Cybercrime is a huge problem for both individuals and businesses. Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to trick people into giving them their personal information or their money. In this article, we will look at 5 cybercrime scams security pros almost fell for. We will also offer some tips on how to avoid them.
Email scams are almost always targeted at individuals and can involve a variety of schemes. The most common is simply to phish for sensitive information such as account login credentials and financial data. These are often then used to gain remote access to the target’s computer or for malicious activity such as installing malware.
The biggest advantage that email provides scammers is anonymity. They can send emails out to millions of people without risk of being caught by local law enforcement. This is because they can usually use disposable or stolen email accounts and operate from countries with weak or no internet laws.
Another advantage is that it costs very little to send out these scams. Using wifi at their home, or a local cafe, and even using the free internet at the library, scammers can blast out hundreds of thousands or even millions of emails in no time at all.
This is why it’s essential to keep your eyes peeled for the telltale signs of an email scam. Be sure to look for a lack of personalization (such as “Hello, customer”), a blatantly fake address such as an email from a free email service, and low-resolution images and logos.
Scammers are using every trick in the book to steal money and personal information from victims. One of the most popular methods is a phone scam that poses as a company, such as Google or Amazon. Fraudsters create phishing emails or text messages that look like they come from those companies and convince targets to call them. They then ask them to share private information or make payments over the phone to resolve a fake issue or security concern.
Tech professionals are getting bombarded with calls and texts from “agents” claiming to work for a company that doesn’t exist. They trick people into sharing PII or making payments over the phone, and then use remote access tools to infect devices with malware.
The “Google Voice” scam has re-entered the news, this time targeting people who list their phones for sale on social media or online marketplaces. The fraudsters impersonate a potential buyer or someone who has found a lost pet and send a text message to set up an alternative online phone service. They then ask the victim to verify their identity by sending a verification code.
Many of these types of scams are hard to spot, especially with spoofing techniques that mask the caller ID on your device. For example, savvy scammers often use international numbers with three initial digits that resemble US area codes. That’s why it is always best to only call trusted or known phone numbers.
Some scams use the internet to target vulnerable people. These can include older people who may not be confident with technology, or suffer from age-related conditions.
The scams often involve attempting to persuade you to install software on your computer that allows cybercriminals access to your most sensitive data. These might be your online banking or email login details. They could also be answers to security questions – used by online services to verify your identity. Even seemingly innocuous social media quizzes can be used by bad actors to get information that could help them to steal your money.
Almost every day, Australians lose thousands of dollars to scammers from the comfort of their homes. But there are many types of scams, and they’re constantly evolving.