Threats are ever evolving, and keeping up with current threats can be difficult. Use caution for anything out of the ordinary and never provide your personal information via text, email, incoming call (by a person or automated call), or pop-up ad on your computer. If you receive a call or message from your bank that seems suspicious or unusual, hang up and call the phone number from your most recent bill or the back of your card.
With our increased dependence on electronic devices and the internet, below are just a few examples of threats criminals may attempt:
This is a common form of identity theft for personal and business customers. An account takeover occurs when a fraudster has an individual's information such as social security number, User ID and password, account number, and/or access to email accounts. Once the fraudster has access to this information, they can use it to pose as the customer and conduct unauthorized transactions.
Friendly fraud is fraud committed by friends or family members of the victim. According to Javelin Research, in the last three years friendly fraud is up 47 percent. Family members and friends who have access to your personal documents can easily open new accounts or use online credentials to take funds from existing accounts.
Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal information such as name, date of birth, social security number, account number, and more. Common tactics used by criminals to obtain your personal information are stealing purses or wallets, intercepting or redirecting mail, or going through garbage. Personal information can also be obtained if you communicate, shop, or do business online. Once the criminal has enough identifiable information, they can use this to open credit cards, loans, other accounts in your name or to deplete funds from existing accounts.
There are many ways a criminal can obtain your personal information, malware on your computer, stealing a purse or wallet, dumpster diving, or access to your personal documents. Social Engineering is a contributing factor to these and many more scams and malicious exploitations. Fraudsters are using every avenue of communication in an attempt to have you divulge sensitive account information.
- Phishing uses fraudulent emails or pop-up messages to attempt to collect personal or account information. These messages often have a sense of urgency that suggest dire consequences, such as an email from your 'bank' stating your account has been or will be frozen.
- Smishing is a variation of Phishing that uses a text message from an unknown number asking you to click a link to another site or call a phone number. They attempt to entice you into providing personal or account information. They also may attempt to infect your mobile device with malware.
- Vishing is another Phishing variation that uses the telephone in an attempt to get the user to provide personal or account information, often presenting themselves as legitimate businesses offering assistance to the user.