How to Spot Online Fraud

How to Spot Online Fraud

Online fraud is on the rise, and scammers are constantly finding new, innovative ways to con people out of their hard-earned money. The first step to defending yourself against internet fraud is knowing what to be on the lookout for. In this post, we will cover common types of fraud, how to identify it, and what to do if you think you have been a victim of fraud. Ultimately it is important to remain vigilant and alert as you navigate the internet. If something doesn’t seem right, trust your gut and report it immediately.

Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are when fraudsters send emails that look like they’re coming from a real person or legitimate company. The emails usually link to fake landing pages that are designed to mimic a real website. Typically, they will ask for personal information like your account number, social security number, or password. Never give personal information like this through email. If the email or website seems suspicious, check for spelling, grammar, or design issues that seem off. You can also look at the web address or email address to see if there are odd characters that seem out of place.

Ransomware is used by cyber criminals to freeze your consumer, phone, or tablet in order to steal data and then demand a “ransom” to be paid in order to get it back. Ransomware may be inadvertently installed on your computer if you visit a suspicious website or click links in phishing emails or on phishing websites. A great defense against ransomware is to keep the software on your devices up to date. Software updates keep up with new viruses, malware, and other types of scams.

Charity Scams
Charity scams are when people take advantage of the good will of donors by setting up fake charity websites that are designed to look real or mimic an existing charity. The scammers ask people to give money, but the money goes to the fraudster instead of helping the cause the donor thinks it will help. To avoid charity fraud, make sure to research where you send your money, even if it’s just in a quick google search.

Bank/FDIC Scams
Bank/FDIC scams are when someone contacts you and pretends to be an employee from your bank or from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). They will likely say they need access to your personal banking details to fix a problem, etc. But in reality, they are likely trying to steal your information, and ultimately access your money.

Investment Scams
If a person or company contacts you and claims to be able to help you make a lot of money in the stock market, it is most likely a scam. Do not give them any personal information, or access to your bank accounts.

COVID-19 Scams
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been several different types of scams related to COVID-19 reported. There have been scams related to tests, cures, medical supplies, vaccines, and more. Be sure to check the source before placing an order for anything related to the virus. It is also important to get your information from legitimate sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and your state’s official government health website.

To avoid becoming the victim of a scam, remember to take the following steps.

If you receive an email that looks suspicious, do not click and links or download any attachments. Be sure to report the email and delete it right away. If you receive the email through your work email, you can report it to your IT department. If it comes through on your personal email, you can report it to your email provider (like Google or Outlook).

Consider enabling a multi-factor authentication for your accounts. Multi-factor authentication means that in addition to entering your password to log in to an account, you will also receive a text message or email with a code that you will have to enter as well. Typically, the code expires after a certain amount of time. Most digital accounts such as your email address, social media, and other online accounts will allow you to use multi-factor authentication.

Visit for updates and information on how to avoid scams. The best way to protect you, your family and your business is to get regular updates about the latest information on scams.

If you think you have been the victim of a scam, contact your financial institutions right away. You can also contact the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to freeze your credit. Finally, you should report it to your local law enforcement so they can investigate.


Go to Top


We are here to help you!

Visit Us

Email Us

Important Info

Routing Number: 065400483

Contact our Main Office at 985-384-2100