What is an online scam? How to avoid them!

In today’s topic, we will be discussing what is an online scam. There are many types of scams and they get more and more sophisticated, so we need to be on alert and aware of them all of the time!

Online Scam

There are many types of frauds or scams which make use of the Internet.  These types of scams vary greatly and appear in many forms.

To put it bluntly, an online scam is usually a get-rich-quick scheme or it’s a complete fraud from the scammers who are trying to take advantage of unaware people.

If you are reading this, you are probably looking into some sort of offer that you saw somewhere on the Internet and wondering if it’s too good to be true.  Well, they usually are.

We have to be realistic.  When it comes to making money online there are no shortcuts, no magic buttons, or any other very easy way to make money quickly.

You must put in the effort and the work necessary.

There will always be those offers that are too good to be true, and usually, that’s what they are.

There are many different kinds of scams out there, and the purpose of this post is to make you aware of some of the different kinds of scams that exist.

The Inheritance scams

I have received several emails in the past regarding the long-lost heir that has passed away and left me a fortune!

These scammers will contact you out of the blue telling you to claim a large inheritance from a distant relative or a wealthy benefactor.

The e-mail is usually from a (fake) lawyer or a banker or another foreign official claiming that there’s a deceased person and they had no beneficiaries to their will.

They usually start by saying that you are entitled to their fortune because you have the same last name and you are legally entitled to claim their inheritance.  Unfortunately, the laws of successions from their country are complicated and the payout could only be made to a relative or a distant family member.

You are promised a large sum of money, in exchange for a small fee usually less than $100.  All you must do all is respond to their e-mail.

If you do respond to their e-mail they got you hooked.  They will go to great lengths to convince you that fortune awaits you if you follow their instructions.

You will probably be introduced to a second or even third scammer posing as a banker or a lawyer to help you facilitate the legal and financial aspects of the transaction.

You will also be provided with bank statements, birth certificates, and other documents if you question their legitimacy.

If you follow through, you will be asked to provide your own bank account details and copies of your identity documents as verification and to pay some more charges to help release or transfer the money out of the country through your bank account.

You are told that you will be keeping a percentage of the money deposited in your account.

The reality is you’ll never get any money.  They will squeeze every penny they can from you and then you will lose contact.

The classic inheritance scam.

These scams have been around for quite some time now.   The first scam letters offering a large sum of money appeared in the 80s and were sent by plain old snail mail.

The thing is that there are still people getting scammed by these awful crooks.

Being aware is the first defense.

The phishing scams

Phishing scams usually happen by email.  I get at least three or four per week.  Here’s one I received a while back but it shows how these scammers proceed:


Phishing scam

Scammers will send you a notification from a bank, a credit card, or another provider of some sort like PayPal or eBay.  This notification will try to encourage the recipient for a reason or another to urgently update their personal data by clicking on a link.

They threaten you to block or close the account if you do not fulfill their requirements.  They will say things like “if you don’t provide your personal data within 24 hours, your account will be closed.”

They prey on people’s fear of losing access to their accounts.

The more advanced phishing attacks will have a bogus website (which you were redirected to when you click on the link from the email) that looks exactly like the original bank or credit card company along with a link that looks very similar to the URL of the person’s account.  This trick is to catch the inexperienced user.

What is an Online Scam

In order to access the fake website, the person has to enter their credentials.  That is exactly what they want, that is what they’re after.

Once they have access, the phishers need to be quick to remove cash from the bank account/credit card without leaving a trail.  And that’s not easy to do.  That’s why they usually sell to other fraudsters who already have proven schemes for the withdrawal of money from the information they just got.

The average lifetime of the phishing site is five days.  So, it’s always some quick hits and then they go away and change to a different provider.

Banks, credit cards, and other providers indicate on their website a warning that they never ask users to send confidential data. But their success remains on the inexperience of the recipient of the e-mail.

Never provide your personal data unless you are the one that started the process.

The make money online scams

This one is probably the most popular.  There are a lot of legit ways to make money online, but there are also tons of scams out there.

The promise of making extra money really fast can make people think that they won the lottery.  But the fact is if it’s too good to be true it usually is! Right?

The easy money scam is the most popular one.

Just pay $49.00 to get the secret code to make a huge sum of money in less than a week”.

Making Money

What they usually provide is nothing more than some software products or a pdf file that show people how to create a website or something similar.

They don’t provide quality whatsoever or any training for that matter.  You are left on your own with less money in your pocket.

On top of that, there is usually a high-pressure upsell, that will provide an even better way to make more money.  People will find themselves wanting to believe it, and it will fall for the upsell as well.

Bottom line is, if someone promises you that you can make fast and easy money online, it’s a scam or it’s at least a low-quality product and the only ones earning money with it are the creator(s) of the product/system.

Do not take the bait! 

Search the company’s name online with words such as scams or complaints accompanying your search query.

If it’s legit, you will find people that have tried it and back it up.  If it’s a scam, you will also find reviews about the product that warns people about it.

Buyer beware!  And aware of online scams!

Are you tired of all those scams online?  Are you looking for a legitimate opportunity?

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As always, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below in the comment section.


4 thoughts on “What is an online scam? How to avoid them!”

  1. Is it bad that I have run across all of them all of the time? I am glad that you mentioned the physhing scams, they have become pretty frequent lately, especially regarding PayPal and around bank info.

    Thankfully, I know what to look for, and thankfully there are dedicated people like you, who inform the rest of us.

    You are doing everyone a great service by pointing out these types of scams


    • Hi Claudia, 

      Funny thing you mention phishing scams,I opened my email tonight and here is what I found:

      “For your Information

      This is to notify you that your are the beneficiary to the bequest of the sum of £15,500,000.00 GBP in the intent of my deceased client who died without a will. If you accept please forward your full names, physical address and your direct cell for the court documentations and so that we can obtain the probate division of court papers required for you to claim the funds from the holding bank.


      Sophia Dawson”

      WOW!  I’m rich imagine that!  Thank you Sophia Dawson for making me that rich.

      This is an old one, but as you can see it still goes around, and the worst thing is that people still get scammed with these.

      We have to be very careful with every details nowadays, and never give your private information to an email like this!

      I’m grateful that I was helpful my friend!

      I wish you success


  2. Hi Denis,
    This is a great breakdown of the scams that are out there and seem to be on the rise so thanks for sharing this. Daily I’m getting the types of emails you mention in my inbox despite having a number of spam filters set up to try and filter these out. People really do have to be careful out there! The inheritance one is new to me so I’ll be keeping an eye for that one!


    • Hi James,

      I actually just received one of the Inheritance one yesterday.  Even though it’s an oldie, it seems that people are unaware of it because they keep on sending them. 

      My main goal here is to get people aware of those scams so that they can protect themselves. Spam filters don’t always pick them up, since scammers use new tricks to bypass them.

      Thanks for stopping by my friend.



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