Most hoaxes are effective, mainly due to ignorance. If you know them, they lose their “power”. These are the most used in recent months.
A good hoax plays with the present, and takes advantage of it in his favor. Use news about vaccines, Covid, the Christmas raffle or cryptocurrencies, to try to steal or scam.
Another major group tries to cheat with very appetizing and popular products: Amazon, LIDL or Mercadona promotions, Netflix or Disney + discounts, Wallapop bargains …
Another common feature is that use very common, veteran and popular tools to spread out, that everyone has: email, SMS or WhatsApp messages, mainly.
Surely you have also received an absurd chain message on WhatsApp. Or your brother-in-law has told you that the application is going to close next month. The Internet is full of hoaxes about this popular messaging service, and we have decided to collect the most talked about in this article.
These are the most effective hoaxes of 2021, according to Business Insider.
There are many variants, so you have to be careful.
Fake WhatsApp identities
This type of scam consists of impersonate Social Security, or another government entity, and present a fine, the renewal of the health card or other document, a refund from the Treasury, or another lie, and request a payment, or your data.
This payment is almost always through Bizum or PayPal, which cannot be traced.
Bizum has become one of the star payment systems in Spain in 2021, for its ease of use.
Two very important facts to know is that you only need the mobile number to send money, Y that money that is sent cannot be recovered.
So anyone can randomly send hoax messages to mobiles, and trick victims into sending money through that number.
Bizum has become the most popular payment system between individuals through mobile phones in Spain. As in any other medium, scams are also possible. What are the steps to follow to claim?
For example, a detected scam is the one with the wallapop buyer, who buys a product from a seller. He says he is going to pay for Bizum so he asks for the mobile, and sends a payment notification for the exact amount of the sale.
But the notification is not to pay, but to collect money. If the seller does not realize and accept, he will not be collecting money, but will be sending it to the seller …
This same scam is used with false notifications from the Treasury or Security, which notify you by SMS of a refund of money for incorrect collection, they send you a Bizum to return the money, but instead of a payment message, it is a payment message … If you don’t look at it and approve it …
Here are three other common Bizum scams, and how to avoid them.
Scams related to Covid-19
The scissors play with the fear or frustration of the people, to steal them.
Scams related to false vaccination lists, to get vaccinated faster, or ready to put a specific vaccine, which is supposedly better than the others.
Also scams related to miracle foods and medicines that cure covid, or protect you from contagion.
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Free Netflix, Disney + and derivatives accounts
Taking advantage of the pandemic, SMS, email or WhatsApp messages have been spread where supposedly Netflix or another platform offers free accounts for a month to support people for the covid.
They ask you for an email or other information, which they then use to impersonate your personality. Or they sell them as low-cost accounts for a special promotion, and they ask you for money.
In other cases, they are websites and services of dubious reputation that They offer to watch free chapters of hit series like The Mandalorian or The Witcher and they ask you for a record, where you reveal your data.
Cryptocurrency or NFT scams
They have been two of the most popular money-raising technologies of 2021, and a great hook for scammers.
We have seen scams like the fake Squid Game cryptocurrency, which pre-sell cryptocurrencies that don’t exist or never go live, and then they keep the money and disappear.
Other scams focus on millionaire characters like Elon Musk or Bill Gates, who They are giving away Bitcoins to celebrate something.
Can you imagine a video game where you can become a millionaire just by playing? It is possible with NFT games, but all that glitters is not gold …
In the case of NFT games, properties of a game that is going to be a hit are sold, and then that game is never released.
Either they are sold as an NFT artistic works to which they do not own the rights, or they say they are unique, and they are not.
Video calling scams
In the last two years, video calling apps such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams have become fashionable.
But these apps have paid functions, with more possibilities. So emails, SMS or WhatsApp messages with fake promotions of free Zoom or Microsoft Teams accounts for paid services.
As always, the best defense for all of this is common sense. Serious companies and entities do not ask for money or registration by WhatsApp, SMS or email.
And if a stranger contacts you telling a “strange” story, be suspicious …