No one is immune from being scammed on the internet, or any other of the communication technologies so present in our day to day. Scammers have long since abandoned campaigns like that of the famous Nigerian prince in search of an heir to his fortune; their tactics have become complex, so evading them has become a challenge for many.
As always, knowing the enemy’s weapons is the best defense against falling into their networks, hence the importance of the information shared by companies such as ESET, a computer security company that published signs indicating that you could be targeted by A cheater.
Although the Nigerian prince is a thing of the past, many scammers continue to use a similar technique, which is phishing, that is, emails or any type of message in which they are supposedly contacting us from some entity to offer or alert us to something so we must react immediately.
Some of the most popular these days is that of the supposed bank that informs you that it has detected suspicious activity in your account, and therefore decided to block it. To re-enable it, they ask you to enter a link, where you must enter sensitive data. The same strategy is used to steal accounts on social networks and emails.
It is recommended not to attend to this type of message and, if you have many doubts, try to contact the official entity directly, through its official communication channels.
These have become very popular in Colombia. For example, there is that of the supposed nephew who was arrested by the police, and the policeman asks him for a consignment of money (urgent) to release him before they file a lawsuit.
Many scammers use their acting skills to reproduce tears and convince the victims (most end up making a fool of themselves, as fewer and fewer are “eating stories”).
“Scammers often use the calls as part of a multi-stage phishing attack, with victims being tricked into calling a certain number that comes through a fraudulent email. These “hybrid” vishing campaigns now account for 26% of all vishing calls.
The most popular tactics include calls that pretend, for example, that something is wrong with the person’s computer or that there is something wrong with one of their online accounts, usually those that contain personal and financial data,” ESET says, explaining other of the modalities in which this attack is usually used.
This is one of the main characteristics of phishing, and it is that the attacker will always pressure you to make an urgent decision, whether it is entering a link, providing certain information or consigning a certain amount of money. Your strategy is to not allow him to think about the implications of his decision.
Some examples are sweepstakes that supposedly deliver prizes that are seconds or minutes away from being lost, a false notification of an item that will be returned to sender if you don’t pay tax, or gift vouchers from big brands that reward you if you share a message with ten of your contacts.