Cyber criminals will use whatever they can think of to try to get your online banking credentials or other information they can sell on the dark web. Here are five ways they use social media to do it and how you can avoid giving up your information, in no particular order.
Summer has arrived all around the northern hemisphere. Many of us prefer to jump up and head outside to enjoy the spoils of the season and that is certainly fantastic. However, scammers don’t honor the seasons. They will try to trick us with their own version of phishing all year round. As we go into relaxation mode, it’s still important to keep an eye out for attempted scams and particularly for the phishing that doesn’t involve a pole, a boat, or water.
Phishing is still the most common way, by far, that information is stolen and .malware makes its way onto computers and mobile devices. It’s worth taking a moment to review the signs that an email message or phone call may be phishing for you
- A reward is offered, such as a gift card or some other freebie.
- There is a sense of urgency, such as an account will be blocked or a punishment will occur if you don’t do something.
- An attachment or link is included in an email that is unexpected or from an unfamiliar sender.
- There is a request to open a file, click a link, or share something. If a form follows a click that asks for information to be entered or login credentials to be entered, it should be considered suspect.
- The greeting and message are generic. If it doesn’t have any indication that the sender knows something personally about you, it could be a scam.
- The sender’s email address is strange or unfamiliar. If you open it up by clicking it, you can see the entire address; not just the name.
- If a link inside goes to a web address that seems strange or unexpected. If you hover the mouse pointer over those links, you can see where it will take you.
- A site asks for sensitive information, regardless of how you arrived at it, and the address isn’t preceded by “https:”
- The caller on the phone starts asking for sensitive information such as passwords, login credentials, or payment card information.
- A caller tries to scare you into providing or doing something.
Even if none of these indicators are present, it’s not a guarantee that the message is phishing. However, the risk is significantly lower.
It’s unlikely anyone will give up the Internet for the summer, nor is it expected. So just be sure to stay on your game for spotting phishing, so you don’t take the bait.
Given that most of us rely on our computers and mobile devices for everything, including storing our personal information, it's safe to say we want to keep them safe and secure from those with malicious intent. Sadly, our personal electronic devices are constantly under attack by bad guys across the world whose primary goal is to steal our private information. We are bombarded with endless spam emails, scam phone calls, texts, and computer pop-ups attempting to con us into giving out our own card numbers, social security numbers, and passwords just to name a few. If that happens, they can sell it to other criminals, steal our identities, and open fraudulent loans or even extort us for money to get it back.
Don’t take the call! Telephone imposter scams on the rise
One of the most popular types of fraud is called an employment scam. There are many different types of variations for this scam, but the most common is when a victim is falsely led to believe they have landed their dream job. After the “employer” hires the victim (with no legal documents signed) they send the victim a counterfeit cashier’s check stating they are going to pay for the equipment that they will need for the job. They then later claim they over paid and demand that the excess funds are returned. They give the victim a fake account number and instruct them to send the funds electronically via a money transferring service. If the victim falls for the tricks, and sends the funds, they will most likely never see those funds again. This nightmare becomes reality when the check bounces and the victim is left with the bill. Once the check bounces, the victim owes the money back to the financial institution. Often times the victims are truly looking for a job and are already worried about money, so this just compounds the issue.