Top 10 Internet Scams You Should Know and Avoid in 2018

You must have heard about internet scams or could have even fallen victim once before. You’re not alone. Losses from online frauds are 19 times more than offline scams. The trend is growing and means we must be careful about how we use the internet.

Let’s explore ten notorious internet scams you might encounter and how to avoid them.

1. Advance-Fee Fraud


The advance-fee fraud is the commonest of internet scams. As the name implies, this scheme works by requesting for advance payment.

The scammer will send you some products and services they “sell/offer”, usually at an unbeatable price. Then they demand payment of a small advanced fee, say ten percent. To legitimize the scam, they claim that this money is for processing your order.

The moment you pay the fee, they bounce onto the next victim!

To avoid being a victim, you must never deal with a stranger online without some form of insurance. The best type of insurance, in this case, is an Escrow service.

That way, the stranger only gets your money if he fulfills his end of the bargain. Escrow is also dirt-cheap by the way.

2. The Impersonation Scam


In this form of internet scam, the scammer poses as a longtime acquaintance/family and requests to get to you. They contact you on social media or telephone with an air of familiarity. Then next comes the barrage of excuses why they are stuck in a remote location and can’t get out.

One of the favorite reasons they give is that they got mugged. Another is that they lost some essential possession and needed urgent help.

Then, they go on to ask for some form of financial aid from you. The moment you grant it, these fraudsters got you.

Always scrutinize “familiar” contacts before granting any requests.

A person impersonating your high school buddy should know what your buddy knows, such as where you both hung out and played football. If they don’t, end the communication.

3. Charity and Relief Internet Scams


Scammers have no honor, so don’t expect them to play by the same ethical mores as you. The relief and charity scam is one of the most effective scams in recent times.

The format is simple; the scammer pulls up a sad photo of a child, people, etc. in a terrible situation. They then spend a bit of time exaggerating their story about these people. After the story, they proceed to ask that you donate some money to this cause.

The reason why this internet scam is efficient is that it plays on your emotions

To stay away from this fraud, always ensure you verify the source of the charity. If possible, request to see some form of documentation before you donate. Most times, a little research online is all that you need to expose these fraudsters.

4. Extortion and Blackmail Scams


This form of online scam involves the scammer threatening you with some leverage. This leverage may be real or imagined.

Fraudsters can use private sexual media content of their victim to blackmail them. These criminals may threaten to upload the content online if the victim fails to comply. To comply usually means paying outrageous sums of money.

The terrible nature of this scam is that it is the long-term. It could go on for as long as the fraudster desires, and payment often does not solve the problem.

To avoid getting into this form of trouble, always lock your private devices. Never share sensitive content with untrustworthy people.

Talk to a qualified reputation management attorney. You may report to your local authorities immediately if someone tries this stunt on you.

5. Phishing Internet Scams


This type of scam involves some level of intelligence. The scammer sends you an email containing some vital information. They design the email to resemble a legitimate email from big brands.

The content of the email will request that you do some form of verification. There is always some form of urgency attached to the email. The scammers put a link for you to conduct your verification in the email. That verification link leads to web application designed to steal your private information.

To avoid being a victim, always inspect the sender email with carefulness. The email may be a good copy but can never match the exact address of the original brand they are impersonating. Also, if you are unsure of your next step at any point, contact the company support immediately.

6. Lawsuit and Legal Fee Scam


This form of scam works because it preys on emotions.

The scammer often calls their victim impersonating police officers. They could also impersonate some law enforcement agency. They claim that the victim has an outstanding legal battle or fines.

They proceed by demanding immediate payments, and threaten the victim with immediate legal action if they fail to comply by paying the fines.

If you ever get this sort of call, don’t panic. Place another call to the organization your “caller” claims to be a member of and request for clarification. This call is usually enough to verify the authenticity of such calls.

7. The Email Attachment Scam


The email attachment scam is another intelligent form of fraud. It works on the curiosity of the victims.

The scammer sends an email to their victim with an attachment. The curious victim proceeds to open the email and view the attachment.

This action installs malware or spyware on the victim’s PC. This malware steals their private information for the scammer.

