ABC recently did a list of five internet scams you need to know how to recognize. They're almost always the same scams, but they keep changing how they look. Check 'em out . . .
1. Mobile apps you've never heard of. Scammers have really gone after cell phones lately. Some fake apps look like banking apps, to make you enter your account info. Or it could be a fake dating app, and when you subscribe, your money disappears.
There's even a way to hack into legitimate apps and steal the info they collect about your location, along with your contact data.
2. Remote access. Some scammers pose as Microsoft employees and send emails that say your computer has a virus. Then they give you a link to talk with a technician, and the "technician" steals your information and installs malware on your computer.
The best way to avoid this is NEVER to agree to a remote session unless YOU called the other person first. And don't give out personal info to anyone you don't know, unless you called THEM for help.
3. Authority scams. A lot of times you'll get emails trying to alert you to some problem with your checking account, tax returns, or credit cards. The scammers know that most people will just want to get it over with, so they can get a lot of easy info that way.
4. Drug spam. Deals on prescription drugs always get people's attention in the subject line of an email . . . because we all know we pay WAY too much for medicine here.
The BEST that can happen is you buy a knockoff version of a real drug, and risk getting sick or having some terrible side effect. But more likely you'll pay for something you never receive, or they'll steal your identity and ruin your financial history.
5. Ransomware. This is one of the worst and scariest kinds of scams. If you click on the wrong link, you could suddenly find your screen filled with child pornography. And right after that, a message comes up from some fake law enforcement agency.
They'll tell you they caught you with child porn, and you have to either pay a fine on the spot, or be prosecuted. Believe it or not, there are lots of Americans who fall for it, because they don't know how the legal system actually works.