With the fast modernism in technology, the each day electronic accessories we access and carry, the ever-increasing number of places we store personal information and the rising sophistication of professional scammers, one doesn’t essentially have to be a fool to fall foul of fraudsters.
Today’s scams characteristically try to spread viruses, get personal data, or to separate you from your money, and often by successfully using personal identification wrongfully acquired.
The internet is the irresistible weapon of choice, with the usual methods of telephone and post still powerfully in use.
Incorrectly acquired personal information, known as identity theft, is of great value to scammers, and most people do not realize why. This information can be used to retreive funds from bank accounts, obtain a loan, use present cards to charge items or open new credit cards and run up huge debts, as well as commit crimes in the victim’s name.
Phishing is a illegal attempt, usually via the internet or telephone, to illegally acquire sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, personal identification numbers and bank account and credit card numbers by impersonating a trustworthy person, organization or site. Generally a phishing scammer sends an unsolicited email, which portrays a sense of urgency and is meant to instill fear, requesting that the recipient visit a fraudulent website, usually through a hyperlink included in the mail.
The website generally looks and feels like an official site, and is designed to closely resemble the targeted company’s site. The visitor is often asked to log in to their account with their username and password and to provide other sensitive details that may be of use to the criminals.
The beginning of social media has led to some creative scams, the most attractive one being the family member or friend in trouble.
A scammer can acquire email addresses, friends list, and telephone numbers and send messages requesting monies for a friend or family member who may have missing their wallets, phones, are hospitalized, or incapacitated and need money, which of course should be deposited to a certain account.
The guiding principles to keep away from scams are these: Don’t provide any personal data over the internet, do not reply, click on links or open attachments from unidentified senders and exercise good judgment and a healthy dose of scepticism.