Many of us fall for the security scams that are out there because we want to believe that someone is always looking out for our best interest. When someone contacts us and lets us know that they need us to help them ensure the security of our information or our goods, we are usually going to respond quickly as we can for the sake of our good. Or so we think. This is what the scammers rely on, because your quick response will likely delay any question about the material or request for information.
Common Security Fraud
Security scams often come in the form of emails. You may receive an email from your payment provider such as PayPal saying that they need to you click on the link to validate your account information. When you click on the link it will take you to the home page of PayPal, or what looks to be PayPal, you will log into your account using your screen name and password, and then you will have fulfilled the request. The problem is that the page wasn’t really PayPal or another similar provider, and you have provided a scammer with your log in information to access your financial information! This works because we all respond to the idea of making our account more secure without thinking about the fact that we could be scammed.
There is a similar security scam that is run with bank accounts. You’ll receive a similar email stating that you need to log into your banking account to activate a new online system. When you do this you will be giving someone access to all of your financial information through your bank including account numbers, address, access codes, social security numbers, and more. With this information that you have given to help update the security of the website, you will be giving someone a simple way to steal your identity!
Security scams abound and they are not more prevalent than with your internet provider. You may be asked for your login by someone online that claims to be with your internet provider who needs to validate your account and make sure it is secure. They may then ask you for the credit card on file for the service. When you provide someone with this information they may be able to use the same log in information to log into your other accounts that will provide access to financial records and with the credit card number they can go shopping on your dime!
Social security scams are also very common. Many elderly people have been scammed into sharing their social security number and countless numbers of people have actually given their information to other people, only to find that they cannot access their social security funds or that their information is being used by another individual. It is important to keep this information under lock and key and not share it with any individuals other than those whom you can identify.
Avoiding Common Security Scams
What you should realize is that most of the information that is asked for in security scams will never be asked for by someone who is legit. To avoid becoming the victim of security crimes you should simply take caution every time you are going to share information. For instance, don’t click on a link in an email, instead type in the website address on your own into your browser and visit that way. If someone asks you for your log in information, tell them you cannot provide that information to them as it should not be necessary to validate or secure your account. Also make sure that you never provide your credit card number or social security number as reference for an account or to create a security system, as these numbers should never be required for anything.
Security scams are easy to fall for because we all want to contribute to our security in all things whether it is with our online accounts, our bank accounts, or even our email systems. You just need to use common sense when it comes to what information you should share in the name of security and what information you shouldn’t. Remember, if it seems too good to be true or you don’t feel 100% certain about the people or person that you are dealing with, you should likely stop where you are an access the situation and the people involved with it. Being a careful shopper and resource of information will help to reduce the likelihood that you will become a victim of one of the many security scams that are out there right now.