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Top 20 Popular Online Scams and Dangerous Frauds

Updated on by in Cyber Security

Internet these days is full of frauds and scams; you think you are looking at something but it may turn out to be the exact opposite of it. As much advantages as an Internet offers to every person, there are also a number of scams attached with this experience that you must look out for. Such scams can affect a person one way or the other without them even realizing it.


If you are also among those who are tired of being hit by several online scams, then below you will learn the top 20 online scams that should be avoided at all costs:

1. Phishing Scam


Phishing is an extremely vulnerable practice in which the internet sites act to be that they are certainly not. They try to show up as legal organizations like PayPal and ask for your password and username so that they can easily get the access to your account. Therefore, before giving any of such information to any unknown site, make sure that it is real and 100% authentic.

2. Account Cancellation Scam
Account cancellation scams include emails telling you that your account is or is about to be cancelled. The messages are sent to you in a way that looks legal with proper links given in the email. You may get freaked out for a few seconds but if you closely look at the URL by hovering mouse on the link, then you would find that the URL is different. You can even see some grammatical or typo errors that will warn you about these scam messages for future.

3. Fake Facebook Messages Scam
With the increased popularity of Facebook users around the world, scammers did not leave any chance to take advantage of this social site too. You might get several scammed messages on Facebook with a fake link attached to it. Most of these messages lure you to open them with a message saying something like, “do not open it if you are below 18 years of age” or “this is not for the weak-hearted”.


A fake Facebook message is easily determined if the URL of the domain is or anything similar to it. It should be kept in mind that the true domain should only be since Facebook is just a web server.

4. Fake Charity Websites Scam
Disasters that hit the world are surely devastating but there are several scammers that set up fake charity websites in order to get free donations in the name of the poor survivors or those who got affected from the disasters. Watch out and closely examine if you receive any of such email, making sure it is not a scam. Never give your personal account information until and unless you are completely sure that it is not a scam. To be on a safer side, it is the best option to directly contact the organization before giving any sort of monetary or goods donation.

5. Virus on Your Computer Scam
The computer software scam includes an email asking you to pay some money in order to fix the virus on your computer. Make sure you double check if you get an email from Microsoft; check the spellings and see if the address is making any sense to you. Do not even bother reading such scammed emails if you are not sure that you have anti-virus software installed in your computer.

6. Assembling Crafts Scam
You may get a scammed email asking you to assemble toys, crafts and other similar things from your own homes and guarantees of giving you high profits in return. All you are asked to do is simply paying a fee to begin with. Once you have paid the fee and have mailed it in, you are rejected saying that you did not meet our requirements. The company makes enough money by simply collecting the starter fee. This scam is around for quite a while now and should be avoided as much as possible.

7. Medical Billing Opportunity Scam
This type of online scam requires you to pay a starting fee ranging from $200-$1000, after which you are given all the necessary supplies needed to start your medical billing practice. Not only it is unethical but also illegal and not to forget, a total waste of time and a complete waste of your hard earned money.

8. Fake Lottery Scam


A fairly large amount of scams is operating throughout the world due to the charm of winning the lottery money. You may receive an email saying that you have won a large amount of lottery but before you proceed, as yourself if you actually ever entered the lottery. You will be asked to pay along with some of your personal information if you respond to the email. Once you pay, you are never answered back and their main aim of taking your money unfairly is achieved.

9. Warning from the Government Scam
There are a majority of the scammers who have introduced a new way of sending emails, warning you from FBI of being involved in any criminal activity and ask you to pay a sum of $300 or more in order to get rid of the case. Thinking of been warned by the government, people are generally forced to pay the sum so that they are free from the trouble. But keep in mind that if you really are the target of any government agency, then you will be contacted personally rather than being asked for money through an email.

10. Suspicious Packages Scam
The scammers take full advantage of the holidays and send you an email telling you that you have a package that could not be delivered due to your wrong address. It also gives you an attachment that you need to fill and then submit, further assuring that you will get your parcel back. Your computer is infected by a virus once the attachment is opened and the form is filled, which affects your entire system.

