Here is a list of various dangers on the internet.
Types of fraud/methods:
Criminals trick their victims into disclosing passwords and other personal data such as names, date of birth, address or online banking data. They misuse this information to carry out fraudulent activities such as transferring money, doing online shopping or using overdraft facilities in their victim’s name.
Fact sheet (this document is not available in English)
German (PDF, 286 kB, 22.06.2020)
French (PDF, 376 kB, 22.06.2020)
Fraudsters, pretending to be Microsoft staff, call potential victims and claim their computer is infected with a virus. To remove the virus, the victim must download a programme, which allows the fraudster to gain remote control of the computer.
The fraudster publishes a fraudulent property advertisement on a classified advertisement website. Potential tenants receive a message informing them that the person renting out the property is abroad and wishes to rent it out to someone trustworthy. Potential tenants are therefore requested to send copies of their identity and other personal documents, and make a high, upfront payment as a deposit before receiving the keys to the property.
Fraudsters misuse someone else’s identity. In order to discover as much as possible about their victim’s contacts and friends, they hack their victim’s e-mail account or social network profile. Then the fraudsters send a request to their victim’s contacts for financial assistance, claiming a financial emergency (usually while abroad) and requesting the victim to transfer money to an account as soon as possible.
Objects sold over the internet are usually paid for using the services of a secure payment services provider which confirms to the buyer/seller the transaction has gone through. Internet criminals imitate the e-mails of these providers, also known as escrow services, so that the seller never receives payment.
The fraudster publishes an advertisement on a classified advertisement website for the sale of an item and informs the person who has responded to the advertisement that he would like to hire a transport company to deliver it. The fictitious transport company requests the buyer’s details (name, address, etc.) and an advance payment. The buyer makes the payment but never receives the goods.
Scam in which a fraudster contacts the employees of a company (e.g. an accountant or personal assistant at the company) and pretends to be their director. He then instructs them to make an international payment on behalf of the company, claiming that the payment is urgent and confidential, he’s away on business and cannot take care of the matter himself. At the same time, the fraudster, still pretending to be the company director, contacts the bank or financial institution making the payment and claims he has changed his contact details. If the financial institution verifies the new number, it is the fraudster at the other end.
Sextortion is when a fraudster extorts money from his victim by threatening to share pornographic or sexually explicit photos or videos of that person with other people. Victims are contacted over social networks and then persuaded to carry out sexual acts in front of a webcam. The fraudster then uses the images to blackmail his victim into paying money under threat of uploading them onto the internet.
Offences involving malware
Ransomware is malware that blocks a person’s computer (or only the browser) and creates a message, supposedly from an official body, informing the user that they are using the internet illegally and their computer has therefore been blocked. The user can have his computer unblocked by paying a fine, therefore avoiding prosecution.
Scareware (also called Rogueware) is a fake anti-virus programme that informs users that their computer has supposedly been infected by a virus and that they need to download additional software ‒ against payment ‒ to repair it.
Typical Spyware is used to obtain passwords and access data from users in order to gain a financial advantage or cause harm in other ways. A variation is Adware (from ‘advertisingʼ), which is used to reveal a person’s online browsing habits with the aim of targeting advertising.
A Trojan is a type of software that runs programmes on a user’s computer without their noticing. The Trojan disguises itself as a useful programme, a PDF file, a film or music and allows the fraudster to manipulate the user’s computer unnoticed.
A Botnet (also called Zombie or Bot) is a group of computers that has been infected by malware. This kind of network of compromised computers can be controlled by cybercriminals via a server or central computer and is used to carry out criminal acts.
The aim of DoS and DDoS attacks is to overload computers and networks using external service requests (or data packages) to servers hosting an internet service. The server is then no longer able to reply to legitimate requests.
Fraudsters gather and copy usersʼ data and photos, which is usually freely available on the internet. They misuse this information to create a profile (for example on a social media platform) or in other ways, usually as a preparatory act to committing a crime such as fraud, extortion, romance scam, etc. Using a fake identity, fraudsters can open accounts on various online platforms, purchase goods online or pretend to be the CEO of a company and award contracts or place orders.
Grooming is the act, by an adult, of contacting children, usually in online chatrooms, with the intention of gaining intimate details and (nude) photos. Criminals gain the trust of the child by making compliments, showing understanding and paying them attention. Criminals use compromising images of their underage victims to bribe them or demand further photos.
Illegal pornography consists of images of sexual acts involving children, animals or violence. It is illegal to produce, import, store, market, advertise, exhibit, offer, show, pass on or make accessible to others, acquire, procure or possess illegal pornography. It is also illegal to make accessible, offer, show or relinquish illegal pornography to persons under 16 years of age.
Last modification 14.01.2020