Online scammers use various methods to enrich themselves. Here are some examples of the ways you can lose money or privacy. So you’ll recongnize it when someone uses it on you.
Don’t click on links mindlessly, this should be as obvious as not crossing the road without looking around. Sometimes, however, it’s very easy to get tricked. Attackers are becoming more and more believable and try to manipulate us with methods that exploit knowledge of human psychology. We are talking about social engineering methods.
What are the risks if you succumb? Fraudsters will get your passwords and other identifying information, or you may even give them direct access to your user account or computer. It’s easy for them to steal your money, important information, trade secrets, or personal data of your employees or customers.
Take a close look at some examples of a few well-known recent fraud attempts – you’ll learn to be alert when you encounter something like this and increase your chances of resisting.
It’s time to change your password
One of the golden tricks is an email that pretends to be from an email provider, social network or other online service. You’ll be told that your password or your entire account is about to expire, and if you don’t change, confirm or renew it by the next day, you won’t be able to access your account. You can make a correction via the link provided.
What’s wrong: The link leads to a fraudulent page. Usually it asks you to log in with your “old” password, but in reality you are giving your details directly to the attacker on the fake page.
How to tell:
- A slightly altered sender’s email address. It contains a combination that looks okay on the surface, but there are extra letters or words, such as @microsftfonline. com. The name of the alleged sender may also be altered, for example Faceb00k.
- It forces you to react in a time crunch. For example, if you don’t take action today, your account will be deleted. This is so you don’t think too much about it and act quickly.
- The links have an altered address compared to the official site.
- In the past, poor grammar has also been a symptom. It has improved a lot recently, but still beware if you find the sentences a bit strange.
TIP: Do you know how to see the address of a link before you go to it? Just hover over it (without clicking) and the address will appear in the bottom left corner of the window.
How to prevent damage: Ignore the content of such a message and mark it as spam. If you are not sure whether it is time to change your password, do not click on the link, but go to the settings in the classic way. Alternatively, contact the alleged sender via their official email or customer service line.
There are also frequent attempts to make fraudulent purchases on second-hand online marketplaces and social networks. If you are selling goods there, either as a private individual or as a business, beware of this situation: you will receive a reply from a prospective buyer as soon as you place an advert. The buyer is usually in a hurry to buy and informs you that he has already made a request with the shipping company, through which he will also pay the appropriate amount. He sends you a link which you just need to click on, insert your credit card number or account details where you want to receive the money.
What’s wrong: These are fake links. By entering your details, you are passing them on to an attacker and risk losing your money. In some cases, cheeky scammers will even ask you to confirm the transaction on your mobile phone – but instead of accepting payment, you’ll instead confirm the amount has been sent from your account to the thief’s account.
How to tell:
- The fake buyer will get in touch very soon after you post the ad, usually via WhatsApp or Messenger.
- He sends you the money via a shipping company such as DPD.
- The link to insert your details has an altered address compared to the normal address of the operator.
How to prevent damage: Do not respond to such messages and block the applicant straight away.
Fake invoices and booking scams are popular during the holiday season. But they can also fool you in relation to business trips, conference room bookings, restaurant bookings for Christmas parties and corporate dinners with customers, price quotations for office equipment, etc. So, if you book something like this more often, beware.
What’s wrong: You’ll get an email with an attachment containing a quotation, booking confirmation, invoice or reminder. By downloading and opening it, you download spyware or other malicious code.
How to tell:
- You haven’t ordered anything or not from this supplier.
- Again, the supplier’s address is slightly altered from the official one.
How to prevent damage: You did not make any order or reservation? Ignore the email and mark it as spam. However, it may happen that the scammers get a hit and you actually expect a similar file. In that case, check the sender’s name and email address carefully. If you are not sure, contact the site via the official contacts. And do not download suspicious attachments.
Want more tips like these to make your business more secure? Read our blog. You can as well reach to us if you need consultation about cyber security improvement in your company.