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How To Recognize The Most Common Online Scams And Reduce Your Vulnerability To Cyber Crime !

By Rotimi Onadipe
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Despite all efforts made by Law Enforcement Agencies and many Anti-fraud Agencies to reduce cyber crime to the barest minimum, research revealed that the cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their illegal activities, they are developing new fraud schemes with change in technologies.

However, the greatest weapon of all internet users against cyber criminals is "knowledge" about the most common online scams and how to avoid them.

Here are some of the most common online scams and how to avoid them and reduce your vulnerability.

1. Phishing scams: This is when an online fraudster impersonates a reputable individual or organisation in order to obtain money, sensitive or personal information of unsuspecting victims. In order to avoid this, make sure you investigate thoroughly before you respond to any email, text message or phone call.

2. Beneficiary Scams: In beneficiary scams, a fraudster calls or sends message to an unsuspecting victim to notify him that he should help him to receive huge sums of money or parcel containing expensive goods with a promise of certain percentage of money to the unsuspecting victim. The fraudster will later demand for some money to facilitate the release of the funds or parcel. When you receive such email, text message or phone call, ignore it immediately.

3. Job offer scams: The scammers will send out emails & adverts of job vacancies with attractive salary & request for application from different parts of the world. They will ask for the details of the applicants which they may eventually use to create a fake profile of the unsuspecting victim. They will later ask of money for processing of the application or to facilitate the interview. There are many job vacancies on the internet but the only way to differentiate the real one from the fake one is to do a thorough investigation.

4. Lottery scams: The scammers will contact the unsuspecting victim through phone call, email or text message that he won a lottery. They will ask for the personal information of the unsuspecting victim for verification purposes but their main purpose is to obtain his personal information for fraudulent activities. They will later demand for what they refer to as "release fee" before the lottery can be claimed. Lottery organisations don't demand for any fee before the winner can claim the money so when you are asked to pay certain amount, be suspicious.

5. Loan scams: Fraudsters send out emails as if they are financial institutions or Non government organisations giving out non interest loan to help unemployed citizens. They will later demand for details of interested people & processing fees. To avoid this, do a thorough research about any organisation that contacts you for loan application. More importantly visit their offices to ask sensitive questions about them.

Don't be a victim of cyber crime, be cybercrime aware, stay vigilant.

Rotimi Onadipe Tel: +234-8169121819 Email: [email protected]