According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, making detection difficult. It’s important to stay informed of current and common scams so you can protect your digital footprint.
Let’s discuss the most prevalent scams that you should look out for according to the BBB:
What is the Scam? In a phishing scam, the cybercriminal sends a message impersonating someone you know or a company asking for personal or sensitive information.
How Does it Work? The message usually contains a link that’ll take you to a fake website that looks like the real one. Phishing scams are designed to steal personal information like passwords, usernames, credit card information, and more.
How to Protect Yourself: Make sure to remain cautious when you receive an email requesting sensitive information and check the email address or website address to make sure it is legitimate.
What is the Scam? Identity theft is when someone steals your personal or financial information and uses it for fraudulent activities.
How Does it Work? Identity theft can happen when your personal information is stolen in a data breach or if you accidentally give away sensitive information.
How to Protect Yourself: The consequences of identity theft can be devastating, leading to credit card fraud, account takeovers, and other illegal activities. Make sure to monitor your credit report and bank account regularly to detect any unusual activities. Consider locking your credit report for more protection.
Sweepstakes, Lottery, and Prize Scams
What is the Scam? Sweepstakes, lottery, and prize scams are designed to lure you into giving away your personal information via email, phone, or mail.
How Does it Work? The scammers may tell you you’ve won a big prize but need to pay a small fee to claim it. These scams are commonly found in emails or messages claiming you have won a lottery or a prize.
How to Protect Yourself: Legitimate lotteries and contests do not require payment to claim prizes. If in doubt, don’t share your personal information.
What is the Scam? Deepfakes are videos or images that have been manipulated using machine-learning algorithms.
How Does it Work? Deepfakes are becoming increasingly sophisticated, making it difficult to tell whether a video or image is authentic. Deepfake technology can be used to create fake news or misinformation, leading to distrust and confusion.
How to Protect Yourself: Always verify the sources of news and information and look for signs of manipulation.
What is the Scam? Malware is software designed to damage your computer, steal your information, or enable the scammer to gain access to your system.
How Does it Work? Malware scams can occur when you click on a fraudulent link or download an attachment sent by the scammer.
How to Protect Yourself: Always use anti-virus software, and do not click on suspicious links or download anything if you are not sure about its authenticity.
Tech Support Scams
What is the Scam? Tech support scams are a type of phishing attack where the scammer pretends to be a technical support representative from a legitimate company like Microsoft, Apple, or Google.
How Does it Work? The cybercriminals will request personal information, so they can ultimately access your computer and credit card details.
How to Protect Yourself: Always be suspicious of unsolicited technical support calls, and never pay anyone who contacts you out of the blue.
Protect Yourself from Digital Scams
With scams becoming increasingly sophisticated, staying informed about prevalent cyber threats is essential to safeguarding your digital security. The various scams highlighted by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), including phishing, identity theft, deepfakes, and more, mean that individuals must be vigilant. Protecting yourself involves exercising caution, verifying sources, and using reliable security measures like anti-virus software. By staying proactive and educated, you can build a stronger defense against these scams and protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. Remember, a little knowledge and skepticism can go a long way in ensuring a safer online experience.