Applied CT


This section provides information on ho wto use the internet safely and avoid falling in the multiple online scams that threatnen us through email or when browsing.

  • How to spot internet scams
  • Types of scams
  • Internet Dating


Useful Links:

Social networks:________

The online dating game: Tips that help you to stay safe and protect your identity

Safe online dating

Be safe on Social Networking Sites

Online dating fraud: : How to identify the most likely scammer profiles

How to spot a scammer

How to spot an online dating scammer

Online dating fraud victim numbers at record high


Fraud and Scams:_______

Internet Fraud: Wikipedia

Top tips to avoid online scams

Five common online scams

Top online scams used by criminals to trick you

The 11 worst internet scams we're still falling

Report Fraud

Get safe online


Light Blue Touch Paper

A blog by Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering at the Computer Laboratory- University of Cambridge.

  1. Information
  2. Internet
  3. Religion
  4. Ethical issues
  5. Science
  6. Politics & Social Issues
  7. Conspiracy Theories
  8. New Age Beliefs
  9. Freedom of speech
  10. Radicalization
  11. Education


Humans are social beings that rely on facial expressions and body language to assess the reliability of messages and information uttered by another human. Due to its nature, online communication lacks this feature, and the receiver of the message can only assess its truth through written language. But written language allows for many degrees of freedom where deception can spread. Very often people fall victims of deception due to its own weakness to evaluate the contents of the messages. For example, one may think it is a way to make an easy financial gain, or an answer a need to make friends. Scams are designed to appeal to our own psychological weaknesses and this is why it is not enough to learn about the scams that pollute the internet. One also needs to be aware of our own feelings and needs and how we can fall victims of them.


Internet crime can be classified into two main types;

  • Trust based fraud are those that abuse the trust of the victims by appealing directly to their emotions and needs.
  • Techical trickery that penetrates the protective shields of the victim's computer.

Check out the difference between fraud and scam

Trust based fraud and scams
Technical trickery
  • Internet Dating
  • Sexual abuse
  • Money Extorsion
  • Phising
  • Hacking
  • Poor anti-virus protection
  • Stolen Passwords
  • Fake websites/Online shopping
  • Fake websites/Free software


One of the main issues with victims of this type of scams is that they often feel ashamed of having tricked and don't report it to the authorities.

The first thing to have in mind is that if you have fallen victim of this type of manipulation, you have no reason to feel ashamed. You are the victim not the perpetrator.

The embarrassment issue

The feeling of embarrasmment has different sources. Often you ask yourself “how could I have been so naïve to fall for this?” Others may feel ashamed for the fact that they sought friendship, acknowledgement, love, sexual gratification through the internet.

The internet feels like a safe place where you can search for what you need.We want to help you to overcome your shame and if you feel you need to discuss it with someone in confidence, you can access our counselling services, before reporting it to the authorities.

There is no shame in trying to fulfil our emotional needs.  We are hard-wired to seek pleasure, love, and companionship and when these needs are not fulfilled, we look for them. It is purely part of our biology.

Many people feel shame for having fallen victim of manipulation because of their urge to satisfy their needs. Here the shame comes from a posteriori realisation which begs the question:; “how could  I have been so stupid to have fallen for it?”

The problem is that our emotions often trump our rationality. This is a fact that is common to most humans, unless you are a psychopath.

When we feel lonely and unloved, it is very easy to fall for enticing words of endearment.  The hormones start flooding the rational centres of our brain and cloud our ability to think objectively.
The scammers hoe you to that state of bliss and when they feel you are “ripe” they start collecting the fruits of their investment. At this stage you are completely under their spell and you will be willing to do anything to keep their words of love streaming into your brain. These words can be addictive for they activate specific areas of the brain that signal reward.  Beware that there are neurobiological mechanisms at play that you are not aware of and make you vulnerable. This is why you have no reason to feel ashamed of falling in love with that stranger. And it is only reasonable that your brain wants to keep that flow of pleasure streaming in.  But be aware than often the rule if it seems too good to be true, maybe we should extend your alert antennas.  People who are insecure about their looks are often victims of scammers that praise their looks. Your fault was not in feeling rewarded by the praise but in sharing your weaknesses with a person that you don’t know. Once you expose your vulnerabilities it is like offering your neck to a predator. They know you are hooked when you start telling them about what makes you feel uncomfortable; you are feeding them with material to lure you into their den.

When you are engaging in an internet relationship, discuss it with someone you trust, someone who can think objectively.  Seeking help from a close friend may not be the best solution. A friend will either tell you something you don’t want to hear or if he tells you wat you want to hear, it may be the wrong assessment.  If you have been telling about your relationship to your friend he/she may get as much involved as you, since they can only hear your part of the story and thus they formulate an opinion based only on the positive information you provide.  You need to talk with a person who you trust to be objective, honest and will assess the situation for you rid of any emotional involvement.  You can use our counselling services if you are in doubt.

[to be continued]



Kathleen McMahon (2013)- Social Media Scams. Vol 2; Protect yourself from scams on Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Craigslist, and more. KTMO Books

Dueep J. Shing (2014)-Internet Scams and Frauds-Credit Card Theft, Work-at-Home Scams and Lottery Scams. JD-Biz Publishing

Linda Criddle and Nancy C. Mulr (2009)-Unisg the Internet safely for seniors for dummies. Willey Publishing

Neil Forsytn (2010)-Delete this at your peril. One man's fearless exchange with the interent spammers. Aurum

Monica T. Whitty and Adrian N. Carr (2006)- Cyberspace Romance: The psychology of Online Relationships. Palgrave

Monica T. Whitty and Adam Joinson (2008)- Truth, lies and trust on the internet. Routledge