Imagine you were sitting down in your office and working on your recent assignment. This assignment is due in an hour. While you have stressed yourself to complete this work related assignment on time, you are relaxed by listening to your favorite music. Soon you are done and all you have to do now is send an email to your boss and you are done for this day. You type the URL to your email account. Then when it has loaded, you enter your email address and your password. Immediately then you hit enter, click on compose mail, attach your assignment and type appropriate email address that needs to receive it. That’s it then. You sit back and take this opportunity to check your emails that have been due over a long time. You then come across this one email that tells you that you have won Amazon gift card that you must avail as of this moment. Well, that sounds like a good opportunity right? You have to take it and shop holiday gifts with an added discount now. You open the email and click on the given link to access and claim your voucher. But suddenly you are logged out of your email address. Thinking it’s a fault, you try logging in again but your password has been changed. This could really scare you and give you anxiety because your email address is linked to the rest of your social media accounts and contains personal information, account information and so on. Did we scare you with our fragment of imagination? We apologize. However, in order to avoid any type of scam you should begin reading our glossary of scam terminology already!
Our glossary of scam terminology will provide you with some of the key terms that are used for the same purposes: scamming and deceiving. If you do not already know, scams are a fraud based schemes that are constructed and conducted in order to receive or gain personal information as well as financial information without permission or authorization. Without further delay then, let’s begin our glossary of scam terminology:
Botnet refers to a network formed by computers. What’s common between these computers? They’re all infected by scammer activities. Your computer could be one of these devices then which are hiding software that sends scam secretly.
Cramming is another term which refers to an illegal and unauthorized charges placed on your telephone bill. All these calls that increased your bill were made for services that you yourself did not request or make.
Hacker is a common term. We’re sure you have heard of this scam terminology around you. Hacker is a person misuses the widespread internet services to “break into” computers without permission. Once hackers gain unauthorized access to computers, they hack it. This means they gain access to all your stored files, documents, account information, house address and so on.
Another term that we have added to our glossary of scam terminology is Keystroke logger. What does this term mean? Keystroke logger is a program that is used by scammers to track sequential strokes that you have made on your keyboard. This way, they can gain your passwords to online banking, credit cards and so on.
A term known as Malware has become part of our everyday conversation. You must have often heard- “Use this Anti-virus to protect your device from unwanted Malware!”. In our glossary of scam terminology then, Malware is a short term for malicious software. This is a type of computer viruses and programs that are used by cyber-criminals to access your device for gaining any sensitive data.
When you hear or read this new term, Pharming, you might wonder what it stands for. Pharming refers to a type of hackers’ activities. This is when hackers will use malicious software and other such programs to take you to their own virus filled web sites. This can happen even when you type accurate address of a webpage you wish to visit. As soon as you open this website, you are diverted to a similar looking page. What’s different here though is that this will allow hackers to access your personal information.
With our glossary of scam terminology, we will introduce another common term. Phishing is something that we have already mentioned in our scenario at the beginning of this article. Phishing however, refers to using emails and other links that look authentic but they are generated by hackers to access your account and breech your security. If you receive an email from a Bank claiming you have won a reward of $XYZ, you should be aware that that is a Phishing activity.
Have you ever come across Ransomware? This term is also a type of malicious software or computer program to be specific. This program is widely used by scammers for scams because it firstly disables your computer. Pressing any button will not help because your computer has been attacked and is now under the scammer’s control. Then, you will receive a pop-up window in most cases that will demand a certain sum of money to be paid in order to fix this issue.
There are various terms in our glossary of scam terminology which start with the word S, now. The first word then is Scareware. Scareware is another type of malicious software (malware) that will begin to display warnings of fake and non-existing computer or device infections. These pop-ups can also appear when you are trying to connect to a web address. The intend of these pop-ups, however is the same. Once you click on these, the scammers most commonly try to trick you into either buying products or very dangerous protection software for your device. Skimming on the other hand, is an interesting technique used by scammers or con artists. This occurs when scammers use magnetic stripe on your credit card to capture information. They do this by using a portable device known as “Skimmer”. These devices are usually secretly installed in ATMs.
Smishing is a scam terminology for Short Message Service (SMS). Smishing is similar to Phishing. The difference here is that you will receive text messages on your phone number to deceive you into scamming activities. On the other hand, Spoofing is a term for a specific situation. Hackers or scammers will pretend to be a specific person, authority figure, or a business. Spoofing happens when scammers manipulate Caller IDs of telephone and then display a false ID or name. Lastly, Spyware is additional type of malware. When your device gets installed with spyware, the software begins to act like a spy- It tracks your actions, information and so on. There’s a higher chance you will not be aware of spyware in your device. Once it takes over your device, it begins to change your computer settings as well.
At the end of our glossary for scam terms, we will introduce four last but important terms:
Trojan Horse is a type of malicious software that can be hidden in computer data that seems to be harmless at face value. This software can also mask itself as any regular program. However, once you install and activate it, Trojan Horse begins to corrupt data in your device and begins to send files from your computer. These files contain important account information that are received by hackers. However, Trojans do not have the ability to replicate themselves and spread to other devices from your computer.
Vishing is another type of phishing activity. Here what’s different is the use of voice recorder messages. These messages claim they are from an important company and giving them your personal information will help you avail a good service or services. However, the main goal of these telephone calls is to get a hold of your account or personal information mainly for indulging in identity theft.
The last two terms are very common. Virus is a type of computer program that has the ability to replicate itself and spread. Once you get a virus in your computer, it begins to move forward to other computers. They also transfer from file to other files. However, viruses can only activate when you run a specific unknown program or open an unknown and insecure link. Worms are similar to viruses as well. They also have the ability to replicate themselves. Though they are more advanced and do not require any action or activity from you to begin installing itself in your device.
After reading our glossary for scam terminology, you will notice that scammers use a lot of programs of their creation to get access to your devices. And once they get the access, they become the unauthorized personnel in charge then. So, in order to stay secure and safe you must install a working Anti-virus program. The best way to get an authentic Anti-virus is by contacting a reliable technician and asking for help. In order to further secure yourself, increase your will to stay away from giving into such scammers and their schemes. Good luck then!