The Internet has revolutionized our lives, changing the way we work, learn, entertain ourselves and interact. The benefits of our connected world are multiple, but so are the risks, including being the victim of a fraud. Fraud has, of course, been around in various shapes and sizes for many, many years. Nevertheless, on the Internet has found a new life and has developed its own strategies.
The more places we use to take advantage of the Web, the more opportunities scammers have to explore and exploit, whether it’s for inheritance scams, various types of shopping scams, bogus job offers, bogus sweepstakes and lotteries, and even scams. dating, to name just a few of the most common scams out there.
But if we know this, why do we keep falling for the same scams? ESET, a cybersecurity company, shares some of the reasons.
From generation to generation
First of all, there are different types of fraud that have been implanted in society for many years. That accumulated knowledge It is passed down from generation to generation of cyber criminals. Proven characters and techniques are often meticulously constructed and many ‘phishing’ emails are crafted so that something won’t look fishy, at least at first glance.
Some scammers will use all available and seemingly harmless data about all of us to their advantage, monitoring our every move online, usually on social media, to end up exploiting our digital footprint. Unless you’re careful, the more you interact digitally, the more likely they are to know a lot about you. Ultimately, it will be easier for them to deceive you.
Many scammers can create plausible stories and characters that don’t always trigger your spam filters. They are also quick to exploit current events to their advantage, even taking advantage of fears surrounding public emergencies, as has happened. with Covid-19 or the war in Ukraine.
in a hurry
Scammers pressure you to act now, they don’t want you to think things through. An award will be for a limited time only and an invoice will be due the same day, to name just a few examples where you are urged to make a decision as quickly as possible. So, you are likely to pull the trigger without taking into account the whole picture and without checking if the message is legitimate. Remember that you must stop and think before making any decision.
The word ‘free’
Taking advantage of your financial difficulties or simply the desire for easy money, many scams start by offering fake gifts or include promises of sky-high investment returns.
The danger of authority
People tend to trust those in positions of authority. Scammers often pose as people who have some kind of experience: a government official, a lawyer, a company executive, or an expert in a specific field. They are people we have been taught to trust. Scammers will try to appear to be official agencies and will use the names of companies or organizations that you may recognize to achieve their goal.
Scams are becoming more prevalent, and someone may try to scam you on a day when you’re feeling sick, tired, or otherwise vulnerable. Being preoccupied with more important things, you can pay less attention to details, which opens the door to possible risks. Scammers can even sense your vulnerability and take advantage of it.
One step ahead
While you’re trying to figure out if a calling phone number can be legitimate, they’re already taking over your mind, so to speak.
we like to help
Schemes involving requests for help build empathy with the scammer or the people the scammer claims to represent. For example, narratives of personal tragedies or public emergencies are still effective. Even if in the back of your mind you know it might not be true, you’re still inclined to help ‘just in case’. Fraudsters realize that people want to feel useful.
If you happen to interact with, say, a romance scammer, usually through text, they can spend some time preparing to gain your trust, making you feel understood, and even testing how far they can go with you.