In an era in which technology has made an historical mark upon our lives and has taken over a majority of the world, dishonest schemes have increasingly appeared to the point that it has become difficult not to receive a single scam text, call or email at least once during a normal day. Scams and those who are involved in performing them are absolutely blind to any of the circumstances one may be in and execute their heists in such a fiendish manner that many are left with almost nothing and can have their lives ruined from a simple mistake of trust. Although there are a wide variety of scams that commonly pop up, if one is accustomed to recognizing them or at the very least can prevent any losses during a scam they will not have to suffer the consequences.
In order to take preventative measures against these fraudsters, it is important to understand the methods used in these operations. Scams that use text messaging are known as “smishing” scams. As the name can imply, these are a type of scam that uses SMS or text messages to phish users into giving up sensitive data such as passwords to various accounts or more nefarious information such as debit card numbers or banking information. Usually a link is sent along with a seemingly innocent or official message that leads to a website similar to a well-known one but is just a front to collect data from users who enter their information.
Another very prevalent scam is the tech support scam. Tech support scams are a bit more intricately formed than phishing scams as they prey on unsafe websites or possible vulnerabilities in a website to lay a popup for users of some problem with the users computer that must be addressed immediately in order to retain the current information on the computer. This can elicit a strong sense of fear in many that can blind them towards malicious intent from the perpetrators and allows scammers to gain much more than phishing scams as well. By convincing a user of a non-existent problem, they will try to gain access to a user’s computer in order to “aid” them which many users unfortunately agree to. However, with full remote access, scammers can weasel their way into many rabbit holes of highly critical information to either banking, or social security numbers and can result in the theft of not only one account but virtually all accounts on that computer. This makes them a highly dangerous scam and one that should be avoided at all costs.
It is important to note that it is not always easy not to fall into the trap of a scam and in order to stay safe there are some ways to protect yourself. First and foremost, do not click on any suspicious links or websites that do not have a verifiable url or web page. Additionally, never give anyone any extremely vital information over the phone as if necessary, they will request it of you in a physical setting. Finally, cross check messages that seem to be illegitimate with the real source before making any important decisions. Asking a bank if they sent you a message is one possible way to prevent theft of banking details. With a keen eye for untrustworthy alerts and suspicious messages, technology can be enjoyed to the fullest without allowing bad actors to seep into your life.