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What Exactly is Internet Fraud?

Internet Fraud consists of various cybercrime activities to defraud or exploit victims for financial gain. It includes identity theft, phishing, and other hacking techniques. These scams result in millions of dollars lost each year and continue to increase as internet usage expands.


Common Types of Internet Fraud:

  • Phishing and spoofing: The use of email and online messaging services to dupe victims into sharing personal data, login credentials, and financial details.

  • Data breach: Stealing confidential, protected, or sensitive data from a secure location and moving it into an untrusted environment. This includes data being stolen from users and organizations.

  • Denial of service (DoS): Interrupting access of traffic to an online service, system, or network to cause malicious intent.

  • Malware: The use of malicious software to damage or disable users’ devices or steal personal and sensitive data.

  • Ransomware: A type of malware that prevents users from accessing critical data then demanding payment in the promise of restoring access. Ransomware is typically delivered via phishing attacks.

  • Business email compromise (BEC): A sophisticated form of attack targeting businesses that frequently make wire payments. It compromises legitimate email accounts through social engineering techniques to submit unauthorized payments.

Phishing scams, where attackers impersonate reputable individuals or organizations via email, are especially prevalent. Greeting card scams exploit popular events to distribute malware, credit card scams trick victims with too-good-to-be-true offers, and online dating scams manipulate individuals into sharing personal and financial information. Lottery fee fraud and the Nigerian Prince scam are other notable examples.

To protect against internet scams, users should remain vigilant and avoid sharing personal or financial information with individuals who are not legitimate or trustworthy. They should never click on unsecured links or attachments in emails or messages. If targeted internet users should report suspicious activities to the authority. Furthermore, monitoring bank accounts, setting up notifications, and using consumer protection services can help prevent credit card fraud.


Explore more about internet fraud and cybersecurity at: https://www.fortinet.com/resources/cyberglossary/internet-fraud

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