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What is a Scam?

Online scams are schemes that trick people into giving up personal information, money, or access to financial accounts. They use common digital tools like emails, social media, and websites.

Common Scam Types

  • Phishing Scams: Fake messages that look like they’re from real companies, banks, or government agencies.
  • Investment Scams: Promises of high returns with little risk, often involving fake opportunities.
  • Lottery or Sweepstakes Scams: Claims of winning a prize in a lottery or sweepstakes that you never entered.
  • Romance or Lonely Heart Scams: Fake profiles on dating sites or social media that build relationships and then ask for financial help.
  • Tech Support Scams: Tricks victims into thinking their computer is infected with malware and selling unnecessary support services.
  • Advance-Fee Scams: Requests for upfront payments with promises of large returns later.
  • Identity Theft: Scammers obtain personal information to commit fraud or theft.
  • Fake Shopping Websites: Counterfeit websites that offer goods at low prices but steal money and personal information.
  • Job Scams: Fake job offers that ask for personal information or money for training or equipment.
  • Charity Scams: Exploits people’s generosity, especially after disasters or holidays.
  • Cryptocurrency Scams: Tricks investors into sending money or digital currency for nonexistent returns.
  • Ransomware: Malware that blocks access to files or systems until a ransom is paid.

Identifying Scams

  • Be wary of urgent messages that pressure you to act.
  • Check the sender’s email address for slight variations or misspellings.
  • Look for poor grammar and spelling.
  • Check for “https://” and a padlock icon in website URLs.

Protecting Yourself

  • Never share personal or financial information in response to unsolicited requests.
  • Create strong, unique passwords with two-factor authentication.
  • Update your devices and security software regularly.
  • Verify the authenticity of websites and emails before giving personal information.
  • Use secure networks and a VPN.
  • Monitor your accounts for unauthorized activity.
  • Install antivirus and anti-malware software.
  • Back up your important data.

Additional Tips

  • Use Bitdefender Premium Security Plus for comprehensive protection against scams.
  • It offers anti-phishing, anti-fraud, and other security features.
  • Try the 30-day free trial to experience its benefits.