Never open an email attachment if you don’t recognize the sender.

8. Hijacked Profile Scam


This type of scam is popular with the social media.

The hacker finds a way to access your profile. They do this by stealing your information through suspicious links you visited, then proceed to demand some form of compensation before they release your account to you.

If you ever fall for this sort of scam, contact the support team of the social media account. They will restore your ownership and may even be able to identify the perpetrator.

Always use your social media accounts with carefulness. Also, avoid clicking or following suspicious links.

9. Online Quiz and Games Scam


This form of internet scam is pretty basic. The hacker sends you a message containing a link to a quiz or game. This game/quiz could be harmless in itself.

The problem starts when they demand some verification before they let you play. Sometimes the website may request that you input sensitive details during registration too.

Stay away from any quiz or game that requires credit or phone information. The game/quiz may be harmless or not. Best not to find out!

10. Survey Scam


The internet scams involving surveys work like the email attachment scam.

The victim receives a link asking that they take part in a survey. Some of these polls promise some form of reward upon completion. As soon as the victim clicks the link, a dangerous malware installs on their PC.

This malware steals and sends their information to the scammer.

Always avoid visiting suspicious websites. Also, never open links sent to you from strangers.

Wrapping This up

The internet is like every other city. Your safety depends on where you go and how you use it. Next time you boot your PC for some online time, keep watch. You might be the next target for internet scams. Always listen to your intuition. And most of all, rein-in your greed at all times.


  1. “The format is simple; the scammer pulls up a sad photo of a child, people, etc. in a terrible situation. They then spend a bit of time exaggerating their story about these people. After the story, they proceed to ask that you donate some money to this cause.”
    Isn’t this the way the ads for even the most reputable charity organizations operate? For example, the ads for ASPCA invariably show shivering dogs with anchor chains around their necks, sitting in the snow.

    When a charity spends most of the donations on “overhead” and very little on the cause they are collecting for, is that a scam or just plain, every day misappropriation of funds? Does it matter? The end result is the same. The people who need the help are getting very little while those running the charity are living thge high life.

    For the past couple of months I have been getting emails from various United Nations officials apologizing for taking so long to pay me an amount of money I am owed. The amount varies from email to email but so far has been between $10.5 million and $23.5 million but never an even number of millions. All I have to do is to send a check (the amount of check varies from email to email but is always odd such as $278.31) and, of course, much vital information to the UN official who send the email. Even though I have not answered any emails, I keep getting new ones. I should be getting one in the next couple of days. They do make for entertaining reading.

    The bottom line with all these scams is that they can be avoided by using common sense. Unfortunately, common sense seems not to be so common.

    1. Hi there Dragonmouth;

      Happy new year 2018;

      Touche my friend, Touche,,, about those so called ”Charity Org”.
      They keep on asking for money, but as time goes by, the problem is getting bigger instead of getting smaller, that’s why I DON’T GIVE MONEY TO CHARITIES (just a few).
      It starting to get a joke,,

      Peace &Love;)


    2. One way to check on legitimate charities is with Charity Navigator. Just do a search an it will come right up. They have a wealth of info on legitimate charities.

      1. Thanks for the name. I’ll check it out.

  2. Before you ‘Donate’, ALWAYS check to see what the CEO or the President of that charity makes.
    Eg, Unicef ceo, $521,820 a year. American Red Cross ceo, $1,037,000. United Way ceo, $1,236,611.
    Goodwill ceo, $712,202. Finally, Salvation Army ceo, $126,920.

