While we’ve all been focused on the lingering pandemic, or balancing real life with work-from-home life, cybercriminals are taking advantage our distractions with attacks via email and text messages.
“Phishing,” the practice of sending fraudulent e-mails with intent to steal personal information or financial data, are on the rise like never before. “Smishing,” similar scams sent via text messages (SMS), are prevalent also. Over the last year, some of the most common attacks have been COVID-19 relief payment scams, fraudsters imitating the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and tax-extension deadline scams.
Here’s a List of Helpful Tips When In Doubt:
- Be cautious if you receive anything that requests financial or personal information from you.
- Ignore unprompted emails, texts, or even phone calls that demand quick action or an urgent response.
- Check sender email addresses and domains. Hover over links and addresses to verify the legitimacy of the unrecognized sender.
- Pay close attention to spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.
- Do not open suspicious attachments or click on odd-looking links in an email, text message, or anything sent to you on social media.
Remember, these cybercriminals will try to force you to make decisions or give them your information very quickly, by creating a sense of urgency or fear. In most cases, it is best not to give out personal information if you’re unsure. When in doubt, pause and double check. Don’t reply to the email or text directly, research the request by calling the source with the number
on their official website. If you have been tricked by any of these scams, contact us for help, or visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for guidance.