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Posts Tagged ‘phishing’

Not Today Scammer

As more of life and daily task moves online it feels like scams and phishing are increasing. . . because they are! According to the U.S. Chief Information Officers Council scams and phishing attacks have been on the rise for decades by cyber criminals. As consumers, our first line of self-defense is awareness.

 As we are looking to increase our awareness online it may be helpful to start with an understanding of what a scam and phishing are.

A scam is an attempt to trick someone, usually to steal money or private information.

Thieves may use this information to cyber bully someone, create false documents such as a driver’s license, buy things with others’ money, or get a loan or a job.

Scammers online don’t have to get money from people directly. Instead, these scammers use a variety of strategies to trick people into giving out their private information. This information can be used to access their bank and credit card accounts or other personal accounts. Scammers can even recreate someone’s identity, producing false documents, such as social security cards or driver’s licenses.

An important step in preventing a scam is to avoid giving out personal information.

What kind of personal information might thieves look for?

  • Full Name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Passport Number
  • Account Numbers
  • Institutions where accounts are held.  
  • Passwords
  • Banking Personal Identification Number
  • Social Security Number

Thieves try and get this information from you by phishing. Phishing is when people send you phony emails, pop-up messages, social media messages, texts, calls, or links to fake websites to hook you into giving out your personal and financial information.  

The best way to avoid a phishing scam is to question any online request for personal information. It’s also good to be skeptical about posts or messages from friends online that seem out of character. That can be a warning sign that their accounts have been hacked. There are clues in these phishing messages to look for. For example, they may include:

  • Require you to verify account information.
  • Contain a Sense of Urgency, saying an account will be closed or something drastic happens if you don’t act quickly.
  • Spelling errors
  • A link in the email or attachment encourages you to use that link or attachment to verify the account.
  • Promises or messages that sound Too Good to be true.
  • A Generic Greeting, such as a friend, account holder, or customer.

You can protect yourself from scams and phishing by:

  1. Avoid opening the message in the first place.
  2. Don’t click on any links or download any attachments; they might contain viruses or spyware.
  3. Set your social media accounts to private.
  4. Don’t reply to a message or email. Instead, delete and block.
  5. Mark it as “junk” or “spam” or report it on your social network site.
  6. Take the time to know what a credible website looks like.

If you are concerned about an account you have with a company, contact their customer service directly by phone.

Written by: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Miami County.

Reviewed by:  Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Washington County.

Sources:

4 ways to differentiate a good source from a bad source. UTEP. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.utep.edu/extendeduniversity/utepconnect/blog/march-2017/4-ways-to-differentiate-a-good-source-from-a-bad-source.html#:~:text=Check%20the%20domain%20name,in%20an%20attempt%20to%20mislead.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month : Phishing attacks. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month : Phishing Attacks | CIO.GOV. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.cio.gov/2021-10-12-National-Cybersecurity-Awareness-Month-Phishing-Attacks/

What are some common types of scams? Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-are-some-common-types-of-scams-en-2092/

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