Fraud and Cybercrime are the most common form of offences committed in most countries. Traditional crimes are what people often protect themselves from forgetting that they are vulnerable online. Anyone could be a target as long as you use computers be it in banks, shops, social communities etc. The impact on both financial and emotional points are devastating and most of this crimes go unreported because people are embarrassed to acknowledge that it happened to them. The increased rate of online crime has created a need for Cybercrime awareness and policing to deal with the crimes.
Fraud and Cybercrime occur when one gains a deceitful advantage, financial or otherwise over another person. The internet makes you vulnerable to malicious malware so one needs to keep off various types of cybercriminals who are out to make money off you. Below is a list of the common types of cybercrime and of course it is not exhaustive.
1. Phishing and Spamming
Spamming uses spambots to send you numerous unwanted email messages. Cybercriminals use phishing to offer bait to unsuspecting people to get the information they need. The bait mainly comes in form of monetary payment in exchange for something small you can do. If the offer is too good to be true, think twice. It is wise to ignore these emails send by random people you have never heard or interacted with. Your promise of heaven can turn into a financial and mental hell for you.
2. Identity theft
This is one of the most common types of frauds. A criminal poses as another person so as to get a financial advantage. Online identity theft occurs when hackers gain access to private or government websites that have people’s personal data in relation to their credit cards, emails, addresses, phone numbers etc. Data breaches on this sites give hackers power to steal people’s identity.
3. Social Engineering
Cybercriminals get information about you using your email or phone. They befriend you and later disappear leaving you exposed to numerous financial risks directly or indirectly. They get to gain your confidence and have a relationship built on trust with you so that you can confide in them on where you work, your company, your finances and anything that can be beneficial to you. They can trade in your information or use it to access loans in your name. Be careful in your dealings with strangers and avoid sharing unnecessary personal information with them.
Hackers use a public-key encryption to access your computer network and encrypt all your files. It is a malware attack that leaves the encryption key with the hacker. One is then bribed by being asked to pay ransom as to access the private key that will be used to get your data and information back.
Blackmail and extortion motivate them to issue this attacks on networks and machines. DDoS attacks are an example of online network attacks to infect computers and give hackers access to their systems so as to blackmail users.
Cybercriminals send infected advertisements that entice people to click on them. They remove the malverts once they meet their target and more often than not the websites are innocent of the crime happening on their website.
6. Financial Fraud
This is done by tech-savvy criminals who leave no trace in their dealings, therefore, making it very difficult to prove. They hack into emails and websites giving them the credit card and bank account details, therefore, empowering them to take your cash or perform financial transactions with your cash.
7. Advance fee fraud
Fraudsters target people online by encouraging them to make advance payments before receiving certain goods or services. Once the payments are paid, the services do not materialize.
Cybercrime and online fraudulent activities can target individuals and corporations. It is important to inculcate a culture of using safe browsing habits and not leaving any digital footprints. Secure your computer by installing and updating antiviruses and firewalls. If one is a victim of any of the above, they should report the crime so that the criminals can be brought to justice.
Cybercrime is a worldwide phenomenon and measures should be taken to combat them at both individual and institutional level.