As the Coronavirus pandemic has forced the world to shift online, the number of cyberattacks has increased exponentially. According to Scamwatch, in January of 2021, alone, there has been a loss of $22,093,746 due to numerous scams!
Online security has never been more important, as it is today. In this blog, we will discuss who a scammer is, how to identify them, and how to stay protected against them.
Who is a scammer?
A scammer is a person that exploits your trust and steals your identity, data, or money. Through emails, texts and calls, they can pretend to be from a reputable company, a bank, or a credit union and ask you questions about your personal information. Using clever tactics, they convince you that they are working in said company, and gain your trust, which can lead you to letting your guard down.
They often pose as someone you know, be it a friend or family member, by using your information from social media accounts. They can take you by surprise, by telling you that you have won some prize and that they need your details to process the order in means of obtaining your personal information.
So, do not share any of your confidential information over a phone, email, or text message.
Now that you know who a scammer is and how they operate let us get into how you can identify them.
What techniques do they use?
Scammers are pros at what they do. They try numerous tactics to get your confidential information. To stay safe from them, firstly, you will need to identify them. Here are a few techniques they use to trap a victim.
- Scammers disguise themselves as a person offering you an attractive job position and ask you to fill out an employment form, which asks for your personal details and sensitive information, like your credit union account details.
- They pretend to contact you from a popular e-commerce store like Amazon or eBay and ask you to confirm your details for payment of orders.
- Recently, people have reported that scammers contact them impersonating as government workers, and offer them vaccination appointments, against Covid-19, with an upfront payment.
- Some scammers might pretend to sell a good car or luxury item for a lucrative price and convince the victim to make the payment early, so that they do not miss their chance of owning that luxurious item.
So far in this blog, you have learned about who scammers are and some of the techniques they use to achieve their goals. In this section, we will discuss how you can stay safe against these online scammers.
How do you protect yourself?
After learning about the clever techniques these scammers use to lure innocent victims online, here is what you need to do to keep them at bay.
- Do not fall for anything that you have not seen personally seen, no matter how lucrative the prices are.
- Do not give out sensitive or personal information to anyone, that has never contacted you before. If someone calls you under the pretense of working in a bank or credit union, hang up and call your bank or credit union and confirm if it was them.
- Keep checking your accounts’ activity as often as possible to notice any suspicious activity. Report it to the police and your bank or credit union as soon as possible.
- Try to avoid opening any links attached in an email or text as you may become a victim of phishing.
You are always a target of cyber criminals. They are always looking for new tactics to target innocent users surfing online. In this age, you need to be vigilant in protecting your finances, your identity, and your data. If you are worried about the safety of your financial resources, you can contact, us and we will guide you through the best practices you can follow to stay safe. Being a trusted credit union, our aim remains to assist our customers regarding their financial doubts and decisions so that they can achieve maximum benefits for years to come! Contact us now to learn more.