With cyberfraud incidents on the rise and fraudsters waging sophisticated attacks through phone, text, and email, it’s important to recognize the warning signs that someone is trying to scam you.
We’ve identified the most common scams that fraudsters are currently using to steal your money and personal information.
Am I being scammed?
It’s often difficult to tell the difference between a scam and an urgent request or a new opportunity. This tool will help you to determine whether or not you’re being targeted by a common scam and guide you to more information as to how to spot and avoid everyday scams.
Common scams that target your personal information
- Phishing and smishing
- Fake websites and online shopping fraud
- Fake mobile apps
- Phone fraud (vishing)
- Mail fraud
Phishing and smishing
Phishing is a form of fraud where cyber criminals use emails to trick you into providing personal or sensitive information that can be used for fraudulent purposes. You may be asked to disclose confidential financial and personal information, like passwords, credit card numbers, access codes, or tax identification numbers.
Emails tend to look authentic, featuring corporate logos and layouts similar to those used by institutions for legitimate communications. Some fraudsters also use fake (spoofed) email addresses that appear to be sent from authentic organizations.
Scam artists have also found a way to send fraudulent messages to mobile phones. Smishing is similar to phishing, except that fraudsters will send scam messages through text (SMS).
Be aware that some phishing and smishing scams try to trick you into downloading malicious software (malware) onto your computer or phone. Fraudsters do this by disguising malware as normal file attachments or as links within emails and text messages.
Once downloaded, malware can delete, corrupt, or encrypt (lock) your files, steal sensitive personal or financial data, or, in rare cases, damage hardware.
Phishing and smishing messages use language that creates a sense of urgency in order to get you to react without thinking.
Slow down. You don’t have to respond immediately, so take some time to thoroughly review what you’ve received.
If you’ve received a fraudulent email, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report an incident or suspicious activity