The search giant decided to help users discover scams with a new website. Google announced Scamspotter.org, where anyone can learn how to spot fraud schemes, during the pandemic.
Google said that Scamspotter can reveal dishonest schemes, such as false stimulus, fake vaccine offers and other false medical information.
Moreover, the new website teaches new patterns, which attackers usually use for hoaxes. For example, romance scammers ask their victims to send them money or buy them different things, such as gift cards.
A joint venture to discover scams
Cybercrime Support Network, a nonprofit that is helping victims of online fraud, joined Google’s efforts. They managed to develop a website which includes a quiz, which runs through common scam scenarios. Vint Cerf, VP and Chief Internet Evangelist mentioned that, in 2019, “Every minute, more than $3,600 disappeared from wallets and bank accounts in response to made-up stories of urgently overdue tax payments, bogus contest winnings, or a smooth-talking online suitor who suddenly needs some gift cards. A high-pressure phone call or exciting message can overcome many people’s judgment, especially if they are caught at a vulnerable moment.”
A quiz for common scam scenarios
The developers also included a quiz which presents common scam scenarios, such as messages about winning a prize, although the recipient did not enter any contest. According to Google, this comes to complete the efforts as scammers keep exploiting the pandemic with “alarming speed.” The Federal Trade Commission mentioned that, by now, Americans have lost more than 40 million dollars in COVID-19 related scams. They also estimate that users would lose more than 2 billion euros due to scams, this year.
Although experts consider that people aged 25-40 are the main target of scammers, seniors might become victims easier. Pretending to follow a public health method of tracking the spread of the virus, attackers ask for personal details.
So, the website aims especially seniors who should discover scams before taking any action. But Google urges young people to share the information. “It will take a cross-generational effort. If we learn how to spot the bad actors, we can spend our time focusing on those moments that matter,” Vint Cerf added.