Biggest Scams Of Last Year And How To Protect Yourself

As you probably might have heard, 2018 was a bad year for cybersecurity, and 2019 does not seem to get any better. There were tons of breaches which caused billions of dollars in damages. The good news is that steps have been taken to ensure that these problems will occur less and less in the future. Unfortunately, scammers always come up with something new, so it's like a Catch 22.

What were some of the biggest scams of last year? You'll find out below. You'll also learn how to protect yourself from fraud.

Watch the video below to see a top with the most common Internet scams:

Most Common Internet Scams Video


Let's dive right into details. 


The Numbers

When it comes down to numbers, they are staggering. When you take the time to look at them, you can see that they're widespread and prevalent. Ransomware attacks were most common in 2018.

It is estimated that hackers stole in 2017 more than $172 billion. It is common for search engines to blacklist websites that might be considered dangerous. At this point, it is said that more than 20% of sites have been blacklisted because they could pose some cyber threat. Suffice it to say, we cannot hide from these problems.

Therefore, you have to know how to detect them and avoid them, depending on what your industry or hobby is – whether that's cooking, blogging or even gambling (especially gambling, since fraud in this niche is big). Some websites such as are safe. However, for every popular site out there are two or even three that are bogus, claiming to be related or even it!

File Encryption Scams

First and foremost, you should know about the latest file encryption scams. There is a good chance that you've heard about Wannacry. While this was the most talked-about type of fraud, it isn't the only one. There was the Apple TSMC attack, Allscripts attack, and more. How does it work? Well, the scammer will attempt to convince you to open a link in your email. They'll use phishing scams to start the procedure. They'll spoof the email of a big company like Walmart, Amazon, or Apple. Then, they're going to send that email to you and hope you click the link.

If you do, a malicious code will encrypt the files on your computer. Then, they'll be locked out of your data and folders. It is called Ransomware because the scammer is going to force you to pay before they restore your computer to normal.

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are often linked to other types. For instance, the file encryption scam will start with a phishing email. Still, some scammers focus solely on getting your information using phishing emails. You'll receive an unsolicited email in your inbox. The email will contain some critical information. For instance, it may tell you that your bank account has been compromised. Or, it could say to you that you've inherited money.

Either way, the goal is to get you to provide your information. The scammer wants you to click on the link and submit your data. If you do, the scammer will obtain that information, and you'll find yourself in a lot of trouble.

Disaster Relief Scams

After a disaster, you're going to be dealing with many problems. Your life will be turned upside down. You'll need to deal with the mess and try to get your life back together. Suffice to say, you're going to have a lot to deal with.

Sadly, a lot of scammers are going to prey on you during this period, whether via online or face to face home improvement offers.

There is a possibility that you're going to receive an email offering you relief or assistance. During this challenging time, you're going to be eager to take advantage of it. You should know that you could be dealing with a scam.

If the email was unsolicited, there is a good chance that the email is a scam. Do not provide anyone like this your credit card or bank details. Be cautious and keep an eye out for scams like this.

How To Avoid Them

It is up to you to protect yourself. You need to know how to identify phishing emails so you can avoid them. You also need to make sure that your computer is up to date and that you're using anti-virus software for protection.

Finally, you should never give your information to a stranger. If you get an email from your bank, contact them directly and make sure it came from them.

How To Report Them

Let your family and friends know about this article by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here


How To Protect Yourself More

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

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