Most annoying scams of 2018
We all hope for a time when we do not have to navigate the Internet like a minefield, constantly having to avoid various threats trying to harm us. However, until such a time comes, we have to prepare ourselves. And one of the best ways to go about it is to inform yourself about what kinds of threat you could encounter. So below, you will find information about the most annoying scams of 2018.
Zeus virus tech-support scam
Zeus malware was a prominent computer threat back in 2009. The Trojan infected computers and was quietly stealing banking information from thousands of users. It usually got in via drive-by downloads and phishing emails, and may have worked completely unnoticed if the infected computer did not have anti-virus installed.
Almost a decade later, scammers are using the known name to scare users into calling fake tech-support. These scams usually pop up suddenly, when users are browsing questionable websites, such as free streaming pages. A sudden redirect occurs, and message pops up that the computer has been infected with Zeus virus and that personal information is being stolen. That will immediately catch a person’s attention. If the person has encountered such a thing before, or if they at least have heard of it, they will simply close the pop-up and carry on as usual. However, if they are less computer-savvy, they will not be so quick to ignore the alert.
These tech-support scams are designed to scare users into reacting quickly. They use various scare tactics, such as threats about personal information being stolen and hackers having access banking details. Zeus is an often mentioned malware because of its notorious reputation. And since it is not a made up malware, if users would use a search engine to look into the threat, they would get countless results about its dangerousness.
Numerous times in the pop-up, there will be a phone number shown, with warnings such as “Call Tech-Support Now”, “Call Immediately”. The phone number is advertised as tech-support, but if users were to call it, they would be connected to professional scammers. They specialise in taking advantage of non-tech users in order to get as much money as possible. Users would be asked to provide remote access to their computers, and if they grant it, scammers would pretend that they are fixing the computer, and once they are finished, users would be charged a lot of money. It could go up to a couple of hundred dollars, and that is pretty expensive to get rid of something that was never in your computer in the first place.
Tech-support scams are one of the most common types of scams you can find online, and while awareness is increasing, some users still fall for them. It is not difficult to differentiate between fake and legitimate warning about viruses, mainly because legitimate ones will never come via browser. Your browser is not capable of detecting or warning you about malware, that is what anti-malware is for. If a message on a website is warning about an infection on your computer, it will always be a scam. And not to mention that you will never be asked to call ‘tech-support’. No legitimate company, whether it is Microsoft or Apple, will ever ask you to call them. Thus, whenever you see a phone number for tech-support in an alert, it is not real.
Microsoft scam alerts
Microsoft scam alerts fall in the same category of scams as Zeus tech-support virus. It uses the same concept, except it pretends the warning is from Microsoft. As is usual for these scams, users are redirected when they are visiting questionable websites, or because of adware. And again, scare tactics are used to force users to call “Microsoft tech-support”.
The warning commonly claims that your Windows computer has alerted them that an infection is present on your computer and that it could be stealing your information. Alternatively, it may state that your licence key is no longer valid. Whatever the case may be, you are asked to call the provided tech-support number. As is the case with Zeus virus, scammers will remotely connect to your device and try to convince you that your computer needs fixing. They will offer to do it for you, which will cost you. And since the problem they are talking about does not exist, you would just be wasting your money.
Remember, Microsoft, nor Apple, nor any other legitimate company will ever ask you to call them. So when you see a phone number, you can be sure it is a scam.
You have been chosen/Today’s lucky visitor scams
These kinds of scams have been around for a very long time, and will still be around in 2018, and possible years after that. They are perhaps the most common type of online scams, and come in various forms. They are designed to take advantage peoples’ eagerness to get free things, in order to get personal information.
Just like with tech-support scams, users get redirected either because of adware or because they were on a dubious website. However, instead of an alert about viruses, users are greeted with a message that they have been chosen to win a prize. It could claim you are the lucky visitor of the day or you were randomly picked. Amazon is a common name used in these scams. The message claims that you have received an Amazing gift , which you can access if you answer a few general knowledge questions. Either that, or you get to spin the wheel of prizes.
When you do complete the quiz or spin the wheel, you will be asked to provide personal information, which would not cause suspicion because how else would they deliver your prize. For those who are more suspicious, supposed reviews will be available. Various people will claim that they did not believe it at first, but they did receive a prize and are completely happy with it. Of course, these are just fake reviews to further fool people.
If you did provide your personal information, expect to start receiving spam emails, or even phone calls. These” Today’s lucky visitor”, etc., scams have been created in order to get personal information, and users gladly provide it if it means they get free things. Keep in mind that you will never be given free things on the Internet, you would just be giving up your personal information.
Phishing email scams
Phishing emails are perhaps the most dangerous scam you can encounter on the Internet. They could lead to your files locked, stolen personal information, hacked email and social media accounts and even financial loss. And it is not a scam only individual users are in danger off, entire businesses and organisations could fall victim, with dire consequences.
Wikipedia describes phishing as an attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Essentially, cyber criminals send phishing emails containing malicious links to users, pretending to be from legitimate companies/organisations, and when users press on the link, they are taken to a fraudulent email/social media/etc., login page, and if they provide their credentials, the crooks get it.
You might be wondering who even falls for a phishing email, surely everyone knows of them. Unfortunately, anyone could get phished, especially if the crooks know certain things about the potential victim.
There are those generic phishing emails that are so obvious, it is embarrassing, but occasionally, you might encounter more sophisticated ones. They usually appear to come from official sources, such as banks, tax agencies, online shopping sites like eBay or Amazon, etc., and contain pretty legitimate appearing text. They all ether have attachments that would download malware onto your computer, or links to sites which could steal your credentials. In order to pressure you to press on those links, various scare tactics will be used. For example, an email that apparently comes from your bank will claim that unusual activity was noticed in your accounts and that you should review it by clicking on the link. You would be taken to a fraudulent bank website that asks you to log in, and if you do, you would be providing cyber criminals with your bank credentials. Same goes with your email accounts, social media, etc.
No matter how sophisticated phishing emails may be, there are certain ways you can protect yourself against them. First of all, generic phishing emails will not use your name. It would be rather strange if a bank emails you about suspicious activity in your accounts, yet addresses you as Dear Customer/Member. If it was your bank, you name would be inserted automatically. However, if crooks were targeting you particularly, they probably have access to your name. So how can you protect yourself then. You can start by never pressing on links in those kinds of emails. If your bank is warning you about activity in your account, do not press on the provided link, instead, go to the bank’s website manually. Same goes with email from eBay and Amazon, or social media.
WiperSoft.com is not sponsored, affiliated, linked to or owned by malware developers or distributors that are referred to in this article. The article does NOT endorse or promote malicious programs. The intention behind it is to present useful information that will help users to detect and eliminate malware from their computer by using WiperSoft and/or the manual removal guide.
The article should only be used for educational purposes. If you follow the instructions provided in the article, you agree to be bound by this disclaimer. We do not guarantee that the article will aid you in completely removing the malware from your PC. Malicious programs are constantly developing, which is why it is not always easy or possible to clean the computer by using only the manual removal guide.