There are plenty of scams to be careful of. Some are more obvious than others, and many scammers are using more convincing tactics to persuade their would-be victims to part with personal details and money. Here are some of those scams and tactics to be cautious of.
1. Spoofing Genuine Numbers
If you get a call or text from an unknown number, you might use UnknownPhone to work out whether the caller is genuine. For example, you may have received a call from 07868802242 and the mixed reviews online for the number may leave you feeling confused.
Interestingly, this number is a genuine one used by Amazon parcel drivers attempting a parcel delivery, but several users have reported it as a scam. This means it’s possible the number has been spoofed. This is when the scammer has manipulated the caller I.D to appear like it is a different person or number. It’s easier to fall for this type of scam if you think it comes from a genuine person. However, you should never call back, give out personal information or make any requested payment. If you think you’ve missed a call from a genuine number, it’s best to dial the number yourself to call it back, instead of clicking to return the call.
2. Fake Antivirus Software Or Virus Alerts
If you’re browsing the internet and a notification pops up, alerting you to a virus or the need to update your anti-virus software, it can be worrying. It might be a scam, and although some of these are easy to spot, others are more convincing. If the alert claims to be from the antivirus software you use, it’s easier to be fooled by this, but instead of preventing viruses, this could involve you unwittingly downloading a virus or ransomware. This is where your computer becomes unusable, and you are asked to pay to unblock your access.
The best thing to do if you receive a convincing alert is to close the browser and open your virus software using the start menu. From there, you can see any genuine problems and run a scan. Never click on the notification.
3. Email Scams
Similarly to phone numbers, some emails can be made to look like official companies and trusted banks or other financial institutes. However, these can be easier to spot without opening. For example, the sender’s name could say the name of your bank, but by hovering your cursor over it, this will reveal the email address it was really sent from.
Genuine emails from reputable organisations won’t be sent from Hotmail, Gmail and other free email providers. They won’t be made up of random letters and numbers or anything else unrelated to the name of the company. So, if your bank was called ‘My Bank’, a genuine email might be sent from email@example.com. It wouldn’t be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org or customerservices@123mybankabc.
It might seem impossible to keep up with the advanced attempts to steal money and personal details from you. However, by being careful, taking time to think or ask questions, and only clicking on links and software you’re 100% sure you can trust, you reduce the risk of falling for a scam.