Top 5 Popular Cybercrimes: How You Can Easily Prevent Them

Over the course of the past few years, hackers and cybercrooks armed with sophisticated malware have stolen literally hundreds of millions of dollars from online banking accounts and individuals all over the world. As we have already noted  multiple times in recent articles, the days of robbing banks in person are gone and now it all takes place behind a screen of a computer connected to the Internet.

The Internet can be the most useful tool in business, school or every-day life. At the same time, it  can make  your life a living hell in the event that  you  fall victim  to a cybercrime. A large percentage of the world's population that uses computers over the Internet are aware of cybercrime and the consequences that they may face if they succumb to a cybercriminals' trap. Others who have no clue as to the dangers they face every day using the Internet must get a grounding before it is too late. 

To protect yourself against cybercrimes, you must first get to know  the popular cybercrimes out there. The Internet is a complex infrastructure where cybercriminals create  thousands of scams every week. Nowadays, Internet crimes continue to grow exponentially, as shown in FBI’s annual 2020 Internet Crime Report published by the Bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The 2020 report saw an unprecedented 70% spike in submitted complaints (790 thousand as compared to 467 thousand in 2019) and legions of new schemes centered around the COVID-19 global pandemic. As a result, affected businesses and individuals have incurred losses in excess of $4.2 billion in the United States alone. Moreover, that amount may turn out to be significantly higher should we take all the non-reported crimes into account. According to IBM, the global average data breach cost in 2020 amounted to $3.86 million. However, companies operating in the healthcare industry reported an average loss of $7.13 million for every cybercrime-induced breach. The upward trend shows no signs of slowing down. Researchers at Cybersecurity Ventures expect cyberattack-related losses to surpass $6.0 trillion in 2021 and cybersecurity expenditures to go north of $1.0 trillion in accordance therewith. 

Although cyberattacks can be quite complex and multi-faceted, they all share a common purpose - to get a grip on the victims’ private, sensitive, and other valuable data.   To do that, the crooks at play deploy different methods — cyberstalking, harassment, invasion of privacy, phishing and even online impostors. If you are wondering what each of these cybercrimes involve, here is our list of the 5 popular cybercrimes every PC user should beware.

The Top 5 Popular Cybercrimes Everyone Should Keep At Bay

  1. Spoofing and Phishing scams

Phishing is a type of scam where a cybercriminal or hacker lures unsuspecting PC users into revealing  sensitive or other personal data — login credentials, credit card numbers, PINs, etc. This process is usually accomplished through phishing websites which are designed to mimic a legitimate website in hopes that the unsuspecting computer user will enter several bits of personal information such as their banking passwords, home address or even social security number. To avoid phishing scams, we recommend using a phishing filter feature on your web browser so that it can actively scan websites that you visit to check if they have been identified as a phishing website.

  1. Identity Theft scams

Cybercrooks who may have gained access to your credit card or banking account information may use that information to make purchases in your name. Identity theft has been a major issue even before the conception of the Internet but as you may already know, the virtual world has made it much easier for criminals to utilize and steal your identity. One of the easiest and lest expensive things to do to protect your identity is to closely monitor your accounts. If you notice suspicious activity, you should report it to the proper authorities immediately. Be proactive and do not waste time in these situations. Identity theft scams are very prevalent online and may come in the form of a spam email, website or even an online pop-up survey. Phishing is a major contributor to identity theft also.

  1. Online Harassment

Harassment online is usually related to your social lifestyle and if you choose to use a popular social network such as Facebook or Twitter. Online harassment can consist of threats sent through email, instant message or through a social network message/post. Usually, it is simple to report these threats to the social network you're being harassed on. Harassment can also be found to result in cyberbullying kids which can have dire consequences as you may have witnessed recently in the media where a 13-year-old kid from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, named Megan Meier committed suicide from being bullied online. Our suggestion for handling harassment online is to immediately report any activity out of the ordinary before it gets out of hand even if you may know the person on the other end. Often online impostors who harass you online do it to find your 'breaking point' but you should never let it get that far.

  1. Cyberstalking

Cyberstalkers will go to great lengths to try to monitor a victims online activity. This may include infecting a person's computer with malware that is able to log computer activity. Cyberstalkers are also known to continually harass their potential victims. Cyberstalking cases should also be reported to authorities, just like online harassment cases. Cyberstalkers may contact a victim's colleagues, friends and other online contacts in an effort to slander them or extract personal information from them.

