Hyderabad: Cyber scams are the new black for fraudsters and people who haven’t already fallen prey or haven’t come within sniffing distance of a cyber-trap are slowly becoming a minority.
That’s how common cyber frauds have become, with enforcement agencies constantly issuing warnings. It is not just the Hyderabad City Police that has been at it, tweeting and sharing tips to prevent cyber scams, but the threat has been so widespread and global that the Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, is now frequently releasing public awareness and prevention guides.
According to the Europol’s latest guide, cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to make money at your expense.
“Individuals and organisations often fall prey to frauds that involve various forms of social engineering techniques, where the information required is garnered from a person rather than breaking into a system,” it says.
Pointing out that such scams are examples of how cyber attackers can easily play on people’s psychology and perceptions, Europol stresses that awareness is your best defence.
The most common tricks, they say, are connected to your daily life. For instance, cyber crooks like pretending to be your CEO. The CEO/Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud occurs when an employee authorised to make payments is tricked into paying a fake invoice or making an unauthorised transfer out of the business account.
And then there is Phishing (emails), Vishing (calls, usually from banks) & Smishing (Smses). Another one is pretending to be interested in a romantic relationship. Twishing (phishing via Twitter); surveys on who viewed your profile or social media page; the “Is this you in this video?” scam where you could end up infecting your device with malware; and more like ‘Your account has been cancelled’, ‘Confirm your email account’; Gift card scams and fake offers from popular or high value brands and so on too are in the list.
Remember, just because the website you might be visiting or shopping on is quite popular doesn’t mean it is safe. Scammers are present on the most reputable sites.
For more details, check out https://www.europol.europa.eu/activities-services/public-awareness-and-prevention-guides or https://bit.ly/2Afi6aM.