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Different Types of Skype Scams and How to Avoid Them
Updated · Aug 26, 2023
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While it is no longer at its peak, Skype still boasts around 300 million monthly users worldwide, making Skype one of the most used communication platforms. But like any other platform, Skype is also rife with scams and fraudulent activity. Scammers can use the app to scope unsuspecting victims and steal valuable information.
Skype users need to know the different types of scams to avoid falling prey to scammers. These scammers target valuable information such as social security numbers and personal information for money, identity theft, or other forms of cyber attacks.
In this article, learn about the different Skype scams, how to spot them, and what to do when you get scammed.
What is Skype?
Skype is a helpful communication tool that many people use. Whether from work-related video conferencing to connecting families and loved ones, Skype unites people no matter how far the distance.
Skype is a Peer-to-Peer Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP caller platform that aims to connect individuals globally.
Similar to other VoIP platforms, Skypers can use it to:
- Send messages
- Make video calls
- Use Skype credit to make international calls through a virtual number
Unfortunately, many scammers use this platform to extort money from unsuspecting and naive victims. With a growing number of scammers getting more inventive each day, it can be helpful to understand them to avoid them.
What are Skype Scams?
Consistent with current trends in cybersecurity, scams happen to people of all ages. 51% of these scams occur on websites or apps. Many of these scams lure victims into providing sensitive information, such as:
- Credit card details
- Social Security Numbers
- Personal information
Once they get information, scammers scramble to get victims to pay sums of money or use the data for identity theft and other forms of cyberattacks.
Skype scams are fraudulent or deceptive activities and messages from scammers on Skype. These scams are no different from others, but there are specific ones on the platform that users need to be aware of.
Types of Skype Scams
Most scammers from Skype target two things from users: extort or steal and gather private information for data breaches. These scammers use various scams to ensure they stay low-key on the platform.
Below are the common types of Skype scams:
1. Sextortion, Romance Dating, or Sex Scam
This is one of the most typical Skype scams as it preys on vulnerable people. It involves a scammer pretending to be interested in a relationship and then preying on single men or women to extort money from them.
An example of a sextortion scam starts with a scammer contacting the victim on a dating platform and continuing chatting on social media platforms.
They talk until the scammer invites them to continue on Skype. Scammers do this to avoid being reported on dating or social media platforms and continue to find new victims.
Once the victim accepts, they talk on Skype until the scammer professes their love to the victim. The scammer then asks the victim for a video call and requests them to do explicit acts on camera.
October 27, 2016
The victim then falls for the scammer and does their bidding, not knowing they are being recorded. The scammer uses lewd videos to blackmail the victim into extorting money.
Malware scams are from scammers who pretend to be potential employers or government authorities who may want to communicate via Skype.
I got a call on skype, he asked me to go into a calm room and explain what happened. I told him all the things. He asked me not to worry and asked for my Aadhar copy and my photo to verify with the CCTV footage.
At this point I realised that this is a scam and dropped the call.— JustAnotherHS (@JustAnotherHS) August 17, 2023
Random accounts or scammers will also use this technique to lure curious and naive victims. Their technique requires sending links to users and asking them to download the files for their safety or job opportunities, not knowing these contain malware.
They then use the installed malware to steal information or hack devices.
💡Did You Know? Different types of malware have other uses. Some types of malware, like keyloggers, may gather your bank data and passwords.
On the other hand, others take your data for identity theft. Many deploy spyware to snoop around and gather private information. Unfortunately, these can cause irreparable damage to your devices.
The best way to deal with these scams is to ignore questionable links and block a stranger’s Skype account.
Phishing is a type of scam that is also considered cyber fraud. Scammers use phishing to obtain personal information or deceive you into paying them money.
Most phishing scammers gather emails or personal information by sending phishing emails or links to credible-looking websites. Victims often don’t notice that these sites are used for phishing.
Looks like there is a SKYPE phishing scam going around. You get a recorder SKYPE call about your security and directing you to a web site.— Richard Golebiowski (@Richardgski) August 22, 2012
Most phishers use personal information to gather a debt or create accounts for deceptive uses using the victim's details. 22% of organizations see phishing as one of the most critical dangers of the internet.
4. Fake Job Interviews
Hosting bogus interviews is another way scammers operate on Skype. They publish credible-looking job openings on job boards or websites and redirect their interviews to Skype.
