(WTTV/WXIN) — Since online crooks are constantly evolving their methods in order to rip you off, it’s a good idea to stay on top of the most pervasive scams going around the internet.
According to cyber security company Trend Micro, survey scams are topping the list of the most widespread schemes right now.
In particular, Trend Micro has been seeing a lot of fake emails that seem to be from Costco, asking potential victims to take an online survey. If you take the survey, the email promises a brand-new Samsung smart TV.
In reality, the fake survey page is designed to grab your online information when you click on it. A similar scam appears to be an email from Apple; the email also asks you to take an online survey, promising a new TV if you do.
Anyone planning to book a trip in the near future should look out for the second-biggest scam right now.
Trend Micro has identified copycat Airbnb.com and Booking.com websites that have nothing to do with travel, but everything to do with ripping you off. The websites look realistic, so it could be easy to fall for a phishing email and click the link.
However, if you click the link, the site will start asking you to enter your name, email address, credit card, information, and more under the guise of booking a stay. However, you can’t really book anything on these websites, and the site is simply collecting that information.
Here are some examples of the fake web addresses:
However, you won’t know these web addresses are fake unless you hover over the link in the email or click it. Hovering is always a good idea to avoid visiting a malicious site.
The third most popular scam is another overseas dating scheme that seems to be claiming a lot of victims. Scammers are posing as young Russian women, and tricking victims into sending them money. Victims of the scam are typically contacted by email.
The scammer, posing as the young woman, promises a relationship in exchange for money to pay for a living expenses, travel expenses and “visa costs.”
While this romance scam may seem like an obvious fake, Trend Micro reports the US Embassy in Moscow is getting daily complaints from American citizens who have fallen from it. Also keep in mind that according to the Federal Trade Commission, 70,000 people fell for romance scams last year and lost more than $1 billion.