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Beware You! These are the Biggest Internet Frauds Ever…

Online fraud is literally everywhere and seemingly everyone is a good target! Internet scams and fraud are dime a dozen and they have been happening since the internet began to be used widely. Here are the 7 biggest internet frauds, in no particular order:

Online Dating Scam

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Online dating is popular with criminals targeting legitimate users using fake profiles and securing money from them. The biggest online dating fraud was in 2013. A retired Canadian woman looking for love lost her entire savings of a whopping $1.3 million to a companion she met on an online dating site, and he elicited gifts, money, and other favors. Usually, scammers ask for monetary help from victims to secure as much as possible. These days, the online profiles of these scammers are pretty limited or regularly removed by various dating apps. Fraudsters use very convincing stories to rope in their victims to keep communicating to them from another app.

Global Fraud Ring

Back in 2010, the Federal Court handed one of the harshest sentences for any computer crime. A hacker called Albert Gonzalez got 20 years in prison for leading a notorious fraud ring which hacked retail store accounts, stole over hundred million credit cards. Gonzalez amassed $2.8 million from the scam which lost over $200 million to $1 billion in damages. The money funded a lavish lifestyle.

Credit Card Cyber Fraud

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After several years of investigations, FBI finally caught five men in July of 2013 for hacking into the database of global organizations in the biggest cyber- case ever filed in USA. They even stole from, Visa, Citibank, JetBlue Airways, Nasdaq and other global giants, besides stealing 160 million credit cards. The credit card fraud exceeded $300 million. Making use of malicious software already installed in the Nasdaq servers, the hackers disabled anti-virus software on computers of unsuspecting victims. After stealing and storing valuable data, these were sold for hefty profits on the Dark Web.

ATM Hackers

Credit cardholders and card processing companies in 2013, became victims of fraudsters in an ATM scam when hackers stole credit card information of countless individuals before stealing $45 million from ATMs worldwide. Eight from New York and 2 Dutch citizens were arrested. Some weeks later, another operation was launched and another group stole $40 million targeting a different credit card processing company, and later arrested.

Credit Cards and Fake Identities

Many international internet fraudsters prefer targeting credit cards and in February 2013, FBI arrested 18 fraudsters who obtained 7,000 fake identities to steal credit card information and “borrowed” huge amounts by giving phony information to credit bureaus, increasing permissible credit limits. Two on-going scams that continue to defraud people, and everyone needs to be aware of:

Email Phishing

Creator: Sitthiphong

This is a cheap but pervasive fraud, wherein the elaborate phishing e-mail takes its victims to fraudulent sites that look like actual web-pages. Gullible victims are lured to enter their on-line credentials, enabling hackers to commit frauds.

Tech Support Scams

Tech support scams have defrauded people out of vast sums of money.  In this scheme, someone pretends to be from a company, or bank or software provider, and convinces the person that their computer is malware-infected and offers to help by  allowing entry into computer controls and allow them to fix problems, remotely. This enables hacking into the system, steal data, or install ransomware. Then, they demand payment or sell a useless cybersecurity app to their victims.

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