As our reliance on technology increases, so does our risk of exposing personal and financial information. Scammers are no longer using the tactics we have grown to know and avoid. Their attempts have become more sophisticated and harder to identify. Here are some of the newest ways that these cybercriminals are targeting victims:
You Surf, they Phish
Any time you surf the web, there is a chance you will come across an attempted phishing attack. While our play on words may be funny (or not? Tough crowd), falling victim to one of these attacks certainly is not. Here are some examples of common phishing tactics:
- A text or email referencing an “unauthorized transaction on your account”
- Requests for you to update or verify personal information
- Correspondence from an email that looks similar to a contact’s email address, but is misspelled or slightly different
When it comes to suspicious links, it is best to play it safe. Don’t click unless you are familiar with the sender and always hover over hyperlinks to make sure they’re leading to where they say they are. If you are worried you may miss important work correspondence, alert your company’s IT team to the issue. They can help verify whether the link in question poses a risk to you or the company.
Rise of the Robots
Not all bots are created equal. Some are easy to spot, while others have mastered the art of mimicking human behavior. Some are as innocent as a business facilitating interactions with customers, and others are as malicious as spreading propaganda, and even terrorism.
In many cases, it’s easy to tell when a comment or post came from a bot, rather than a real person. As the popularity of social media bots has increased, however, so have the efforts to make them seem real. Signs of a possible bot include comments that use multiple hashtags and emojis, content that seems out of place or irrelevant, and higher than average activity. If you suspect a profile is really a bot posing as a real person, avoid interacting. In addition to spreading ideas, bots can also disseminate malicious links (those phishermen at it again!) and take over social media accounts.
If you have been keeping up with the news, you’ve probably heard that identity theft is on the rise. In fact, it continues to be the fastest growing crime in America. This trend will only continue as phishing and bots become more prevalent. The good news is – Zander has your back. Our members rest easy knowing that we continuously monitor their social security numbers and other personally identifiable information so that they don’t have to. Our goal is to keep you from having your identity stolen, and to restore it if you do become a victim. In the words of Dave Ramsey, when it comes to identity theft, “It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.”