How to Protect Yourself Against Online Scammers
November 1, 2019 | by Admin
You will agree with me that there are so many scammers online, especially in this era of social media with so many social tools readily available for use by every Dick and Harry.
Information is so readily available these days that you need to add extra security layer to protect yourself…
This bring us to what these scammers do. These online “Monsters” as I often refer to them use social engineering tools refer to as hacking which is having unauthorized access to data in a system, server or computer. Please note that usually in IT, hacking in itself is not “bad” unless when the wrong person uses it wrongfully. Hacking tools normally can be used to check data security without having to touch the integrity of the data itself.
Here this online scammers after having access to this confidential data, will go ahead and touch the integrity thereby compromising them.
What these online scammers do is to also have access to these same tools and then use them for their own selfish gains. It’s just like a “Bad Cop” thing. A cop is given a gun to protect the citizens from criminals not the other way.
First thing this scammers use is your social behavior, refer to as “Social Engineering” which is the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes… So this guys make you believe you are doing the right with your confidential info. Just like trojans in your system.
They make you feel safe but in the right sense you are in grave danger.
Take for example you got a mail from your “bank” telling you to update your account details as there has been an upgrade and it’s important that you adjust your account to fit in with the upgrade.
Yes you fell for it without thinking because the email look so legit and you can even see your “bank’s” logo on the mail just exactly as it always look…
Without thinking you clicked on the link on the email and land on a page that still look like your banking site or app and you went ahead and put your card details. Oh boy!
You are in for trouble. This is refer to as phishing “the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies like banks in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers”
Next step is the form you just filled captured your details that’s automatically sent to them, granting them unauthorized access to your account and a like a worm malware begin to eat and replicate in your account.
You will of course notice a compromise in your account as you begin to get debit alerts from your bank for transactions you never made… If your account is not completely emptied by this heartless souls, the first thing is to quickly call or mail your bank that your card has been compromised and they will block it immediately.
The question here is what did you not do right?
First you didn’t even check if the landing page (site) has a valid digital certificate, called SSL; Secured Socket Layer, the key on the left top of the site’s url (Uniform Resource Locator). I mean the domain name e.g www.viraltrend.org. On this site you can see a padlock sign indicating that the site first is secured. This means that the site isn’t transferring data via http or port 80, but the secured https, port 443. So always make sure that the site first have a secure socket layer as I just explained.
Second step is click on the contact on the landing page and check if this matches with the bank contacts.
Thirdly this is money we are talking about, so call your bank just to be sure.
Note: One of the measures to protect your bank account is to ask your bank for hard token. This make sure that even if someone have access to your password, or PIN will still need to have your hard token to be able to access your account completely
Let’s talk about the second trick this scammers use online especially on social media. They open pages and upload very eye catching looking photos wealth and riches and then begin to send unsolicited messages to unsuspecting individuals telling them to invest in what they call “Flip Cash” with the promise that they have the ability to quickly double your money after a short term investment with them. This they promise to do for you within few minutes. Again you fell for this… ouch!
Your money is gone again, but I must say this was your fault, you were greedy! Next time ask these scammers how come they can’t just take their own money or go to the bank and take a huge loan and multiply their own money?
How not to fall for this guys?: They are always on private account. Being on a private account and someone is trying to sell you something should make you suspect.
Third one is selling items to you like shops on IG and the page is on private and comment is disabled. Once I see this two security factors, I quickly go on my suspect mode. Well @viraltrend.market on Instagram has perfectly put an end to this particular scams by simply telling the vendor to go @viraltrend.market official IG page and upload item. Here @viraltrend.market will hold the money you pay as form of escrow and only release money to the vendor only when the vendor has successfully deliver to you the item…
In my next article I will go deeper into credit and debit card security updates and protection.
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Photo Credit: www.viraltrend.org Graphics