usually the emails use legitimate businesses' logos, but the content and links are fake.
|Trading websites, for example motor vehicles, pets, other goods|
| Goods are advertised for a lot cheaper than you would expect to pay elsewhere. Fraudsters ask for payment first - usually a money transfer - then arrange a meeting place to hand over the goods. They never turn up to the meeting place and your money is gone.
|Shareholder scams (also known as boiler room scams) mainly operate from overseas by phone but beware of email messages asking you to visit websites which you do not recognise.|
| These have a variety of nicknames like Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, or boiler room scams. They promise huge profits in return for depositing money into a fund or asset. The fraudster's trick is to convince you that time is running out and you will miss your chance. They will often be very persistent in contacting you.