  1. Invasion of privacy

The invasion of privacy is basically the act of someone attempting to intrude on a person's personal life. This includes hacking into a person's computer, reading their emails or monitoring online activities. Many of these specific crimes are punishable under the law. If you ever suspect someone invading your privacy, you can simply contact the police and file a report. Local authorities can handle these situations most times without seeking a specific online law enforcement organization.

In any of the above cases, you should always have the proper computer security applications installed and updated on your computer which may include a trustworthy anti-spyware or anti-virus program. Having security software installed and running on your system will ensure that you are protected from known threats that can lead to any of the above situations and help protect you against cybercrimes.

For additional help resources and tips for protecting yourself against cybercrime, you can view our exclusive related posts below.

Screenshots & Other Imagery

Top 5 Popular Cybercrimes: How You Can Easily Prevent Them Screenshots

27 Comments

  • Matthew:

    Hi there, i am using this for a school project and im wondering could i screenshot a part of this page?

  • GoldSparrow:

    Yes, Matthew. That is fine. We only ask that you give a source credit. Thank you for asking.

  • john:

    this information is very useful

  • Rofiat:

    More than useful, thank you goldsparrow

  • Vijay:

    Sir I have taken loan on loan app but due to lock down I was not able to repay then I got call from them and they told me that if I don't pay they take all my contacts from phone storage and call each person and tell I am doing fraud so what can I do

    • GoldSparrow:

      That sounds like a scam. It is best that you scan your system for malware to ensure it does not have any infections due to receiving that message.

  • Kelly:

    Is there such a term call "internet pharmacies"? I was told that they are activities committed by people who sells illegal articles on the Internet. But I can't seem to find anything on the internet. Is this the correct definition?
    Thank you.

  • Haide:

    Someone's been using my account recently and screenshots some.conversation and those screenshots were posted publicly in her account and causes trouble. What action should i do? Thank you for answering

  • Jeanine:

    someone in my building keeps attempting to get into my personal information by using my network name. I keep changing it and then a day or so, they change it too. Its becoming irritating and as far as I'm concerned, this should be illegal. Who can I report this to? Not like I can call the police, what are they going to do?!

    • GoldSparrow:

      First, it is best to change your WiFi password (your router password to log into your wifi network). Then, be sure you don't have any spyware or malware on your PC by scanning it with SpyHunter. Spyware or malware installed could give others access and be lurking on your computer without your knowledge. After that, you could probably benefit from getting a service to monitor your credit and/or personal information. We hope this helps.

  • Harry:

    This is an email I received today, what should I do.

    𝙸 𝚊𝚖 𝚊𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚎, xxxxxx, 𝚒𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍.

    𝙸 𝚛𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝟷𝟶𝟶% 𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚡𝚝 𝚃𝚠𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚢-𝚏𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚑𝚛𝚜, 𝚘𝚛 𝙸 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚌𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚕𝚢 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚕𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚜𝚑𝚊𝚖𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎 𝚜𝚙𝚊𝚗.

    𝙷𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚘, 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚍𝚘 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚖𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢. 𝙷𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝙸 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚊 𝚕𝚘𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞. 𝚈𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚛𝚎 𝚏𝚋 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚌𝚝 𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚝, 𝚜𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚙𝚑𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚜 𝚙𝚕𝚞𝚜 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚍𝚒𝚐𝚒𝚝𝚊𝚕 𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚘𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚞𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚘𝚞𝚜 𝟷𝟾𝟸 𝚍𝚊𝚢𝚜.

    𝙸𝚗𝚌𝚕𝚞𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐, 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚙𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚟𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚘 𝚏𝚘𝚘𝚝𝚊𝚐𝚎, 𝚠𝚑𝚒𝚌𝚑 𝚋𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜 𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚛𝚒𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚢 𝚖𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚢 𝙸 𝚊𝚖 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚘𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚎-𝚖𝚊𝚒𝚕 𝚝𝚘 𝚢𝚘𝚞.

    𝚆𝚎𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚘𝚞𝚜 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚍𝚞𝚕𝚝 𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚊𝚕 𝚠𝚎𝚋𝚙𝚊𝚐𝚎𝚜, 𝚖𝚢 𝚖𝚊𝚕𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚞𝚙 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚒𝚍𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚞𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚠𝚑𝚒𝚌𝚑 𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚞𝚙 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚋𝚎𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚒𝚏𝚞𝚕 𝚟𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚘 𝚌𝚕𝚒𝚙 𝚘𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚖𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚋𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚢 𝚜𝚒𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚢 𝚋𝚢 𝚝𝚛𝚒𝚐𝚐𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚠𝚎𝚋 𝚌𝚊𝚖.
    (𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚐𝚘𝚝 𝚊 𝚞𝚗𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚗𝚞𝚜𝚞𝚊𝚕 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚏𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚋𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚕𝚖𝚊𝚘)

    𝙸 𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚞𝚕𝚕 𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐. 𝙹𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚒𝚗 𝚌𝚊𝚜𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝙸 '𝚖 𝚖𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍, 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚛𝚎𝚙𝚕𝚢 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝙸 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚋𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚘𝚖𝚕𝚢 𝚝𝚘 𝟷𝟸 𝚙𝚎𝚘𝚙𝚕𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠.

