Beware of These Common Types of Fraud, Part 2

By Lynn Viesti Berube

As discussed in Part 1 of this series, the stakes for maintaining your privacy and financial security have never been higher. With the influx of connected devices that we now use in our daily lives, a failure to adhere to strict security practices can leave you vulnerable to a number of types of fraud. According to one study from Javelin Strategy, over 13 million people were the victims of fraud last year, with combined losses reaching $15 billion.

In Part 2 of this series, we will cover even more types of fraud that you should be watching out for. If you know what types of fraud are out there, it will greatly increase your chances of becoming a victim yourself.

Man-in-the-middle attack: These are attacks in which a hacker intercepts communications between two parties, altering them to serve their purposes.

Pharming: Hackers can use malware to route you to their own websites, which are often built to look exactly like another organization’s page. These dummy websites are particularly dangerous if you are tricked into entering personal information in order to sign in.

Phishing: Hackers can spoof the email addresses of people from your contact list. When they send you an email, it will look like it is coming from a friend, family member or coworker. But instead, it has been embedded with a virus or software that will give them access into your computer or device.

Ransomware: Ransomware is software that gives a hacker access to your computer and lets them target proprietary data. The hacker will then encrypt the data so that you can’t gain access to it, and will demand a ransom before restoring your access.

Scareware: Scareware is a program that displays an on-screen alert that you may be exposed to a virus or spyware. The user is then prompted to purchase antivirus protection that is actually malware itself.

Skimming: The magnetic strip on the back of your debit or credit card can be used by fraudsters to steal your information and access your financial records. Skimming devices can be secretly installed on card-reading devices, such as ATM machines, gas pumps and checkout counters.

Smishing: Smishing is like phishing. The difference is that instead of receiving a questionable email, the malware comes to you via text message. By responding to the text, you may inadvertently download malware onto your device without ever knowing its there.

Your data and your financial security are inextricably linked. As such, it is critical that you educate yourself about all the ways that criminals are looking to take advantage of people that don’t adhere to tight cybersecurity principles. To learn more about how to protect your assets, check out our Online Learning Center here or stop by any office of The Milford Bank in Milford or Stratford.

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