Most deceptive ways to scam people on the internet and types of sites to watch out for
In the following guide we will show you how to recognize a scam site right away, thus avoiding most scams. Sometimes it is enough to recognize the common patterns used in all scams, in some cases we will necessarily have to adopt an effective and safe security system, integrating the security already present in our devices.
READ ALSO -> How to report a computer scam to the Police
1) Product review sites, restaurants, hotels, etc.
The first thing to learn when surfing the internet is recognize fake reviews of products, hotels, services, restaurants and everything you can buy or book online.
Online shopping is wonderful because you can read, in real time, every opinion about a product or its supplier to decide whether to spend money or not. While it’s true that most people leave sincere feedback and comments, it’s also true that there are fake reviews, released by the suppliers themselves or by their accomplices (if well organized they can generate even 1000 false positive reviews in a few seconds).
They are generally easy to recognize as overly good, enthusiastic, inflated, and unreservedly positive. On sites like Tripadvisor or Amazon, but also on some blogs, fake reviews are recognizable why:
- The first person is used to an excessive degree;
- They are filled with enthusiastic positive adjectives;
- In a series of comments, they are all written in a short period of time;
- They don’t talk about the characteristics of the product itself;
- The product name is repeated several times.
Therefore, ignoring the too positive reviews that say nothing about the product is already a great way to be able to orient yourself in online purchases. To combat fake reviews, there are some sites that allow you to easily recognize if a user is real or fake:
- Verified reviews: on some sites, users who leave reviews often become verified and trusted. For example, Amazon scores who actually bought an item from the online store.
- Facebook accounts: on some sites, those who want to leave a comment must put their face on it and register with an accessible and verified Facebook account.
Then it becomes easy discover fake profiles or ads with too many positive reviews. General sites where you can buy something or pay for a service are always worth a look TrustPilotwhich accepts all types of reviews (even negative ones) and where serious companies with an impeccable reputation respond to customers and negative reviews without filters.
2) Sites with house and hotel rentals
Sites like Airbnb or Booking.com allow you to find rental houses and hotels very easily. Even on these sites we can find fake reviews: giving money to someone about whom little or nothing is known is absolutely to be avoided, it is better to orientate ourselves immediately on hoteliers and landlords who care about their reputation.
On sites where there is no review system it’s always better not to pay in advancecheck all the reviews on Booking or Airbnb and also check the reliability of the businesses registered online on sites such as TrustPilot.
To learn more, we can read our guides on app to find hotels, B&Bs and hostels and on best sites to book hotels at the lowest price.
3) Free software download sites
When you download a free program on the internet, you must always be very careful about the site you choose for the download: in some cases the downloads are fake, with the site advising us to download its downloader or providing a fake or advertised version of the program (especially in the initial installation phase).
Some of most popular software download sitesoften there is no direct link to download the program and they push the visitor to download it using their own proprietary downloader.
Thankfully we can avoid the vast majority of problems by using the Microsoft Storebuilt into Windows 11 and Windows 10, for download safe versions of major free programs. Alternatively, let’s rely only on the official sites of the respective software or, if we really want to use a download site, use only reliable download sites like File Hippo, FileHorse And MajorGeeks.
In case of problems with the Microsoft store we can read our guide on how to restore the Microsoft Store on Windows 11.
4) Streaming video sites
Illegal streaming sites include a lot of advertisingreal scams to make us click a thousand times on the same page, open new pages full of advertising that cannot be removed and hidden links to download video players that are useless or capable of stealing users’ personal data.
These sites don’t last long (because they violate copyright) and their creators just try to make a quick buck, regardless of what can happen if we open the videos or sites on our phone or PC.
We carefully avoid any illegal pirate site on the web and, if we really want to watch movies and videos for free, we read the suggestions seen in our guides on free streaming sites with trial period and on app to watch movies for free and streaming.
5) Facebook scams
Facebook is visited by many people it is normal, therefore, that it is used by scammers to deceive less attentive users; in fact, there are many local or regional groups in which people sell everything, a prices sometimes too suspicious to be true.
The advice is not to give any money through PostePay top-ups or other forms of money transfer but, if we are really interested, let’s organize a live meetingso you can see the object or product in person and evaluate whether to spend the money.
To immediately recognize the profiles of people who do not exist, created only for scams, we can use the advice seen in the guide on how to recognize fake profiles on facebook.
6) Online shopping sites
Shopping sites to buy products on the internet are booming today. There are big stores like eBay and Amazon, but also many other online stores like Zalando, Dalani and others that also advertise on TV.
If you are looking for a technological product, a dress or any other object on the internet, before buying, it is important to check if the site has a good reputation or is it a scam. In fact, there are many cases of shopping sites that take money without sending anything, untraceable or with fake offices.
In another article we start seen how check the reputation of the sites to buy online without risk.
7) Email scams
Online scammers are always active in finding new ways to trick users into spending money. The only way to avoid falling into a scam is to recognize the signs that identify them.
Some recommendations are: never reveal your password via text, don’t buy something from an unsolicited email, do not click on links in emails from your bankignore messages telling you to install new programs, and so on.
Also ignore emails with free trial offers of products and merchandise (which are then nearly impossible to return or unsubscribe from the paid service the second time you send them), loan requests and prize wins.
Browser protection from malware and viruses phishing attempts should provide an effective scam defense tool, as also seen in the general guide to block spam emails and about how how to recognize Email with virus.
8) Ignore too good job postings
Those who are unemployed and looking for work can fall prey to work from home scams, online work, with promises of high earnings.
Beautiful, relaxing and high-paying work doesn’t exist and, if it exists, it cannot be obtained with a simple advertisement on the Internet but must be sought or developed over time, perhaps starting look for work on LinkedIn And taking care of a Curriculum in a professional way.
On the same subject we can read the guide to alternatives to LinkedIn to find work online.
9) Dating sites
Most dating sites advertise themselves with photos of beautiful girls and boys. Many of the “online dating” sites just want to take advantage of vulnerable people and often they are full of fake profiles.
So keep in mind that profile photos mean nothing and can be fake, that you should never pay anyone to meet them, that you shouldn’t give your name on sites and chats that don’t have a good reputation and, above all, in case of first meeting, do it in a safe and crowded place.
If we want to look for serious people online we can read our guides to best free dating apps to know who we like near usalongside the advice seen in the guide on how to protect privacy on online dating sites.
The internet is full of scams and scams are always around the corner: even a simple email can become a threat to our identity, our wallet and our personal data. It is therefore better to follow all the advice seen in the guide and recognize the scam sites or “inflated” reviews by yourself, choosing to buy only from safe sites.
In other articles we have seen how Avoid identity theft and having your passwords stolen and how to make a Online reputation check to find out who and how looks for me on the internet.