Familiarize yourself with these tactics
During these unusual times, do not let your guard down as cybercriminals have escalated their attacks and created new methods of attacks based on a significant increase in work-from-home users. Do not fall into the mindset that you will be able to spot these attackers as they are experts at blending into the environment and presenting themselves as authoritative and knowledgeable. Always keep your guard up and reasonably question every email, text or phone call you receive requesting personal information or some other action that may lead to a financial compromise.
With that, let’s look at some methods cybercriminals incorporate to exploit their victims:
Creating a sense of urgency. In this type of attack, which can be over the phone, through email or text, scammers present themselves as someone of authority stating you must take action to avoid a negative consequence. Often these scams request money in the form of gift cards to avoid an undesirable outcome such jail or some other penalty. The fact the scammer presents themselves as an authoritative figure and threatens severe consequences for not complying in a timely manner, victims often do not confirm nor validate the information presented in the treat.
One-time opportunity. Scammers may indicate that if the victim does not take advantage of the opportunity to resolve the issue on the phone call, the consequences will escalate.
Creating legitimacy. The cybercriminal may present themselves with a very official title or indicate that the call is being recorded. These criminal operations are very sophisticated and may create the illusion that the victim is being transferred to a senior agent or supervisor to further the legitimacy of the scam when in fact the victim is being passed between criminal actors.
Your friendly neighborhood cybercriminal. Another approach scammers may employ is to create the sense of urgency, but present themselves as an advocate for the victim. In this scenario, the criminal acts as a white knight for the victim by stating they are able to offer them a one-time opportunity before their supposed organization escalates the matter. The victim often will take advantage of the “offer” and appreciate the good nature of the scammer to save them from more dire consequences.
I don’t need any personal information. Unlike the adversarial methods, this method hopes to drop the victim’s guard by stating they are not looking for any personal information or exchange of any personal financial information. Using this action, the criminal hopes the victim will become more receptive to actual malicious requests because the criminal has lulled the victim into a false sense of trust and security. These type scams often involve gift cards.
Cybersecurity is not a one-time endeavor but rather it is an ever changing journey. FCCU believes that our employees are one of our greatest cybersecurity assets but just like other components in our security infrastructure they need to be continually updated as threats and methods of attack evolve. Incorporate the information and skills we present into your daily lives and you will become better prepared, not only to be part of the security solution at FCCU, but also be able to protect yourself personally from cybercriminals.
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