The online world is full of scams. With how vast the World Wide Web is, this may come as no surprise. Online fraud is extremely common as society becomes more dependent on smartphones, tablets and computers.  

But not all internet scams are the same. Here is a rundown of some of the most prevalent scams that occur in the virtual world. 

1. Online dating scams

This type of fraud is becoming increasingly well-known, thanks to movies and TV shows about the phenomenon known as catfishing. A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone he or she is not, using fake pictures and information. Catfishing usually takes place on dating or social media websites. Online dating fraudsters often convince unwitting people to send them money or gifts. 

2. Phishing

Scammers have been utilizing this technique since the internet began. Phishing occurs when a scammer poses as a dependable company or institution, such as Amazon or a bank. The scammer sends an email or text message alerting someone there is an issue with his or her account and he or she must log in to fix it. However, the link is fake and the scammer steals the information from the user. 

3. Lottery scam

This type of scam has been around for ages too. Scammers send messages to people letting them know they have “won” a lottery or sweepstakes prize. The scam usually requires the end users to pay fees to access the prizes. Of course, there are actually no prizes.

4. Imminent threats

These scams are getting more common. Scammers may pose as the IRS, a law enforcement agency or a credit collector. They send emails, text messages and phone calls telling people they are about to face penalties or criminal charges and request money to make the consequences go away. These scams make people pay money out of fear, but the threat is fake.