  3. I’m sorry. But I don’t donate to charities. Does that make me mean? I prefer to give to “local” places, like the Lutheran church in my neighborhood, or the YMCA or the Homeless Shelter in NYC (when I traverse through there!) I guess I’ve become jaded over time because of all I’ve seen in the news, about charitable organizations that have corrupt individuals getting caught stealing. I feel that looking at things in a different way helps me to keep perspective. Stay with me here:
    If all I make in a year’s time is $25,000…..and I need about $23,000 to live / survive / plan for my son’s college and academic future / plan for my own old age and retirement…..that leaves me very little to contribute to others. No matter how much I WANT to give?…I just find I’m unable to. These organizations have been asking for donations for CENTURIES, not decades….C…E…N…T…U…R…I…E…S. (A century?…is equal to ONE HUNDRED YEARS!) if they have not been able to amass a lump sum that makes them self sustaining, or allows them to “earn” interest on an account that they can use to keep themselves funded? THEN THE $20.00 I SEND WILL NOT HELP THEM! I actually feel powerless in a situation like that! And yeah….I get the notion that if a thousand people sent 20.00 that would be a sizable amount. But I still can’t help but think that…if they really wanted to obtain monies for these people that are in unfortunate circumstances? then they’d pull some of that money from the CEO’s and executives that run some of these charities, or maybe just throw out a new tax plan that takes less taxes from the super-rich, but adds a “Poverty tax” that can go towards large pool of monies to fund and support these groups?

    On to the matter of scams? I don’t fall for ’em, and its not because I’m some super tech-wiz, its simply that I don’t have much of an online presence, so when I get emails or anything of the like from people claiming to “know” me? I can INSTANTLY delete it! (people who know me know the “form their emails and messages have to take before I even acknowledge them! ) Once I see an email address from the bank (Chase?…CitiBank?…American Express….) NONE of which I have an account with, I block the email address…phone number….Messenger contact etc. I have adblockers installed, but they might not catch everything, so I do my part by paying attention,….to who calls me, the texts I receive, and emails. Once I don’t recognize the person / company? On the blacklist it goes. And when they try to switch p a number here and there?…and try to change an email address? I block the entire domain. Yeah….I’m not gonna be ANYBODY’S patsy when it comes to scams, ads, etc. The more they try, the more I resist. F*ck ’em and their sales / services! Imagine we live in a society thats number one problem?…(at least pertaining to online issues!) is ADS and COMMERCIALS!?……like what the HELL?

  4. I received the following email yesterday:

    FBI OFFICE 9:14 AM (22 hours ago)

    Direct Tel/Fax: 1 772 619 7798

    Attention Fund Beneficiary


    We the justice dept Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI had discovered through our Intel analysis and intelligence gatherings, an approved sum of USD10.5M in your name, And this fund cannot be released until you provide a legal documents for proper certification and clean bill of records

    To certify the legitimacy of this fund US10.5 million Dollars, You are requested to present Fund Identification Record Certificate and DIST certificate of this
    transfer of(US10.5m), They used what we know as a “secret diplomatic transit payment” (S.T.D.P) to pay this fund through wire transfer in your name, but this means of transfer can not be sustained or reflect into an account as this was a wrong method of fund transfer because the FBI FUND IDENTIFICATION RECORD AND DIST CERTIFICATE is not provided to proving the legitimacy and source of the fund you are about to receive

    Therefore in order to receive your payment and have clean bill of record with our commission without having any problem, Make a swift arrangement to Secure fbi fund identification record and diplomatic seal of transfer certificate, alongside drug clearance certificate quoting the reference file no of FBI, FBI.ESX-CODE12/17 to the authorities concerned, contact us back to direct you where you will obtain the mentioned documents if you do not have them, because those documents are only proof we need now to allow such huge sum to be released in your name as programmed.

    Thanks for your prompt response and understanding on my direct email (

    Christopher Wray
    Fbi Director
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    J. Edgar Hoover Building
    935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
    NW Washington, Dc

    If nothing else, it provided me with a good belly laugh.

    1. OMG… who would fall for that? Plenty I suppose… a rush of blood to the brain after finding out you have “all this money” waiting for you… lol

      1: Wow, you have a new name… Attention Fund Beneficiary… that’ll provide a few laughs amongst your peers.

      2: Lack of capitals mixed with capitals… i.e. justice dept Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI

      3: Fabulous spelling, grammar and punctuation… in your name, And this fund cannot be released until you provide a legal documents for proper certification and clean bill of records

      4: & this… without having any problem, Make a swift arrangement to Secure fbi fund identification record

      5: Like the FBI no longer has their own email addresses: on my direct email (

      6: Again poor spelling/incorrect case… Christopher Wray Fbi Director

      Belly laugh? No.

      Mental snigger… OMFGY!

Comments are closed.