Get Used to Scams—They Are Not Going Away
We know that living in a constant state of fear of being scammed is not ideal, but it’s the unfortunate reality of living in today’s technologically advanced world. The good news is that it’s never too late to learn how to avoid them! Let’s discuss how you can be more aware of the challenges of scams not only in a business setting, but in everyday life.
Artificial intelligence has given people amazing tools to get more work done, but this also applies to scammers. With AI tools, scammers can write more convincing phishing emails, or create deep fake images, videos, or audio recordings that are shockingly convincing. It’s worth spending some time and effort to train your team on how to identify these scams and to encourage a skeptical mindset. Of course, it’s also a good idea to invest in authentication measures too!
Smartphones are capable of so much that scammers are finding more clever ways to spread their influence. Whether it’s malicious applications, malicious QR codes, or malicious links spread through text messages, there is a lot more to worry about than your typical phone call. They will still utilize their old tried-and-tested scam tactics, so be sure to be on the lookout for any of the clear giveaways that you are being scammed, strong-armed, or scared into action.
Naturally, since scams can take on so many different forms, it can be challenging to identify them all while also keeping a level head. You might get caught off guard by an attack that comes from an unconventional source. Sometimes these fraudulent schemes are so elaborate that they might involve fake apps and fake customer service representatives that only facilitate the scams rather than provide any legitimate “customer support.”
Other times you might encounter employment scams, otherwise known as the long con, that take advantage of job seekers to steal personal and financial information. You might even become the target of a romance scam, or a cryptocurrency scheme. There is no end to the creativity of these scammers.
Really, these scammers are just using the old tricks disguised as new ones. The same advice that we have advocated for in the past works here:
- If it’s “too good (or bad) to be true,” it probably isn’t. Any unexpected communications, whether they are scare tactics or incredible offers, are likely just a ploy to steal your financial information. Never provide information to parties involved in these communications unless they can verify their identity or you have called a legitimate, confirmed phone number.
- Don’t download or click on unexpected or unknown links/attachments. Unless it is solicited, don’t click on any links or attachments in an email from an unknown sender. It could very well be a malicious link in disguise.
- Understand how hackers tend to operate. Scammers will often request gift cards, money orders, or wire transfers rather than your credit card number, as credit cards will have measures in place to prevent fraud.
Even the most vigilant people will make mistakes, so if you do happen to let a scammer get a bit too close for comfort, consider the following damage control measures:
- Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission, as well as to any relevant parties, including your bank, credit card company, social media platform, and so on. It may not be a bad idea to also file a police report.
- Change the passwords to any account the scammer may now be able to access, utilizing our recommended best practices.
- Run a virus scan on any device you may have opened a link or attachment with.
- Freeze your credit reports and add fraud alerts to prevent unauthorized accounts from being opened in your name.
We don’t like to admit it, but scams are an everyday occurrence. It’s up to you to identify them and do something to keep hackers at bay. A bit of mindfulness and awareness goes a long way, but so too does the right technology solution.
Resolve I.T. can set your business up for security success. To learn more, call us at 978-993-8038.