(ConservativeInsider.org) – Criminals are always looking for ways to steal from hardworking people. They use all sorts of methods including attaching skimmers to gas pumps, pretending to ask for charitable donations and sending phishing schemes through email.
In this day and age, scams involving email and social media messages are extremely common. The criminal usually shares a link infected with malware. When you click on it, a virus infiltrates your computer and makes your personal banking and other information susceptible.
Another way scammers use email is by sending official-looking correspondence that asks a person to verify their information or prompts them to add it in some other way.
With all of these scams, how are you supposed to identify one?
How to Identify a Scam
According to Retruster, 90% of data breaches involve phishing scams and 15% of people who fall victim once are successfully targeted again within a year. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports people have lost more than $50 million a year due to these scams. To protect yourself from becoming a victim, it’s important to know ways scammers trick you into opening their emails and text messages:
- A message includes a fake invoice
- There’s an email telling you there’s been a problem with your payment information
- Any message asking you to confirm personal details
- Correspondence from someone pretending to be the FBI
- An email claiming you have to register for a refund from the government
Learn how to recognize them to avoid falling victim:
Remember This Rule of Thumb
Basically, you never want to give your information to anyone who reaches out to you first. Government agencies, like the IRS, will never initiate contact with you via email or social media. Also, if you receive an email asking you to click a link, don’t do it unless you know who the message is from. Even then, pay close attention before clicking the link because your friend or colleague may have been hacked.
Make sure you have malware protection on your computer, as well. Do whatever you have to do to protect your personal information from the criminals who want to rob you blind.
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