8 Types Of Scams To Be Aware Of
Criminals always think of new ways to trick trusting victims through different scams. You can be lured to provide sensitive information that gives access to your bank accounts and other crucial details. Read on to discover which eight types of scams you should be aware of.
Phishing is usually targeted at business owners. This type of scam involves receiving unrequested emails business proposals from a seemingly reliable entity such as a bank. In most cases, criminals send an email with an attachment that contains a link.
As an unsuspecting victim, you will click this link, resulting in malicious malware attacking critical data on your device. This malware can compromise your banking and personal information.
Various malware viruses provide easy access to your emails. Once criminals access your emails, they can send emails to anyone on your contact list. Since people won’t know it’s not you, criminals can ask for payments or email organisations to request sensitive information.
It’s crucial to check your emails. Once you start noticing missing emails or receiving unexpected emails, you should consider updating your passwords. If your password has changed without your knowledge, you should contact your email service provider to see if there’s any suspicious activity.
It’s essential to double-check a website URL for a specific business entity. Criminals have found ways to mimic authentic business websites to pass as legitimate ones. If you don’t pay attention, you might miss a few things since the branding will likely be identical to the original organisation.
Have you noticed the number of calls from criminals posing as call centre agents calling on behalf of banking institutions has increased? Fraudsters impersonate banking institutions by making calls to you as a trusting client and requesting an OTP to pretend it’s to prevent fraudulent activity on your accounts.
Meanwhile, they use this information to commit fraud. Remember that your bank will never call you to request credentials, such as your OTP, which is critical to gaining access to your money. If you receive a suspicious call from a bank representative asking for personal details, you should contact your bank to confirm before giving away anything.
Various means of communication have made it easy for criminals to try different scamming methods. Texting is a common everyday way to receive updates from any service provider. However, fraudsters have found a way to hack into databases that contain personal information like your cellphone number.
Smishing is a type of scam that involves receiving an SMS that’s supposed to be from a legitimate organisation. These text messages contain a link that requires you to provide your banking credentials. Once you enter sensitive information, the malware gains access to your banking app or takes you to a spoof website.
Stolen Phone and Cloned/Twin Sim
If your phone is stolen, you should first de-link any banking apps and information from your device. You can contact your bank to report your stolen phone. Criminals can clone or duplicate your SIM card or phone number. This allows them to divert any calls or text messages.
When they control your primary number, you won’t have access to essential messages requiring entering your OTP to authorise transactions. You should contact your bank immediately if you notice the following:
- You no longer receive requested OTPs even after a few attempts.
- Not receiving calls or messages on your number.
- Losing cell phone signal in an area with a regular network.
Deposit and Refund
If you run a business, you should be vigilant when verifying potential clients. Criminals can steal your goods without making payments. Nowadays, the deposit and refund scam has become common.
Your business will be approached by an interested party who wishes to purchase something expensive. You will receive proof of payment and deliver the item, or they urgently cancel the order and request an immediate refund. Later, you will notice that the proof of payment is fake, and there’s no way to recover your goods or cash.
As the holiday season nears, you should remember that only some holiday packages advertised are legitimate. Criminals are looking for ways to exploit unknowing potential holidaymakers. You should take time to research emails that promote fantastic holiday packages.
Go through the website and verify if the holiday package is real. If these have advertised any third-party travel agencies, you should contact the said parties to find out if they are aware of it. Making any payments before verifying the website will give criminals access to your funds and account information in worse-case scenarios.
This time of the year requires you to be extra careful and secure your money. Criminal activity is on the rise, and as an unknowing victim, you can lose more than you bargained for if your personal information ends up with fraudsters. Download the iER App to access the South African Police Services immediately if you have been scammed and need to open a case.