Online Fraud Terminology

Online Fraud Terminology

Jamie Carter
Managing Director

The tactics used by fraudsters to get around online security are always evolving, and so is the terminology. Keeping up with what all of this jargon means may be valuable if you want to improve the security of your data and prevent identity theft.

Scam Terminology

Understanding the different ways a fraudster gains access to your sensitive personal data, helps you identify the types of computer viruses and fraud attacks you may be susceptible too.

We've gathered some of the most popular words and phrases regarding internet fraud and defined their meanings below.


Phishing scams are fraudulent emails in which you believe you have been sent legitimate-looking emails from major credit card companies, financial institutions, Parcel Delivery Companies, Local Council and Authorities, and other organisations. You may be required to enter your sensitive personal data such as login details and complete various forms, which ask for personal or account information. By gathering personal information about you, a malicious fraud ring may use this data to impersonate you online with the aim of carrying out identity fraud.


A program that's designed to install malware is called a "malicious software."

It's built with the goal to gain access to your computer or other devices in order to infect it with a virus, thus disrupting your network's performance and security.

When you visit a harmful website, download an infected file, or click on untrustworthy links, you may be exposed to malware.


A special sort of malware that unless a ransom is paid, prevents or limits the functionality of your computer's screen or files.

It may also threaten to post or delete your sensitive data and documents if payment isn't received.


It's a type of software that is installed on your computer to monitor your surfing and use of the internet.

It may look for personal data saved on your PC or keep track of what you submit online.

This data can then be sold to third-party organisations for marketing purposes, or even for fraudulent reasons.

Key Logging

This is when a software program records your computer keyboard's activity while you type.

Key logging may be used to develop fraudulent online personas and execute transactions without your knowledge by gathering confidential information, such as passwords, credit card details, cardholder data and other personal details.

Data exposure

Data exposure occurs when private information is seen by someone who should not have access.

A data leak is a type of security incident that involves the release of sensitive information from an organisation.

It may also be referred to as a "data breach" or "data leak." It might occur unintentionally or as part of a malicious act intended to cause damage and commit fraud, to the individual or company involved.

It can be particularly harmful to businesses that store their customers' credit card information, billing and shipping addresses, credit or debit card information and other personal information, on their computer program.

Hidden URLs

Shorter URLs are used to make them seem more appealing and clickable, which hides the URL's real destination.

These connections are generally established through the distribution of cash or rewards on social media networks.

Although link shortening is a useful marketing and software technology, clicking on links from unknown persons or websites may infect your device with malware or spyware.


Identity theft, identity fraud, credit card fraud and application fraud are all types of online third party fraud that are committed through the use of personal information.

This information can be accessed by cyber criminals through data exposure, key logging, spyware and ransomware.

Scam Proof Your Life

  • Be vigilant when clicking on shortened URLs, and only transact with known and reputable sellers when buying items online.
  • Protect yourself by using secure passwords, two-factor authentication and anti-virus software on your devices.
  • Regularly monitoring your bank account and credit score can help you detect any suspicious activity early.

Identity Theft

If you suspect you have been exposed to malicious computer program(s), a victim of online fraud, payment fraud, corporate fraud, chargeback fraud, advance fee fraud, account takeover fraud, financial account takeover, identity theft, credit card fraud, card not present fraud, corporate data breaches or any other type of fraudulent transaction, please report it to the police or relevant financial institution as soon as possible.

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Jamie Carter
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