Common internet scams

The more we use the internet, the higher our risk of falling foul to scams and fraud from sham websites. It is not unusual to be attracted by cheap offers, gift vouchers or free trial packs that result in expensive subscriptions.

Common scams 1: “Free offer”

There are companies online that offer different deals that seem to be very cheap or free. You might be able to test a product for free, or you receive the first product package free. But in the end, the offer is seldom completely free.

Instead of simply just paying postage, you can end up with a subscription that the company will demand payment for, or will withdraw extra money from your account for. Products the companies use to attract consumers include weight loss pills, razor blades, diet supplements or tooth whitening kits. You could also end up being a subscription customer by ordering a cheap mobile phone.

Read more about how to get out of a subscription trap

(The link redirects to a website in English)

Common scams 2: Online tests, market research and competitions

There are many online test offers, market research questionnaires and competitions. They are often advertisements or posts on social media such as Facebook. When you click on a link, you might be asked to answer different questions and provide your card details in exchange for a cheap product or entry into a prize draw. This might result in you becoming a subscription customer and money being withdrawn from your account.

Read more about how to get out of a subscription trap

(The link redirects to a website in English)

Common scams 3: Valuation services

Be aware of scam valuation services. If you have thought about valuing your car or home on a website, be careful. Once you have entered your car’s registration number or details about your home, you might be sent an invoice for using the service. There are websites that offer the same service for free, so it can be difficult to understand why it suddenly costs money.

Common scams 4: Gift vouchers

Saying yes to offers for cheap gift vouchers online can often become expensive. Many times, you will have to complete a market research questionnaire and the offer can regularly result in expensive subscriptions. Advertisements are generally placed on social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram. More often than not, other companies are behind these offers – not the companies whose name is on the gift voucher.

How to protect yourself from scams

If you do not trust a website you are on, never give out your card details or personal information such as your personal identity number, telephone number, name or address. Scrutinise the website – are there clear contact details such as the company’s address and e-mail? Does the site look legitimate? Sometimes, scam sites can be disorganised and contain many spelling mistakes – but not always. Search for the company’s name on the internet. If the company is a scam, you will often find warnings.

The Swedish Police Facebook page for national frauds contains up-to-date information (in Swedish) about different scams

(The link redirects to a website in Swedish)

If you have been affected by a scam or fraud

If you suspect you have been scammed, you can report it to the police.

Submit a crime report via the Swedish Police website

(The link redirects to a website in English)