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The Danger of Internet Fraud: How to Prevent it?

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The creation of the internet offers people a more convenient way to search for needed information, maintain connections with others, and keep track of interested products and services. The Internet is a tool that people use every day, but not everyone knows its potential risks. In 2022, more than $10.2 billion was lost due to internet crimes, according to the FBI’s record (Deutsch, 2022). The occurrence of online scams has increased by around 70 percent in past years (Stouffer, 2022). According to this data, internet scams are a risk people take when using the internet. Thus, people need to know what an internet scam is, the signs of it, and ways to stay safe online (Stouffer, 2022). 

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Internet fraud or online scams refers to using services, platforms, and software with internet access to deceive or take advantage of others (Fortinet, n.d.). “Internet fraud” covers a range of cybercrime activities using the internet or email, and some examples include identity theft, phishing, and other actions planned to take money from others (Fortinet, n.d.). Most cybercriminals contact victims through personal or work emails, networking applications, and dating sites (Fortinet, n.d.). As a result, successful scams usually have similar outcomes: the victim loses their money or fails to receive the benefits cybercriminals promised, and in the worst cases, the victim might even lose their identity (Fortinet, n.d.). There are many types of online scams, and the most common ones are phishing and ransomware.

The phishing scam is the most common type of internet scam people experience. According to the FBI, in 2022, 300,497 people became victims and lost $52.1 million in total (Deutsch, 2022). The phishing scam occurs when people receive emails from an enterprise that seems familiar and legal, like their bank, university, or retailer (Deutsch, 2022). These emails will direct people to a site that requires them to verify their identities with email addresses and passwords. Cybercriminals will steal their personal information and expose computers to scammers (Deutsch, 2022). To prevent phishing fraud, people should never click on emails that they do not know, even if the sender seems legitimate (Deutsch, 2022). Scammers want people to believe their messages are valid and legal, but no reputable institution will ask for important personal information online (Deutsch, 2022). 


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Ransomware is another common internet scam that threatens people’s online security. It is malware that cybercriminals use to infect people’s computers (Stouffer, 2022). If people receive attachments or files in emails that require them to download, they should notice that this is a warning sign of ransomware (Stouffer, 2022). Once people install the file or application, the cyberthief encrypts the files and demands a cryptocurrency ransom payment from computer owners (Stouffer, 2022). It is estimated that ransomware losses will reach $265 billion by 2031, so it is beneficial for people to know ways to avoid it (Stouffer, 2022). And to avoid such scams, people should always back up their data and download antivirus or anti-malware software to alert them to potential infections (Stouffer, 2022).

In conclusion, online fraud is common nowadays, and people should adopt ways to protect themselves from cybercriminals. To keep it safe online, people should never share their personal information with someone unknown and could ask questions to confirm others’ identities before revealing information (Deutsch, 2022). Most phishing scams and ransomware are spread via email, and people should monitor and secure their email accounts regularly. If people believe they received scam emails or phone calls, they should contact local authorities and file reports (Deutsch, 2022). Overall, people should be aware of scam messages while they use the internet for work or personal time.


Deutsch, A. L. (2022, June 11). Watch Out for These Top Internet Scams. Investopedia. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from

Stouffer, C. (2022, September 16). Online Scams: An Overview + 20 Internet Scams to Avoid in 2023. Norton. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from

What is Internet Fraud? (n.d.) Fortinet. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from,scam%20people%20out%20of%20money.