Internet fraud is a widespread trickery, that can mislead many users. In this article we will take a deeper look into the topic and will find out how to protect against it.
There are some common types, that I have seen so far:
- E-mail messages, where a stranger claims he knows your password and demands you to send the money to him (they may include your actual current or old password);
- Claims, that some hardware of yours had been hacked and information stolen;
- Fake e-mails, that claim you have won a lot of money;
The first rule - never trust anyone and always check everything on the Internet the same way as you do in your real life.
The fact, that someone knows a particular secret info about you does not necessarily mean he knows anything else or has any data compromising you in possession. There have been and will often be leakages of account data from large and small platforms, from where your passwords can essentially be defined. This is the primary reason, why you are normally warned not to use the same password at more than one web resource. So, if this password leaks, no other accounts of yours can be compromised.
Of course, if you do not adhere to this rule, after you have got such an e-mail, do change your credentials at the sites, where you have used the same password and do it fast. Other than that, do not worry, normally no information has been yet stolen from you. There is no way for the attacker to reliably know a correct pair of credentials for every service you use, unless you use a single e-mailbox everywhere.
Another day you would receive an e-mail, where an attacker claims he uses a zero-day vulnerability in your router and now he has collected some compromising info about you. First of all, think if you really use such a hardware. Secondly, even if so, try to convince yourself, that the attacker has provided enough proof of him getting into the system.
Most likely he is just bluffing. In any case, double check if your hardware was not messed with. Remember, the more scary and technical things are there mentioned in the e-mail, the less likely is that someone has done all this job, as it would be too difficult and high-profile. From my experience, it was funny getting such e-mails, while running something completely different, not even nearly close to the hardware they claimed I have.
The scammers are just hoping to easily get some money from you. So never and under no conditions pay to them, only so you can stop this scam.
And finally, if you get e-mails or SMSes about winning anything, while you did not participate, do not waste anywhere over 2 seconds to delete such an e-mail.
Remember, there is nothing free in this world, besides trusty users and their money.