Until the digital age, scams were less complex and relied on mediums such as airmail and phone lines. But with advancements in technology, scammers can target us on our computers and mobile devices with sophisticated techniques and software. Stopping these scams requires vigilance, cybersecurity technology, and education. Here is a list of emerging scams that are catching people off guard:
Set strong passwords for your social media accounts, and be careful about who you add to your friends’ lists. Scammers are using the private pictures of social media users to blackmail them. In some cases, they use legitimate photos, and in others, they use Photoshop or Deepfake technology to doctor media.
IP Address Scam
In an IP address scam, a threat actor uses your IP address to make a scam appear legitimate. The scammer may start by using malware to learn your IP address or copying it after connecting with you online. Next, they may initiate a scam that throws a popup on your screen that shows your IP address. When you check the IP address and realize it’s yours, you may be more inclined to follow the instructions on the popup window against your better judgment.
SIM Card Swapping Attack
A SIM card is a small smart card inside a mobile phone, usually from a mobile carrier. The card carries a unique identification number and stores personal information that allows devices to use a cellphone network. Cybercriminals have found a nasty way to compromise mobile phone security. They start by gathering intelligence on a target like their confidential information. Next, they call their cellular company pretending to be them in order to request a new SIM card.
With so many people’s phone numbers linked to their accounts, threat actors can use their hacked numbers to breach their security and privacy. Many hackers use the technique to breach bitcoin investors’ wallets and drain the cryptocurrency. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was also a victim of the attack. SIM swappers hacked his Twitter account for almost twenty minutes.
Hackers can use vishing attacks to convince you to convey sensitive information on the phone in minutes. But what is a vishing attack and is it the same as a phishing expedition? Phishing and vishing are similar types of attacks. While phishing happens on email, vishing is on voice communication. Some vishing attacks are so advanced that scammers can even spoof Caller IDs. For example, you may see a Caller ID that looks like your bank’s number in a vishing scam.
Smishing attacks are like phishing and smishing, but they occur over SMS. In a smishing scam, you may get a text message with an irresistible offer from your retailer that carries a malicious link designed to capture your credit card data. Alternatively, you receive a text with a malicious attachment that infects your device with a banker Trojan. A banker Trojan, of course, can steal the passwords to your financial accounts.
Besides protecting your computers, devices, and accounts with robust login credentials and anti-malware software, you must watch out for social engineering tactics. Avoid reacting immediately to a demand for private information, especially if the person contacting you uses scare tactics. It’s always best to verify any request for sensitive data.