11. Fake Tax Payment Notifications Scam


There are times when you receive a very convincing email saying that you owe a tax payment. Fortunately in reality, you never owe anything to anyone. To trick you, the mails sent by the scammers look real with revenue names in them. Think about why any government official would mail you about your tax repayment. Before responding to the scammed email, it is always better to call the revenue department in person.

12. Online Home Typing Job Scam
The majority of the scammers claim that you can make thousands of dollars by simply typing online. You are fooled by paying a starting fee to start the typing work. This act is absolutely illegal and should not be encouraged. Keep your eyes wide open and refrain from falling for any such traps.

13. Online Free Trial Offer Scam
You are offered a free sample online where you only have to pay around $5 for handling and delivery right at your doorstep. However, the real scam here is the hidden amount that is necessary for you to pay, ranging from $70 to $90 and that too, forever. These scammers are really sharp as they know that the majority of the people click on the ‘agree’ button without reading the full terms. To avoid such scams, read the entire print before responding to it since a genuine company will always give you a cancel option unlike the scammers who simply trap you, giving you no option to escape.

14. Fake Holiday Cards Scam
Sending greeting cards online to your friends and family was never so easy and quick but there are several scammers that take advantage of it. They send you fake notifications saying that you have received a card. Once you click the link to view the card, dangerous software is downloaded to your computer if you are not protected properly. When your real friend or a family member sends you a card, you are notified as the sender’s name. However, the notifications from the scammers will only have a single sentence, saying your friend has sent you a greeting card. In order to find whether the card service is legal, make sure you search for it properly before opening the link. The other way is to simply ignore the notification and confirm it with your friends through email or phone messaging.

15. Wi-Fi Scam
Beware of logging into local Wi-Fi networks since the chances of internet scamming are way too high when you use them. Once you are automatically connected to any of such Wi-Fi, your laptop is being mined for your personal and valuable information. It is an absolute fake site that simply sells your information to other crooks. Keep your eyes opened when Wi-Fi disabled whenever you are in public, and never set up your laptop in a way that it can automatically connect to any available and open network around.

16. Twitter Scam


Your Twitter follower who is generally a scammer tweets about winning a free laptop or an iPhone after a free contest, asking you to click on the link given by him. This is actually a virus that is added to your computer once the link is downloaded. Make sure you know such a Twitter follower and even if you don’t, make it a point checking out his profile so you know more about him.

17. Scanning Your Computer Scan
You are alerted through a window pop-up that tells you to download software that will clean up your computer from any bug. Of course, they find a fake virus and ask you to pay $50 after which your computer would be cleaned. Once you click on the link, the scammed company downloads dangerous software on your computer. As a result, your credit card is already charged and your computer ends up on a very critical phase. To avoid such things from happening, make sure you do not click on any link if you see a pop-up window.

18. Online Dating Scams
Even the online dating sites are not free from scams. For instance, you meet someone on dating site but later feel that you are not made for each other. What you may not realize is that your partner may be nothing but a scam artist, emotionally fooling you to give him money since he needs to feed his family. Online networking sites have given a huge platform to the scammers to play with people’s heart just for money. Internet is, without a doubt, an excellent way to make new friends or partners but simply back off from those who ask for your money.

19. The Famous “Nigerian Email” Scam
It comes as an email from your good friend who lives far away and in need of your help. Such mails start with something like “My best compliments to you and your family. I will be grateful to if you help me out during this difficult time as you have always helped me…”. The ultimate goal of such mails is to make you send some money and help your ‘friend’ to get rid of the sticky situation that he is stuck in. It is also called a 419 fraud, and all you need to do is to delete this message and never respond to it.

20. Census Survey Scam
The scammers have not left even a single corner on the internet to stop looting innocent people. Since they are aware of the fact that the US government holds a survey, they send you scammed emails claiming they are from the government bureau and ask you to fill an attached form and mail it back to them. Since this form requires your entire personal information, it can be used in criminal activities later. The emails may even include viruses that can infect your computer.

Online scamming has been very common ever since the internet came into being. But with the passage of time and advanced technology, scamming has now moved to a higher level. Some of the top online scams listed above are there to show you which scams are circling around the internet the most, so recognize them and refrain from being caught in their trap.

Author: Edward Warner

Edward Warner is a professional writer for

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