Scammers make their targets believe in participating in a legitimate job interview. When a victim is about to be “hired,” scammers will request personal information such as:
- Social security numbers
- Bank accounts
- Front and back photos of IDs
i have been job hunting again. i can't go back to the call center because i can't arrange childcare. every - and i mean EVERY - interview invite has been that SKYPE chat scam. i'm branching out into uncharted waters so if you see my feet somewhere no actually you didn't 💕— Brea the Moth Queen (@LazyHunnyBee) July 13, 2023
Fake job interview scams increased so much in 2021 due to Covid-19 that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had to release a statement to warn people against these scams.
These scams may seem simple, but they can greatly impact your life. When interacting with a stranger on Skype, it is best to know what signs to look out for to avoid these scams from happening to you.
Signs You’re Being Scammed on Skype
Scammers go to great lengths to hide their hidden agenda and stay untraceable, making it hard for Skype users to know whether their contact is legitimate.
Here are some red flags to watch out for to check whether a user is a scammer:
- A random account will contact you.
- They will demand money or ask you for favors to wire money in exchange for higher sums.
- Asks for personal or private information such as where you live, age, birthdate, credit card, etc.
- Pretends to be a family member, romantic interest, employer, or government employee, but their Skype account doesn’t match these details.
- They promise to give you money or gifts by doing them favors or applying for links they send you.
- Once they know your name, number, address, and personal details, they will try to blackmail you for money.
Always remember that legitimate accounts on Skype won’t ask for your private information, and real contacts or friends won’t force you to do risky favors. Double-check the names, messages, and details they give you before entertaining them.
✅ Pro Tip: There’s no better way to avoid scams than starting directly at the root, protecting your online privacy.
You can do this through:
How to Avoid Skype Scams?
Although Skype scams are alarming and seemingly everywhere, a Skype user can easily evade these traps through awareness and practicing safe use of the internet and Skype.
Here are ways to avoid being scammed on Skype:
- Block, delete, and report malicious accounts on Skype and avoid entertaining suspicious individuals on platforms.
- Remove your phone number and private details on Skype. Alternatively, turn off Skype search on your account to avoid scammer's access to you.
- Only entertain friends and family on Skype and confirm their accounts before adding them to your contact lists.
- Double-check the links or details sent to you on Skype before clicking on them.
- Not all contacts you talk to on Skype are authentic or credible.
- Practice secure online privacy tactics and review Skype's Privacy and Security Support Centers to avoid scammers and prevent identity theft.
Other Ways To Avoid Getting Scammed on Skype
If you are still trying to determine whether your contact is a scam, you can verify their identity using online background search software.
Industry pioneers such as Social Catfish can help identify suspicious users by comprehensively searching public records.
These include names, usernames, and image searches, which can be an excellent tool for knowing a person’s credibility.
Useful features of Social Catfish include:
- Ability to perform an authenticity check on names, usernames, images, phone numbers, addresses, and emails.
- Has access to data and documents that are online, local, public, and social data.
- Subscribers of the app have the option to remove their information from websites.
- The app can identify spam, fraudulent emails, and suspicious accounts.
- It provides quick and accurate results at a reasonable price.
Always be mindful of your digital footprint on the internet, as anything you post or share can be viewed and used against you on Skype.
Through safe practices, you can avoid scammers accessing your valuable information and save yourself from the aches and pains of scams.
What Happens if You Get Scammed?
If you suspect you are a scam victim, you can report this to the US government's official website. They can give you advice on what to on specific scams.
Depending on your case, you can also freeze your bank accounts to avoid any access to your money. Alternatively, if your identity is stolen, you can report this to the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft website.
Skype is a safe and secure messaging platform that lets users enjoy communication and enhance relationships, despite the distance. Its features provide people with much-needed connection and the possibility of gaining new friendships.
Regardless of the shocking and alarming rates of Skype scams, informed users should always be vigilant in all their transactions. You can only evade them by adopting these safe Skype practices and avoid becoming the next victim.
Can a stranger contact me on Skype?
Yes. If someone can access your number, email, and name, they can search for you on Skype. However, this is optional, and you may change this on your Skype settings.
Is it dangerous to accept strangers on Skype?
Yes. Verifying the identity of all the people you interact with on Skype is important. You can permanently block, report, and delete suspicious messages or accounts on Skype.
Is Skype safe to use?
Yes, as long as you use the app safely and communicate with people you know.
Can Skype reveal private information?
No. Skype profiles only show the Skype names, display name, city, state, country (if enabled), profile pictures (if there is one), email address, and phone number (when enabled).
Can Skype scammers know my IP location through chats and calls?
No. Skype messages and calls are encrypted, and the platform has no feature for identifying IP locations.
Your email address will not be published.
Updated · Nov 30, 2023
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