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Safer Internet Day – 3 Deadly Online Scams Hitting Internet Users

Today is Safer Internet Day, an online safety campaign observed in more than hundred countries by the joint venture of Insafe, INHOPE network and backed by the support from 31 national Safer Internet Centres across Europe and the European Commission.

Safer Internet Day is organized each year to promote best safety practices to ensure data safety while using Internet on computers, mobile devices or other Internet enabled devices. This year, iYogi took the opportunity to educate and guide people, especially middle-aged and senior citizen users to help them attain safe internet browsing experience. Most online scams target these elder and middle-aged users, who participate in online auctions, carry out work-related research, look for new jobs, seek work-from-home opportunities, use online dating websites, buy online lotteries, make tax payment transactions among others.

On this Safer Internet Day, we aim to alert middle and elderly internet users of common online scams and how they can protect their data, identity and money online. Here are three deadly online scams to beware of, the signs to identify scams and tips on how to avoid the dangers of data leaks and loss of money.       

Work-From-Home scam

It is reported that people who stay at home including homemakers, unemployed, elderly people and other people are looking for work-from-home opportunities have fallen prey to work-from-home scams. Many reported that they received lucrative job offers via email wherein they are proposed to transfer some amount of money which scammers have deposited in their account in the form of ‘payroll deposit’. Once unsuspecting victims transfer the money, the offer no longer exists and worse is that, victims can also be charged guilty for being an ‘agent’ to deposit some stolen money.

Tips to avoid

To avoid work-from-home scam risks and to distinguish the genuine job offers from the sham work-from-home scams, keep these symptoms in mind –

  • Research online about the sender and the organization
  • Scrutinize the title stated in the job description and the email – are they too generic?
  • Check out spelling errors and naming styles if the job offer is received by apparently from reputed organizations – they impersonal such companies to dupe people.
  • Are you redirected to an unknown website other than the company website? Fake websites are clear signs of online scams

Online Dating Scams

Many single, divorced, separated or widow middle-aged and elderly people have fallen prey to nasty online dating scams and ended up being robbed of faith in relationships and money. Online dating scam artists target these people who use dating websites hoping to find the perfect suitors or companions. Over 4,000 complaints on online dating frauds were registered with better Business Bureau (BBB) – wherein scammers developed relationships with victims and asked for depositing money to help them get out of some crisis. 

Tips to avoid

To help you escape and protect against online dating scams, we suggest you to follow these tips and symptoms  starting from Safer Internet Day while looking for dates or mates on dating portals –

  • Talk to people and seek information from people before signing up with any dating website or app.
  • Take adequate time and be careful – do not trust anyone you haven’t met.
  • Do not send money to anyone no matter how distressed they claim to be
  • Avoid people who want to meet immediately offline after meeting online
  • Do not trust anyone who claims to have fallen in love with you on dating site.
  • Be cautious of individuals who claim to have fallen instantly in love.
  • Do not ever talk about your financial standing on dating sites


Elderly people who are over 60 are the target of these online scams. Hence, Safer Internet Day is the best day to guide your elderly family member, keep a tab on their internet use and help protect them to evade lottery scams online. Victims are approached that they have won a huge amount and lure them to pay up an upfront fee to claim the prize money. As soon as victims pay the “small fees” or “small tax”, scammers disappear with the entire lottery opportunity. Till then, elderly people lose their hard-earned cash for the sake of winning fake prize money.

Tips to avoid

Starting from Safer Internet Day, keep these signs in mind to ward off lottery scams –

  • Did the person bought a lottery ticket from a registered shop or site?
  • Nothing comes for a free lunch – so, delete such mails claiming lottery prize
  • Scammers may contact you in person – do not trust anyone or get involved when the elderly person informs you of such person
  • The lesser details you get on any lottery ticket or win, the likelier it is to be a scam

There are many more such online scams which are targeting gullible internet users – get to know more about these online scams to adopt safe practices while using websites and web services starting from Safer Internet Day. Click here to know more. 

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