There is a new email scam that has been going around lately. It appears to be an email from a legitimate company or service provider, but it’s not. Clicking on the link inside the email will download malicious software onto your computer, encrypt all your files and then demand money to decrypt them again.
This is where online hacking has become one of the most common occurrences, making internet users constantly cautious of their online activities. Nowadays, it is common to hear about a fraud case on social media or from your friends who have been victims of these fraudsters, and ad fraud is quite an issue for businesses.
The perpetrators are getting more innovative and creative in their approach to deceive innocent internet users into clicking on links that ultimately lead them to phishing websites. Phishing websites are designed in such a way that they look exactly like the official websites of financial institutions or other government organisations. Still, they collect personal data from unsuspecting victims.
In an email scam, the spammer tries to lure potential victims into clicking on the links contained in the email by claiming that they have been captured on video by their device’s camera while visiting adult sites. The link leads to a website where you are asked to download an application. The application is malicious and will infect your device, after which you will be asked to pay a ransom to get access to your files again.
It is a common practice for fraudsters to send emails with links to their victims as in ad fraud. They do this to get people to visit their websites and download malware onto the victim’s computer, which could be prevented. The victim, out of panic and without thinking, clicks on the link and downloads malware into their computer.
When you receive an email that contains a link or attachment, think twice before clicking on it. Only open it if you know why someone sent you something in an email!
Ransomware is malware that controls your files hostage by encrypting them and making them unusable. The malware then demands ransom from victims if they want access to their files again. Ransomware has been rising in recent years, becoming more sophisticated and appearing in more ways than ever.
It can be disguised as legitimate software or downloaded through email, social media, or file-sharing sites that are not secure.
When you click on a phishing link, this scam works because it triggers the fear of being exposed. You may fear losing your job, what people will think of you, or even being arrested and sued. You might also be worried about being fired. These fears are real and justified, but they don’t make sense when applied to something that isn’t real (or at least hasn’t happened yet).
Why are these crimes increasing in number?
- Criminals are getting smarter and know how to get people to do things.
- They know how to make people feel panic and afraid.
Clicking on the Spam link
Once you click on a spam link, you expose your personal information to hackers. Hackers can use this information to misappropriate your identity and commit crimes in your name.
Example: If someone steals your personal information and opens credit card accounts in your name, you are liable for the racked-up bills.
Hopefully, this article has helped you realise the consequences of clicking on spam links. If you believe your computer has been affected by malware, there are several things to protect yourself from further damage. First, download good antivirus software that will scan your system for malicious files and remove them automatically. Second, use an encrypted backup service so that if something does happen again in the future – like ransomware attacks get more sophisticated – at least all your important data won’t be lost!