Hackers are getting more creative and sophisticated with their scams that even the wariest people are being caught out and with severe consequences. Victims have lost all of their money, savings, and even pension/retirement funds in some cases. We are all possibly guilty of thinking, ‘how could someone be that naive,’ if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. But hackers have now created companies, processes, and offers that seem so real that almost any of us could be fooled.
One of the most recent victims lost nearly 40K of their money, thinking they would get a good return on their investment, but it all turned out to be a scam. But it seemed so real. They supplied virtual investment documentation, detailed graphs, and information on return on investment, and they even used photos of celebrities claiming they endorsed the company and much more. They made the whole experience feel so real that it was hard not to believe.
And they didn’t stop there. Once the scammers had their scam in progress, they accessed the victim’s computer and installed software onto it so they could get financial and personal information. They used these details and the victim’s computer to access financial accounts and cleared them out. Leaving them with nothing.
When it comes to parting with your money or personal details online, you must be vigilant, check for the tell-tale signs.
Here’s what to look out for:
- Someone contacts you that you don’t know or have not requested contact from.
- Someone contacts you asking you to spend money, invest money.
- You can’t verify the company details, especially if there is no postal address.
- They ask for personal information, like date of birth or social security number
- You must go through a special verification process
- There are efforts to gain your trust using celebrity endorsements or household names.
- There is a sense of urgency, there a time or availability limit on the offer
- They appeal to your emotions, like claiming an investment would change your life.
- There is an enormous discount, or too good to be a valid offer.
- They ask for personal information, like date of birth, social security numbers, etc.
- Request payment by an unusual method. gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrencies
- Spelling or grammatical errors
- Check for the padlock in the search engine search bar to show a secure connection between you and the website.
When it comes to your personal information and your money, the bottom line is to be 100% you can trust the company you are dealing with. Verify it is accurate; you can even contact your local citizen’s advice bureau or companies registration office to ensure that it is a legitimate entity.
Incognito Privacy Care Team