Top recommendations to avoid online frauds

  • Awareness
  • 11/08/2020
  • Latvian Safer Internet Centre

Scammers have become more active recently, using the names of well-known people in Latvia to target people online and advertise various products on the internet. To help consumers protect themselves in such cases, Latvian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) has developed useful tips.

From time to time, information about the use of well-known people's identity against their will is published on social networks or in the media. Several local TV and radio personalities, as well as other well-known people in Latvia (such as doctors) have become victims to scammers.

"According to our observations, these activities are organised abroad, mainly in Russia. Although we witnessed similar activities in the past, the current ‘marketing campaigns' are of an unprecedented scale and insolence. When purchasing a remedy for foot fungus or slimming capsules, the buyer has to enter their phone number at first, therefore, it is most likely that the aim of the fraudster is not only to sell the dubious product, but also to get the person's phone number for further fraudulent activities, such as obtaining  bank card details by phone" explains Maija Katkovska, Head of the Latvian SIC.

Given that it is technically complicated for law enforcement agencies to restrict such type of fraudulent activities from abroad, calls on consumers to be cautious in order to protect themselves and restrict the circulation of such scams.

  1. When you see an advert where a public figure promotes a product on social networks or somewhere else on the internet, you should pay attention to the link which the ad leads to: in case of fraudulent adverts, links are not usually related to a specific person, brand or country. Most frequently, it is a series of different letters and numbers, such as,, and so on. Therefore, urges not to click on suspicious links.
  2. You should pay attention to the quality of the advert. They often use photos of poor quality or copied from the internet. The quality of the advertising text may also be bad – most often, it will contain grammar mistakes or will be apparently translated, using machine translation tools.
  3. You should also pay attention to users' reviews under the ad – they may be fake, which can be identified by examining the contents of the reviews more carefully and checking the name and surname of the reviewer and the attached profile photo. Most often, the photos are taken from different websites, but surnames and names are fake. Checking more closely, it is clear that a person with this name and surname, which allegedly has written the review, does not exist at all.
  4. If a specific product is advertised by a public figure, it is worth taking the time to look at their social media profiles to check if there is a warning from the local celebrity about the unauthorised use of their identity.
  5. You should never send your phone number or other such data to websites, on which the creators will use for unfair purposes. Your phone number will be used to call you and try to defraud you.
  6. When suspicious ads are detected, they should be reported to the social network or portal administrator, who will block suspicious adverts and related profiles.

Find out more information about the work of the Latvian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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