How to spot and avoid online scams

From new kinds of online scams and phishing to dating app fraud, there are more and more ways for criminals to take advantage of internet users.

The team

The team

In this article, we’ll explore some of the methods used by cybercriminals on social networks, and the role moderation can play in effective forms of prevention.

Types of online scams

Those of us old enough will remember the proliferation of scam emails that began in the 1990s. Since then, forms of online fraud have developed across messenger services, apps, and social media platforms. These can vary from simple hyperlinks which create a data breach to impostors posing as others via social media to con people out of money. A good example of this is the recent hit Netflix series ‘The Tinder Swindler’, in which the fraudster Shimon Hayut used the dating app Tinder to pose as the son of a diamond mogul and cheat his romantic partners out of millions of dollars.

Other forms of online fraud include:

  • Fake adverts: Once clicked on, fake adverts usually ask the victim to download a piece of software, which often contains a form of malware.

  • Spambots: a computer program used to generate comments via a fake social media profile

  • Links to fake websites: clone websites often imitate a well-known website and request banking details or sensitive information from a victim.

The role of moderation

A lot of online fraud is committed on social networks and within online communities. So, what can the owners and operators of these networks and communities do about it? One solution comes in the form of moderation software. This can play a significant role in preventing fraud by automatically flagging suspicious content or filtering it out entirely. At Bodyguard, our solution uses AI to analyze and filter huge amounts of content in real-time, stopping users from encountering a whole range of online scams. Our filters can also be easily customized via a central dashboard, helping community managers deal with threats while promoting content that suits their community guidelines.

Moderation software also plays a key role in dealing with online fraud because law enforcement agencies have a limited ability to tackle it. This is because online scammers can operate from any country, often choosing to work in areas where police forces are under-resourced.

Ultimately, a mixture of both human and automated moderation is needed to effectively deal with online scams. This is because human moderators don’t have the time or energy to individually consider thousands of posts every day while moderating software might not be able to detect newer forms of scams.

To find out more about our services and how we can help you stay protected from scams, phishing, and other forms of fraud, visit our site here.