What is a Scam? Here’s the Full Explanation!

Scam is a crime that continues to run rampant, especially in the digital era. In fact, 13% of fraud victims reported losses of up to USD 50 million. You don’t want to be one of the victims, do you?

Indeed, what is the meaning of a scam? And, is there a way to avoid a scam? Don’t worry. You will find all the answers in this article.

In fact, we will also divulge the characteristics of the scammer so that you can avoid this crime.

Can not wait? Immediately, let’s see the discussion!

What is a Scam?

A scam is a fraudulent attempt made to get something of value from its victims. Perpetrators who do scams are called scammers.

There are 2 things that scammers usually target from their victims, namely:

  • Money – The victim’s savings in a bank account or e-wallet .
  • Information – Any personal information that can be directly misused for the benefit of the scammer. It can be in the form of personal information (name, address, and Family Identification Number), account (username and password), and financial (card number and ATM PIN).

Recently, scam cases are becoming more and more common. In fact, scam victims in Indonesia reach 26% , the most in the world.

There are various types of crime modes. Scam cases that often occur are scammers disguised as parties who are trusted by the victim so that the victim is willing to provide important information to money.

Not only that, there are many types of scams. Want to know more? Don’t worry, we will invite you to understand the various scams so that you can get to know more about this crime. Scroll down, yes!

Types of Scam

The following are the types of scams that you should know about:

1. Donation Scam

A donation scam is a type of scam that asks for donations, but the money earned is misused for personal gain. Donation scam perpetrators are generally quite clever in taking advantage of the compassion and sympathy of the victims.

Take, for example, the recent donation scam on Twitter about animal rescue.

The perpetrator claimed to have found an injured animal. Under the pretext of raising donations to cover the cost of veterinary treatment, the aid funds were instead misused for personal purposes.

After receiving the donation money, the perpetrator immediately deletes the account to avoid donors who ask for clarity on the money that has been donated.

2. Survey Scam

Survey scam is a fraudulent way of imitating official surveys to get the victim’s personal information.

Generally, scammers will promise prizes as a lure so that victims want to fill out surveys. In fact, the company is not currently conducting the survey, and the prizes offered are only to attract the attention of the victims.

For example, to get personal data of victims, scammers take advantage of the pandemic moment to spread fake surveys about the effects of vaccines .

3. Cold Call Scam

Cold call scam is a fraudulent technique via telephone by pretending to be a certain party, such as the police, companies, and even close relatives. Perpetrators will manipulate victims so that they will follow the scammer’s wishes.

For example, the caller claims to be Customer Service of a bank that offers victims to become priority customers on condition that they pay certain fees.

4. Phishing

Phishing is a type of scam that lures victims into voluntarily providing personal information without them knowing it.

In the case of a fraud that had gone viral, the perpetrator made an advertisement to capture the victim. The victim is asked to update the mobile banking application.

After filling in the data and clicking submit, all the victim’s information is successfully owned by the perpetrator. Not only that, in this case the perpetrator sucked up the account balance and even took over the victim’s Instagram account.

5. Love Scam

A love scam is a fraudulent act in which the perpetrator takes advantage of someone who is looking for a partner. Usually, the perpetrator will create a fake identity on the dating app.

These love scammers will play with the victim’s emotions so that they will do what the perpetrator asks. Scammers may send some money to the victim’s account and ask you to send the money to another account for money laundering.

Even though you are a victim, you still have to deal with trials, which of course cost you time, energy, and costs.

Well, before heading to the characteristics of scammers and tips on how to avoid scammers, let’s first learn how scammers work.

How Scammers Work

Although there are several types, generally the way scammers work is by taking advantage of the victim’s negligence. So, in launching the action, the scammer will take the following steps:

  • Scammers target victims according to the scam attempts made.
  • Scammers communicate directly with victims, or use media such as surveys or advertisements related to victims.
  • Victims who are careless will follow the instructions given because they consider it a natural thing, not a scam.
  • The scammer managed to carry out the action and get the victim’s money or personal information to be used further according to the scammer’s wishes.

After knowing how scam actors work, now let’s look at the complete explanation of the characteristics of scammers that you should be aware of.

