Five Cyber Frauds that you Still Do Not Know [2023]

Five Cyber Frauds that you Still Do Not Know [2023]

Last year there were 6.1% more computer crimes compared to the data recorded during the previous year. Of these, 87.4% correspond to computer fraud, according to the latest Report on cybercrime, which makes almost the entire population a potential victim.

Between the pandemic, the economic crisis, and teleworking, we are increasingly at home, and we look for more establishments online or compare different offers on the Internet. That is where more crimes can be committed, with never actual offers. 

Young people already buy practically everything on the Internet and look for websites with the most advantages. Multimedia and Telecommunications Studies and researcher in the K-cryptography and Information Security for Open Networks group. ( KISON ), of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3). 

Everyone, at one time or another, can be thinking of something else and make a quick purchase, and that is how many times, because of that speed, we fall into deception.

To this is added that cybercriminals improve their strategies to deceive a more significant number of people and be more effective in selecting their objectives; In the end, it is a kind of ‘arms race’ between criminals and citizens.

According to experts, protecting yourself from these criminals so as not to join the list of victims of computer crimes is key. These are the tips to deal with five of the most frequent cyberfrauds.

Reverse bizum

The Bizum mobile payment solution, which already has more than 21 million users, has drawn the attention of the Civil Guard’s cybercrime teams for being used by cybercriminals to defraud. 

The payment system through a mobile banking application with which money can be sent and requested immediately can be a double-edged sword if minimal checks are not carried out. This type of scam does not respond to a security flaw in the application. Still, to the fact that the possible lack of attention, the potential victim is taken advantage of, and the scammer sends us a request for money, but, due to being careless or hasty, we think we are receiving money and give the go-ahead to a reverse bizum (i.e., a send request).

Once again, the rush that seems to have prevailed in the digital world is unsuitable for our money,” says Jordi Serra. «Against this fraud, the only thing we can do is not act quickly and make sure before what they tell us, either by a call or message. When we believe we are receiving money through Bizum, we must stop for two seconds and see if it is a transfer or if they are asking us for money.

Many scams related to Bizum occur through channels other than our bank’s application (for example, by SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, email, or even phone calls). “We always have to be wary of channels that are not authenticated, even if we believe we know the person who is contacting us because a criminal could have impersonated his identity,” adds the professor of Computer Science, Multimedia Studies, and Telecommunication.

The Wallapop scam

The Internet User Security Office warned a few weeks ago of a new method of fraud in application stores such as Wallapop or Vinted. In this case, the cybercriminal is interested in buying a product through this platform. Once the contact is made, encourage the victim to continue communicating outside the platform in an instant messaging application such as WhatsApp. Through this platform, he communicates that he has made the payment and provides a fraudulent link that impersonates the trading platform and forces the victim to enter their bank details to complete the process.

That they ask us to pay through a channel that is not the platform itself already denotes that something needs to be done more. We must never trust people who ask us to pay outside the platform, because, in addition, there will be no record of the sale or purchase. For example, they can ask us for our credit card to pay or make a false reverse bizum.

However, when using the payment systems incorporated in the same platform, you have the guarantee your system offers. In the case of Wallapop, using Wallapop Envios, we only pay for something once we receive the product, verify it, and accept the payment through the application itself. This is the most secure way to operate, and it is difficult for us to be phished in payments if we have a suitable authentication method and use a strong password, in addition to maintaining our device well to avoid the presence of malicious software.

Scams on TikTok

The growth of social platforms like TikTok has not gone unnoticed by cybercriminals, who find millions of potential victims. Many scams use presumed comments or opinions of well-known people, celebrities, or social media influencers as a hook. Cybercriminals often fabricate fake content or include links in comments to draw users’ attention to fraudulent platforms where scams occur. The general advice is never to make a transaction because you have seen a link in a video or a comment on a social network. The pages that we visit to carry out our transactions must be fully verified”, advises the director of IN3.

TikTok is a social network in which immediacy prevails: Children consume content quickly; They are quick and short videos. On the one hand, this encourages phishing attacks, selling followers, etc. On the other, the platform’s theme should alert us to any other practice that is not just viewing videos. The recommendation is that it not be associated with any payment or product sales system because it is straightforward to create fake videos whose sole purpose is to deceive.

Fake bitcoin

The world of cryptocurrencies is complex, experts warn. It must be taken into account that the system is based on a public key cryptography scheme, and it is necessary to safeguard (and not lose) the private keys, which allow us to carry out transactions. And, since crucial management is complex, devices with specific hardware have appeared, as well as mobile applications that allow the keys to be managed in so-called cryptocurrency wallets ( wallets) .), facilitating the management and custody of those keys. 

Some platforms allow you to manage wallets remotely, but having a copy of your keys outside of them is essential to avoid possible problems. Also, giving away private keys is generally a bad idea because anyone with access to them can make transactions.

Thus, multiple cryptocurrencies, wallets, and key management platforms have appeared, and obviously, some criminals have taken advantage of the complexity of these systems to offer fraudulent services or pyramid schemes. In many of these services, false cryptocurrencies are offered behind a solvent technological platform. We are surprised if we try to withdraw money since it is impossible or if we face multiple obstacles.

The primary advice is never to entrust our money to intermediaries or presumed brokers if we do not have guarantees of its authenticity, “and not to leave the known platforms whose solvency has been proven.” “Nor should we believe supposed news from celebrities recommending a certain platform if we are not sure of its origin: this is usually a common way of fraud,” explains the director of IN3.

The “premium” of WhatsApp

This summer, the National Police alerted through a tweet of a WhatsApp scam that was reaping more and more victims. The technique consists of sending an affectionate and close message posing as a distant cousin or uncle or simply an acquaintance to ask the victim for money or private information.

Although it is impossible to block unknown numbers until they send a message, the application itself notifies us when we receive a WhatsApp message from an unknown number. It offers the option to block it or continue with the conversation. The best protection is prudence and only carrying out a transaction with a user if we are sure it is a legitimate operation.

If in doubt, you can look up the phone number on the Internet since “cybercriminals often use the same phone lines for a while, and some users may have been alerted of scams from that number. In any case, mistrust is the best way to avoid scams. Credulity is the greatest ally of scammers.



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