Updated · May 31, 2023
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.
Statista’s Estimated Number of Skype Users is 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.
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Data Spotlight, scams happen to people of all ages, and 51% occur on websites or apps.
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 attack.
In this article, learn about the different Skype scams, how to spot them, and what to do when you get scammed.
Skype is a Peer-to-Peer Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP caller platform that aims to connect individuals globally.
Users or Skypers can use the platform to connect, send messages, make video calls, or use Skype credit to make international calls through a virtual number.
Skype has provided phone recording, screen sharing, paid phone numbers, and video conferencing. It is still used by many due to its being one of the first communication service apps.
Unfortunately, many scammers use this platform to extort money from victims. There are a lot of Skype scams around the world. It can be helpful to understand them to avoid them.
Skype scams are fraudulent or deceptive activities and messages from scammers on Skype. The target of these scammers is gullible and naive users who accept or entertain their messages on the platform.
These scams are no different from others, but there are specific ones on the platform that users need to be aware of.
Most scammers from Skype target two things from users: extort or steal money, and gather private information for data breaches. These scammers use various types of scams to make sure they are not discovered on the platform.
Below are the common types of Skype scams:
This is one of the most typical Skype scams around as it preys on vulnerable people. It involves a scammer pretending to be a woman or man and preying on single men or women to extort them with money.
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.
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.
This Skype sex scam happened to a Palestinian man living abroad, where a beautiful woman contacted him on Facebook. The scammer, who turned out to be a man, used Skype to record the victim doing sexual acts. The scammer used the videos to blackmail the man into giving money.
Malware scams are from scammers who pretend to be potential employers or government authorities that may want to communicate via Skype.
Random accounts or scammers will also use this technique to lure curious and naive victims. This type of scam is also considered by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency as one of the most common cyber-attacks after phishing and ransomware.
Their technique is sending links to users and asking them to download the files for their safety or job opportunities, not knowing these contain malware. Scammers can use malware to steal information or hack devices.
Different types of malware have other uses. Some malware may gather your bank data and passwords through keyloggers, some may use your data for identity theft, some may install spyware to spy and gather private information, and some can cause irreparable damage to your devices.
The best way to deal with these scams it ignoring questionable links and block a stranger’s Skype account.
Phishing is a type of scam that is also considered cyber fraud according to recent cybercrime statistics. 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.
Most phishers use personal information to gather a debt or create accounts for deceptive uses using the victim's details. According to data breach statistics, it's one of the top causes of data loss and theft.
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 then request personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank accounts, private details, to any information they can use to scam.
Fake job interview scams went up in 2021 due to Covid-19. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has even issued a warning against these types of scams.
These types of scams may seem simple, but they can have a huge impact on 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.
Scammers go to great lengths to hide their hidden agenda, making it hard for Skype users to know whether their contact is legitimate.
Here are some ways to know if your contact is a scammer:
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.
Although Skype scams are alarming and seemingly everywhere, a Skype user can easily evade these traps through awareness and practising safe use of the internet and Skype.
Here are ways to avoid being scammed on Skype:
If you are still trying to determine whether your contact is a scam or not, you can verify their identity using online investigation software.
Apps such as Social Catfish can help identify suspicious users through their comprehensive search; 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:
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.
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.
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.
Yes. It is important to verify the identity of all the people you interact with on Skype. You can permanently block, report, and delete suspicious messages or accounts on Skype.
Yes, as long as you use the app safely and communicate with people you know.
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).
No. Skype messages and calls are encrypted, and the platform has no feature for identifying IP locations.
With over six years of writing experience, Darko is a prolific writer in multiple industries including, but not limited to, technology, digital marketing, and finance. Acquiring a BA in English pushed him to pursue his lifelong dream to conquer the internet and take over the SERPs with high-quality content. Darko became an expert in technology the hard way—he broke a lot of computers and cellphones. Now, he tries to give back to the community by crafting some of the most popular tech guides and articles on the World Wide Web.
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