How to Spot and Report Internet Scams?


How to Spot and Report Internet Scams?

Scammers have always been around since the dawn of mankind. Over the years, they became more sophisticated, ripping off their potential victims. Today, with the help of the internet and computers and smartphones becoming more accessible, scammers impersonate someone with credibility and fool their potential victims.Such scams have become a common phenomenon, and as per reports, one out of every four US citizens has fallen victim to such scams.

Although online fraudulent activities have become common, you must learn to decipher them since most of our transactions are made online. Today, we rely heavily on the internet, and thus, it is the need of the hour to avoid falling for it.

Besides falling prey to an internet scam, the victim loses not only their money but can become a target of another scam due to identity theft.

How to spot and report Internet Scams?

Educating yourself on how these scams are perpetrated will help you remain a few steps ahead of these internet scams. Via social media, messages, phone calls, and emails, scammers seek out their victims.

We have listed below a few of these scams that are common with con artists:

Tech Support

Scammers will contact their potential victims and claim to be from a popular tech giant. They will send in a report in which the potential victim has to pay a large sum of money. Scammers will produce a doctored report claiming huge sums of money.

Sometimes they also claim that the computer of the victim is affected by a virus that needs immediate assistance.

Victims fall for these gags, and payments are made through cryptos, fiat money, and gift cards.


Scammers will contact their potential victims and ask them to provide sensitive details that they may not even share with their close ones. They will provide their victims with a link that will direct them to a website that appears to be legit.

Impersonating a market survey, government authorities, and so forth, demanding this sensitive information. Information like social security number, date of birth, entire name, bank details, crypto details, and so forth.

Online Dating App

It is quite easy to find a date online these days. Nonetheless, scammers will create an attractive account that will falsely portray them as someone who wishes to make a difference in the world. These fake profiles, with equally fake photos, are used to entice their victims.

After gaining the trust and confidence of their potential victims, they start to demand money for various reasons. They also make a fake promise to return the money in the future. Sadly, the day never comes, and scammers will continue to demand money until the victim realizes that they have been scammed or someone near them points that out to them.

Fake Emergency

Scammers will contact their victims, pretending to be their children or grandchildren. They will create fake emergencies where they immediately require a modest sum of money to pay lawyer fees. These charlatans will demand money to escape the law. Such online scams create a sense of urgency and fear that freezes the potential victims’ critical thinking.

By the time these potential victims realize that they have been scammed, they have already given money to these scammers.

Advance Fees

Another popular methodology to extract money from potential victims is through advance fees. Scammers will impersonate an agency that will declare that their potential victim has won a huge amount of cash in sweepstakes or the lottery.

These con artists will also demand money in the form of fiat money or cryptos for a fake, guaranteed, high-paying job with minimal skill sets.

In both cases, these charlatans will keep on demanding money under the guise of processing fees without delivering on their promises.

How to avoid Internet scams?

The two key things that will prevent you from falling for these scams are awareness and knowledge. You need to spot these red flags when you happen to come across any potential scam.

Keeping the Inbox Clean

Although many email service providers have inbuilt features that spot and stop potential harmful emails and malicious emails in the inbox, you have the option to mark those emails as spam that you do not recognize.

Lottery Or Sweepstakes

If you have not participated in a lottery or sweepstakes, how can you win it in the first place? Never encourage such emails.

Emails On Social Media Platforms

Avoid advertising your personal emails on various social media platforms. Scammers and hackers are known to stalk their prey before striking them.

Clicking On The Hyperlink

Avoid clicking on the link provided in the body of the message through unsolicited text, emails, and social media platforms.

Update Web Browsers

Web service providers always update their browsers to make them more safe and secure against potential internet fraud.

Update Antivirus Apps

Always keep antivirus apps updated. These programs detect potential malware and other malicious software.

Genuine Sites

Download applications and software from trusted and reputed sites.

Where to report internet scams?

It would be most unfortunate if you fell victim to an online fraudulent activity. Nonetheless, you can take these precautions to further limit your loss. Follow these steps:

  • Break all contact with the scammer.
  • Write a detailed report about the scam.
  • Add supporting documents like screenshots or any correspondence between you and the scammer.
  • Provide the details to the local law enforcement agency.
  • Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center, an Internet wing of the FBI
  • Contact your bank and tell them about the scam.
  • Get in touch with your credit bureau and tell them about the scam; request a free annual credit report; search for unauthorized activity; and report when you find one.
  • Ask for an account freeze until the investigation is completed.
  • Contact the State Attorney General and District Attorney and file a complaint against the scammers involved.

Final Thoughts

As we already mentioned, awareness and knowledge are powerful tools against scammers. Report internet scams when you fall victim to them. Spread awareness with your near and dear ones regarding the latest prevalent online fraudulent activity so that they remain vigilant.

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