Features of Scammers

As a precautionary measure, you need to know what are the characteristics of the following scammers:

1. Pretend To Be Someone You Know

Scammers will try to build your trust by pretending to be authorities, well-known companies, co-workers, and even relatives. That way, victims who are not careful will be easily tricked.

2. Offer Attractive Prizes

The characteristics of scammers that are often encountered are offering super tempting prizes. For example, stating someone won a lottery which ultimately asks that person to send some money.

3. Requesting Sensitive Data

Generally, scammers will attempt to request sensitive data. Because this data can be used for online loan verification processes, taking over accounts, and draining account balances.

A trusted company or organization of course already has complete data about you. So, you should be wary if you are asked to provide sensitive data such as credit card numbers or bank account PINs. It could be an act of fraud!

4. Instructing You to Act Quickly

Scammers are good at playing with the emotions of their potential victims by setting tight deadlines. Whether it’s when they have to send a sum of money, or when they ask for complete personal information.

This is what makes scamming victims feel panicked and can’t think long enough to follow every whim of the fraudster.

5. Requires You to Make Payments

The last characteristic of a scammer is asking you to pay a certain amount of money.

You will be given instructions to transfer money to the perpetrator’s personal account for various reasons. It can be on the pretext of paying for postage, taxes, and much more.

Therefore, from now on, observe the characteristics of scammers to be more careful with this crime!

6 Tips on How to Avoid Scam

Scams can happen to anyone, including you. In order not to become a victim of a scam, try applying some of these tips on how to avoid the following scams:

1. Ensure the Credibility of the Party Contacting You

You can take this verification step according to the platform where you received information that has the potential to be a scam, including:

  • Telephone – If you get a call from a person claiming to be a representative of a company or organization, make sure first whether the contact contacting you is official or not.
  • Email – Not only see the sender’s name, but also make sure the sender’s email address is an official email. The trick, check the email domain used. For example, Niagahoster uses the email address @niagahoster.co.id, according to the website’s domain, namely niagahoster.co.id.
  • Social media – Make sure the social media account of the party contacting you is verified which is marked with a blue tick. Or, you can also confirm the contact on the official website of the party who contacted you. If the information is not the same, you should remain vigilant.

2. Don’t be easily tempted

Getting a windfall is certainly everyone’s desire. However, if someone offers a bombastic gift or tends to be unreasonable, you should be suspicious. Especially if in the end the party asks for money in advance for various reasons. Be careful, ok!

For that, don’t be easily tempted by offers that promise big profits. Usually, this is just a scammer’s trick.

3. Be careful when sharing personal information

One of the goals of the scam is to get the victim’s personal information. Later, this information can be misused for various negative things. For example, fraud in your name, buying and selling data, to making online loans using your identity.

Therefore, you need to be careful when sharing personal information. Tips, only provide your personal information on official and trusted websites or platforms.

There are many ways that scammers use to carry out their actions. One of them is by providing a link that directs the victim to a prepared scam website.

So, first make sure the link you receive is safe. The trick, hover over the link without being clicked. Later, the URL information of the link will appear. If the link doesn’t lead to the official website, don’t click on the link.

5. Activate 2-Factor Authenticator

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a cyber crime security method that allows websites to verify users with a unique code generated in real-time. Generally, it will be sent to the registered email or mobile number. So, only the person concerned will receive it.

So, if you want to ensure the security of your account, always enable 2FA, yes. Because, if a scammer has found your username and password but cannot enter the 2FA code, the scammer will not be able to continue the login process.

6. Create a Unique Password

If you are still creating a password that contains your date of birth, you should change it now. The reason is, passwords such as date of birth or phone number are very easy to guess. As a result, it doesn’t take long for scammers to guess the password to log into your account.

Tips, create a password with a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Well, if you have trouble remembering your password, you can use the help of a password manager like LastPass or NordPass.

So, What is a Scam?

Scam is a mode of fraud that takes advantage of the victim’s negligence for profit. The types of fraud are also increasingly diverse, there are donation scams, survey scams, cold call scams, phishing scams, and love scams.