Text and online messaging is a prime place for scammers to try and con you out of personal information.
We often make the mistake of believing that if someone has our number we either should know them, or our number was given to them for a good reason.
Scammers take advantage of this assumption and have grown increasingly sophisticated about the way they exploit people. They will often pretend to be a acquaintance or a reputable institution like a bank.
If a friend, family member, bank or any other business ask you for personal information or money, validate the request by calling the
company or person making the request.
Chances are, you already have a friend or family member stored in your phone under a familiar name.
If the text or chat is not using proper grammar,
this is often a tip off that it’s a bot or a scammer operating from a foreign locale.
In the end, the safest response is no response at all. If the request is crucial the company or acquaintance will attempt to contact you in multiple different ways.
If you spend any time online, you’ve probably been the target of a phishing attack.
This is when a scammer pretends to be from a reputable company in order to get you to reveal personal information they can use.
Phishing is a technique that’s often deployed through emails. Web site pop-ups, and even mobile apps.
The scam appears as an email from a leader in your organization, asking for highly sensitive information like company accounts, employee salaries, Social Security numbers, and client information.
File sharing & DocuSign
Phony requests to access files in Dropbox and DocuSign accounts are on the rise, tricking workers into clicking on dangerous links.
The romance scam
This one can happen completely online, over the phone, or in person once contact is established. But the romance scam always starts with someone supposedly looking for love. The scammer often puts a phony ad online, or poses as a friend-of-a-friend on social media and contacts you directly. But what starts as the promise of love or partnership, often leads to requests for money or pricey gifts. The lure here is simple-love and acceptance.
The mobile phish
Scammers distribute fake mobile apps that gathers your personal information in the background or send text messages containing dangerous links.
You get a request to take a survey for for a social issue you may care about. When you click that link, you could be getting infected with malware.
The urgent email attachment
Phishing emails try to trick you into downloading a dangerous attachment giving a bad actor access to your computer. Such emails ask you to download attachments confirming a package delivery, trip itinerary, or prize.
Be wary of anyone who asks for more information than they need, even if you are talking to a company or bank you do business with.
Ask this simple question before responding to a message. First check to see if you recognize the sender’s name and email address.
Before clicking on a link, hover over it to see if the
URL address looks legitimate.
Before logging into an online account, make sure the web address is correct. Phishers often forge legitimate websites, like online storage accounts, hoping to trick you into entering your login details.
Avoid “free” offers or deals that sound too good to
Always use comprehensive security software to protect your devices and information from malware and other threats that might result from a phishing scam.
Phone scams come in many forms. Some act friendly while others try and use intimidation.
In all cases, the goal is to get personal information and money.
Credit repair scams
Give them some money and they promise to “fix” or “remove” your debt.
You need to give money today to help these people in need.
Extended car warranties
They access public purchase records to try and sell you overpriced or worthless car warranties.
Don’t let them know they reached a responsive
phone number. By pressing buttons or trying to
talk to an operator, you may be in for even more robocalls.
You phone carrier may provide a service to block known phone spam numbers or at least ID them for you when your phone rings.
Phone scams have gotten better at making you think
it is a legitimate number by “spoofing” an ID and displaying some type of official name. Some even report it shows their own number calling them.
Scammers defraud many people using internet services and software.
The goal of these scams is to trick you into sending money or personal information.
Fake commerce sites
Fake product sites used to sell products that are not worth the price paid or not delivered at all.
Credit card fraud
Asking for credit card information to proceed on a web site.
Software designed to disable your computer system for the scammers personal use or to simply damage it. Also a general term used for viruses, spyware, worms, trojans, and more.
Like many of these other scams, online scams exploit those in need or looking for a deal.
You’ll be notified that you just “won” a nice prize like money, jewelry or a vacation. These scams will ask you to pay something upfront.
Creators of the crowdsourced request promise a return for your small investment in their project but end up pocketing the money instead.
The most common email scams involve phishing.
Phishing schemes take on the appearance of a legitimate email, they may even appear to be from a company you’re familiar with, in order to exploit your trust and gain personal or financial information.
Foreign lottery scam
You just won a big prize, often in a foreign country, but you must pay a small amount upfront to gain the larger reward.
You get a request to take a survey for for a social issue you may care about. When you click the link, you get infected with malware.
You receive an email saying there is something wrong with your bank or PayPal account that needs your attention. You’re then directed to a fake site where you to attempt to log-in so they can steal your user name and password for the actual site.