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Be on the Lookout for Cyber Criminals

Be on the Lookout for Cyber Criminals

Cyber criminals are opportunistic. They’ll gladly target individuals just like they do large organizations. Let’s explore a few common scams that anyone might encounter.

  1. The fake rental property:
    a.    Imagine paying a deposit on a new rental home, only to find out later that someone already lives there. Rental scams usually involve a fraudulent listing of a real property. The scammers figure out how to copy keys (or break into the home to unlock it) so the victim gets an opportunity to view the home in person.
  2. The caller who demands payment by gift cards:
    a.    The caller might claim to be from a power utility company or a financial collection agency and threaten you with fees or account closure. Instead of a traditional payment, they ask you to purchase gift cards and provide the relevant information on the cards.
  3. The extortionist:
    a.    Fear is the most powerful ingredient in extortion scams. They typically involve an email with a threatening subject line like “I saw what you did.” The messenger claims they used remote desktop software to record your screen and your webcam. They then threaten to send the video to all of your contacts unless you immediately pay the scammer.
  4. Account has been suspended:
    a.    This common phishing scam comes via an email that features logos and contact information from a real business. The message states that your account has been suspended due to fraudulent activity and that you must update your login credentials, or the account with be closed permanently.

In all cases, you can easily avoid becoming a victim by:

  • Using situational awareness and common sense
  • Verifying someone’s legitimacy before sending payment
  • Slowing down if a situation is emotionally triggering or unrealistic
  • Thinking before clicking or downloading anything

For more information on protecting your identity and personal information, visit our Financial Education Center. 

Learn more on protecting your identity.

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