What is an online scam?

A scam is an attempt to trick an individual into paying or surrendering valuable information.

Below is a list of commonly encountered online scams:

  • Love scam: fake profiles are created and online relationships are developed over time with a “soul mate.” Once the victim is hooked, the criminal claims to be in great need of financial assistance…
  • Weight loss: miracle pills, revolutionizing creams, and groundbreaking equipment are all too common promises. The end products actually sold rarely meet expectations.
  • Lottery winner: a user is selected as the lucky winner of a jackpot. The only tiny procedural step? A small check to cover tax fees and shipping costs…
  • Nigerian Prince scam: now a classic, this scam announces to the user that their help is required in recovering large sums of money from an overseas bank. In exchange for a cut, all the user needs is to pay the transfer fees in advance…

The best defense against scams is a very healthy dose of skepticism.

The Avira Security Wordbook

Search our threat glossary for clarifications on frequently used terms in IT security.