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Most Common Online Scams

Most Common Online Scams
February 29, 2024

Learn essential online safety tips to protect against scams, with advice tailored to those navigating the digital world. Stay secure with our guide.

Staying safe online is important for everyone, especially those who are less familiar with navigating the digital world. The internet can be a great tool for connecting with others, but it can also be a breeding ground for scammers. To protect yourself, it's critical to be aware of the dangers and learn how to avoid them.

Understanding Your Vulnerability

The internet is a fantastic tool for staying connected but it can also be a playground for scammers. These individuals often target those they perceive as less familiar with digital scams, employing tactics that might not be immediately obvious. Recognising the common scams can help you stay one step ahead.

Common Online Scams

Parcel Delivery Scams:

Be cautious of messages asking for payment to receive a package. These are often scams trying to get your personal information or money.

The message might look official, using logos and language like those of reputable courier companies but be aware that they may ask you to click on a link to enter personal information or to make a payment.

Investment Scams:

Ignore promises of high returns with no risk. These are usually too good to be true.

These offers might come through unsolicited emails, social media messages, or even phone calls, presenting opportunities in stocks, cryptocurrency, or rare commodities. What's more, Age UK tells us that they'll often pressure you to make quick decisions with phrases like "limited-time offer".

Phone Scams (Vishing):

If someone calls claiming to be from a trusted institution and asking for personal information, it's likely a scam.

They might ask for sensitive information, like passwords, PINs, or banking details. Remember, legitimate organisations will never ask for this information over the phone.

Romance Scams:

Be wary of someone who forms a relationship with you online and then asks for money.

Romance scammers spend time grooming their targets to build trust and emotional connections. Eventually, they make up a story that requires money, such as a medical emergency or travel expenses to visit you.

Shopping Scams:

If you purchase something online and it never arrives, or you receive an incorrect or counterfeit item, you may have encountered a scam.

Check reviews and ratings of sellers and websites before purchasing or look for sites like ours with Which? Trusted Trader status. If in doubt, use secure payment methods that offer buyer protection in order to get your money back.

Tips for Staying Safe Online

·       Strong Passwords: Create complex passwords that mix letters, numbers, and symbols and change them regularly.

·        Email and Message Vigilance: Look out for odd emails or messages. Spelling mistakes or strange email addresses can be red flags.

·       Privacy: Never share personal or financial information online with someone you don't fully trust.

·       Caller Verification: If you receive a call from a company, hang up and call back using a known, trusted number to verify the caller's identity.

·       Seek Advice: If ever in doubt, discuss the situation with someone you trust. It's okay to ask for help or a second opinion.


Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always approach unsolicited offers or requests with scepticism. By staying informed and cautious, you can enjoy the benefits of the internet while minimising the risks.

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