Cyber crime has become a very lucrative business for internet con artists. If these thieves can’t directly get you to hand over your passwords to your bank account they will try to steal your identity or infect your computer with spyware to access your money.
While we are super paranoid and extra careful, one of our vendors who owed us $17K got hacked and the hacker used a copy of our invoice in an email to them and told them we’d changed banks and need to update their payment account. Our vendor fell for the scam and sent OUR $17,000 payment to the scammer’s bank! Watch out for that one… we expect to see a lot more of this type of scam in the future.
Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.
Scammers often update their tactics, but there are some signs that will help you recognize a phishing email or text message.
Phishing emails and text messages may look like they’re from a company you know or trust. They may look like they’re from a bank, a credit card company, a social networking site, an online payment website or app, or an online store.
Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. They may
- say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts
- claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information
- say you must confirm some personal information
- include a fake invoice
- want you to click on a link to make a payment
- say you’re eligible to register for a government refund
- offer a coupon for free stuff
There are multiple ways to be duped online but what’s most important is to be able to arm yourself & recognize these cons.