Well, maybe not. In today’s Tech world, what seems to be may not be.
Phishing, credit card fraud, email scams, all have become very sophisticated for sure.
As an example, I just listed my Note 5 on Amazon seller account, within minutes I had a buyer-until I read the response:
Does this sound like something Amazon would write?
Quote: “we hereby inform you that order have been completed for your item and payment have been received from buyer by us on your behalf. An additional 50 for shipping has been added. You can now go ahead and ship item and get back to us with shipping tracking number for shipment verification in other to transfer your payment into your account”.
Obviously, these morons were not very good at it. But many are.
A scammer contacts you out of the blue pretending to be from a legitimate business such a bank, telephone or internet service provider. You may be contacted by email, social media, phone call, or text message.
The scammer asks you to provide or confirm your personal details. For example, the scammer may say that the bank or organization is verifying customer records due to a technical error that wiped-out customer data. Or, they may ask you to fill out a customer survey and offer a prize for participating.
Alternatively, the scammer may alert you to ‘unauthorized or suspicious activity on your account’. You might be told that a large purchase has been made in a foreign country and asked if you authorized the payment. If you reply that you didn’t, the scammer will ask you to confirm your credit card or bank details so the ‘bank’ can investigate. In some cases, the scammer may already have your credit card number and ask you to confirm your identity by quoting the 3 or 4 digit security code printed on the card.
Phishing messages are designed to look genuine, and often copy the format used by the organization the scammer is pretending to represent, including their branding and logo. They will take you to a fake website that looks like the real deal, but has a slightly different address. For example, if the legitimate site is ‘www.realbank.com.au’, the scammer may use an address like ‘www.reallbank.com’.
You can be sitting in a café or deli or coffee shop, you can be hacked while you are sitting there, it’s called a “pineapple” the Wi-Fi Pineapple makes man-in-the-middle attacks incredibly easy (click on), look around you and see if anyone is using it.
Pharming – the scammer redirects you to a fake version of a legitimate website you are trying to visit. This is done by infecting your computer with malware which causes you to be redirected to the fake site, even if you type the real address or click on your bookmarked link.
- You receive an email, text or phone call claiming to be from a bank, telecommunications provider or other business you regularly deal with, asking you to update or verify your details.
- The email or text message does not address you by your proper name, and may contain typing errors and grammatical mistakes.
- The website address does not look like the address you usually use and is requesting details the legitimate site does not normally ask for.
- You notice new icons on your computer screen, or your computer is not as fast as it normally is.
- Do not click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from your bank or another trusted organization and asking you to update or verify your details – just press delete.
- Do an internet search using the names or exact wording of the email or message to check for any references to a scam – many scams can be identified this way.
- Look for the secure symbol. Secure websites can be identified using ‘https:’ rather than ‘http:’ at the start of the internet address, or a closed padlock or unbroken key icon at the bottom right corner of your browser window. Legitimate websites that ask you to enter confidential information are generally encrypted to protect your details.
- Never provide your personal, credit card or online account details if you receive a call claiming to be from your bank or any other organization. Instead, ask for their name and contact number and make an independent check with the organization in question before calling back.
- Watch for anything on your credit card alert that says canteen, they test your credit card in a vending machine, if it works-all hell breaks loose in minutes.
- Go to your bank (on line) and set up your alerts, I set mine at $1 dollar, anything that hits my credit card I get an instant alert.
- Subscribe to identity theft programs.
- Change your password every 90 days.
- Use credit cards, it is the banks money
- Debit cards are your money, if scammed it can take months to get your money back.
- If you use debit card always use it as credit, you have your signature to prove it was or was not you.
NEVER CLICK ON THIS
YOUR SYSTEM MAY HAVE DETECTED VIRUSES ON YOUR COMPUTER
Your financial information may not be safe Call tech support at: xxx-xxx-xxxx
I hope this helps, I know I was a victim of identity theft several years ago, and it is not fun to undo, and in some cases, you are wiped out.
I subscribed to LifeLock®Identity Theft Solutions , I was so impressed with their services and protection I became a corporate agency for them. They monitor all 3 bureaus and more.
Good luck and pay attention!
Frank J. Eberhart, CEP® RFC® Author