New Year, New Scams

Cybercrime is directly proportional to cyber technology. The increase in cybertech in the last few years has caused an escalation of cybercrime. According to Forbes, cybercrime is expected to surpass over $2 trillion of damage as a result of cyber scams this year.

And while you may think this is not relevant to you because you know how to watch out for cyber scams and keep up with technology, 40% of consumers that reported cybercrime were between the ages of 20 and 29. That means it can happen to anyone. The reason why cybercriminals are able to do what they do best, which are online scams, is because of their ability to extort money or to gain access to your sensitive information and thus go from there.

If you want to protect your devices from spyware, malware, and any other type of online scams, you will need to get to know who you’re up against. Here is the list of methods how hackers attack users around the world, and ways how to fight them.

From Phishing to Spearfishing

Phishing attacks have now evolved and are starting to look more like they came from a specific company, making it even harder to differentiate fake from real. Hackers are able to pose as sites such as Dropbox, PayPal, and even your bank, in order to gather your sensitive data such as credit card number. This type of scam is called spearfishing.

Phishing, on the other hand, is a more simple scam. Hackers are sending generic emails where they ask you to enter your data. Luckily, this method is easy to recognize.

Both types of malware are not only being sent via email but via instant or text message as well. When you click on the link, your device might freeze, malware can be installed, or your information may be stolen. However, new versions of this scam will not work as you to download anything. Instead, one click on the link will be enough.

How to Stay Safe from Phishing Attacks

If you want to avoid phishing attacks, look carefully at the URL of the link. You will notice that it differs from the usual URLs that you receive from your bank, PayPal, or some other company.

Also, use two-factor authorization while accessing sensitive apps, create strong passwords, and do not use the same credentials for every application you use. Software that blocks malicious links is available as well.

How to Stay Safe from Phishing Attacks

Mobile Fraud

There are different types of mobile frauds. For example, if you install some free apps, they will make it seem like you made several clicks on ads, even though you have not done anything. This is what we call click flooding. SDK spoofing, on the other hand, uses a bot that accesses servers and creates an illusion that a few users are using an app which was never even opened. There are even fake malware apps which, when downloaded can do severe damage to your device.

How to Stay Safe from Mobile Fraud

Make sure to download apps from trusted developers. Look for reviews and the number of downloads. If there are only a couple of reviews and downloads, consider installing some other application. You can also download some anti-malware software, such as Norton Mobile Security to scan new apps before you run them.

Social Security Scams

You may have been a target to the recent epidemic of social security frauds. If you haven’t yet, you are one of the lucky 2019 cyber survivors. Fraudsters have increasingly started to make fake phone calls posing as the Social Security Administration. Their goal is to extract money. Also, scammers are using users’ local area codes which make the phone number seem like a real deal.

How to Stay Safe from Social Security Scams

The best way to stay safe from social security scams is to pay attention to the caller’s ID. Scammers are targeting mostly Medicare clients, especially the elderly, and ask them for their personal information in order to keep their benefits.

Tech Support Fraud

Tech support scams have taken its leap in the last couple of years as a popular scamming technique among fraudsters. Fake tech support emails, posing as Apple support, redirect users to a fake website where malicious code is inserted into apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram. What they do is collect information like SMS data, photos and contact details which may be used for blackmail. Also, a pop-up message may ask you to call a fake company to fix a problem with your computer.

How to Stay Safe from Tech Support Fraud

Look for the grammar and design of the pop-up window. If it is fake, there will probably be some spelling errors or poor imagery. Also, real tech support is almost always free, and you will not have to pay extra cash for the service. If you are already infected, install anti-virus software and scan your device for malware. Another measure you should take is to change all of your passwords.

Safe from Social Security Scams

The Bottom Line

Hackers are getting more and more creative every day. Therefore, some old methods of protection might not work anymore. Protect yourself from scammers with these newly updated tips. With mobile attacks, watch out for links that are sent as a text message. Do not click on links that come from unfamiliar sources. It is always a good idea to get a virus protection software for your computer and mobile phone and to scan every new app you install. If you’re unsure, give us a call and we might be able to help you out!

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