Cybersecurity experts are warning social media users to watch out for scammers online. Phishing attempts are reportedly on the rise, and it’s tough to fix your online profiles and bank accounts if you let your personal information get into the wrong hands.
Here are a few common ways scammers might target you online and what you can do to protect yourself. Remember: it’s better to be vigilant and stop scams from happening to begin with than it is to react to a crime that’s already happened.
One of the most insidious phishing scams uses fake web pages to lull you into a false sense of security. Typically, you land on one of these by following a link in an email or text message. These links will be accompanied by urgent messages. Maybe they warn that your account is compromised or inform you of a new deal that you’re about to miss.
Whatever the case, these web pages are really just fronts to collect your login information. Once you put your name and password into this fake page, the scammers have all the information they need to steal your identity.
Another common iteration of this scam is the fake tech support call. These begin when a scammer reaches out to you to warn that your computer has been compromised. They’ll offer to connect to your computer to help you out and get the “viruses” out of your system.
These schemes involve the scammer tricking you into letting them use a remote access program to get into your computer. Once you’re there, they can harvest sensitive information like passwords, birthdays, and even your bank account information. Never allow anyone to remotely access your computer, as you can’t verify their identity over the internet.
Scammers usually employ underhanded tactics to get under your skin and make it difficult to think clearly. This means they often use urgency to get you to make mistakes and forget to ask important questions. For example, they’ll often use alarming language, like telling you that you’ve already been the victim of fraud and posing as a representative for a bank.
These scams involve the criminal tricking you into handing over your banking information by making it sound like you’ve already been compromised. Remember to take a deep breath and never give your personal information out to anyone over the phone or the internet! Once you’ve given your bank login information away, the damage is done and you can’t easily get your money back.