Have you ever gotten an email from someone claiming to be royalty? In their email, they tell you that they will inherit millions of dollars, but need your money and bank details to get access to that inheritance. You know this email isn’t legitimate, so you delete it, yet there are many more scams being perpetrated by criminals that sound more believable and aren’t as easy to spot. Learning to identify and avoid these scams is the first step in protecting yourself from these schemes. Senior Citizens are often particularly vulnerable to some of these fraud campaigns. The world today is full of cybercriminals launching both phishing emails, and the tried and true phone scams that never fell out of fashion. Protecting not only your finances but also your data from these scams is more important now than ever.
Scammers who operate by phone can seem legitimate and are typically very persuasive! To draw you into their scam, they might:
If you receive a suspicious phone call or robocall, the easiest solution is to hang up. You can then block the caller's phone number and register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry (https://www.ftc.gov/donotcall).
Phishing emails are convincing and trick many people into providing personal data. These emails tend to be written versions of the scam phone calls described above. Some signs of phishing emails are:
Beware that many scams and phishing emails look legitimate! An email pretending to be a company might contain pictures or text mimicking the company's real emails. If you're unsure about an email you received, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
If you get scam phone calls or phishing emails at home, hang up or delete the emails. If you get scam phone calls or phishing emails at work, let your organization's security or Information Technology team know so they can help protect others from these scams! Additionally, please educate your parents and grandparents on these scams, as they are becoming only more and more common.
These tips are brought to you in the Commonwealth of Virginia by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency in coordination with: