Online Scams On The Riseby Louise Swift
at Nottingham Trent University 23rd February 2012 20:09:00
Jobseekers are becoming increasingly at risk from cybercriminals looking to take advantage of individuals who are searching for work.
In the previous year the country has seen unemployment rates hit a 17-year high with 2.67 million Britons out of work with women being the brunt bearers.
With the cost of living rising and more job losses on the cards the future seems bleak for many which is resulting in drastic measures.
Recent research from PC Tools, who for thirteen years have offered award-winning products to tackle security challenges, revealed that a staggering 44% of us would open a link and willingly give out card details for more information about a part-time work from home offer.
Worryingly it is the key student 18-25 age group who are at most risk of being realed in by these scams, especially with more students than ever out of work, with 54% stating they would provide these personal details freely.
Richard Clooke, Internet Security Expert from PC Tools said: “What are scammers after? Ultimately it’s all about money. Cybercriminals can make a profit by selling on or using personal details such as email addresses, phone numbers and bank details."
The sites themselves look legit and the extent of what they offer seems to cloud judgments of right minded people.
A general tactic used by cybercriminals on the websites or within emails is the use of the guise of ‘age verification’ as the reasoning to ask for card details.
Mr Clooke added: “They use enticing adverts, emails and browser pop-ups on social networks and forums to offer thousands of pounds to work from home. Many of these offers seem genuine, so it’s important to think twice before clicking on links and sharing personal details when you see an offer like this."
Once an individuals personal details have been obtained, they are then more often than not then used for financial fraud or sold on the black market.
There are ways to stop cybercriminals in their tracks though and by looking for these clear signs, that Pc Tools have spelled out, will stop that T.H.I.E.F:
- Too good to be true – If the offer looks too good to be true it usually is which should be the first tell tale sign.
- Hassle – a common scam tactic is if the site hassles you to sign up NOW and will not take no for an answer.
- Information – being asked for personal information such as card details, email addresses or phone number before you can continue to find out more should set off alarm bells as this information is precious.
- Emails and links - Cybercriminals create emails, links and sites which look legit. Misspellings and unusual domains are a big giveaway. An example is Russia (.ru) which is commonly used so they can avoid prosecution in the USA and the UK.
- Fraud prevention - Use up-to-date internet security, such as PC Tools Internet Security to help protect yourself.
Clooke said: “There’s no such thing as a quick fix and you could find yourself worse off.”