    𝙸𝚝 𝚖𝚊𝚢 𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚞𝚙 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚏𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚜, 𝚌𝚘 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚔𝚎𝚛𝚜, 𝚋𝚘𝚜𝚜, 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜 (𝙸'𝚖 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚎! 𝙼𝚢 𝚜𝚢𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚖 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚘𝚖𝚕𝚢 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚜).

    𝚆𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚋𝚎 𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚘 𝚊𝚗𝚢𝚘𝚗𝚎'𝚜 𝚎𝚢𝚎𝚜 𝚊𝚐𝚊𝚒𝚗 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚒𝚝? 𝙸 𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝...

    𝙷𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛, 𝚍𝚘𝚎𝚜𝚗'𝚝 𝚗𝚎𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚙𝚊𝚝𝚑.

    • GoldSparrow:

      That email is an outright scam. It is best to NEVER respond to the message. As a first step to take, it is best that you scan your computer to ensure that you don't have any spyware or malware installed that could be recording your Internet activity by using a program like SpyHunter. After that, it is best to change your passwords to your online accounts and/or use a password manager. There are many password managers out there to pick, like last pass, cyclonis password manager, and others. We hope this helps.

  • Saba :

    On zoom app's meeting some strangers entered in my class and started bad talks i am a teacher and I want to take an action and I think this is a cyber crime and they strangers even know me that how I look like and what I teach.

  • Michael:

    So my question is if I stay logged in at the home computer in someone's hands Facebook messages from my account not aren't quite slander but more informational to my family, is that an offense legally.

  • apo:

    what about using facebook to blackmail you. is that a crime?

  • gunu:

    someone use my name and pics by making fake account at Facebook I totally don't know that person

  • Zac:

    To whom will I report Ireceived an email from certain bank to update , after clicking my money lost , i report to the bank they told me its not their fault , my money wont return , who are the persons will investigate this?

    • GoldSparrow:

      It would be best to report the issue to the same bank via a branch manager so they can investigate. Also, there is the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) that you can file a complaint to further investigate the initial issue and if hackers are behind it. You can do that at https://www.ic3.gov/.

  • Tahira :

    My Instagram account got log out suddenly and my photos are there in it.. How can I get it back?
    Should I complaint to the police

  • Meggs Gander:

    There is a lady who has been bragging about hacking my FB page! What can I do about this?

  • Paneendra:

    How much can one claim from a company worth 3.3billion dollars for online security breach (bank account transactions without ones notice) and how to go about it ?

  • Chennam chandra Mohan :

    Hi sir my name is Chandra Mohan. I have taken loan from instant personal loan app 3500 Rs.with in one week I have to pay that amount with interest 4500 Rs total. Due to covid 19 iam not able to pay. I told them I'll pay later. But they are blackmailing me that they will call to my all contact phone numbers and inform. What I do sir. Please help me.

  • Rich:

    My messenger account have been continuously hacked for more than 1 year now. I'm changing my passwords every now and then. I wonder how can I still get hacked even after I changed my passwords. Will I ever know who is hacking my fb and messenger account?

  • Gunjan:

    I wanna ask if a person upload my pic as her dp for 10-20 min and i don't even know her. Is this a cyber crime she didn't have said a single word to me when i ask her why she has done this.tell me should i file a complaint against her. Or just forgive her she has apologised to me.

  • Mohamed Imran :

    I received a msg from a female replied to my msg which I am not aware of telling that she has reported to cyber crime . She had received msg from my FB account asking for is she interested in swapping . But I haven’t sent any such msg to anyone . Twice my FB account was hacked and I had changed my password and twice my mobile was stolen and I found back bcoz I send warning msgs to my mobile it’s tracked so I found . Kindly Let me know how do I sort out this issue which is reported to cyber crime .

  • Kathleen Andrew:

    I recently had phone calls about Cointix and Bitcoin but my bank let me know that they were scams. I did give them my bank details and whe they rang me I told them I was cancelling everything and they hung up quickly.Today I had a call and it said it was Australian Tax Office and they were cancelling all my Taxation dealings and wanted my details so I hung up straight away