Social engineering

Learn how to protect yourself and your family from scammers who use the art of manipulation to steal your personal and financial information.

What is social engineering?

Social engineering is the practice of manipulating or tricking people to overlook important security measures and give up their confidential information. Fraudsters will use social engineering scams to convince unsuspecting individuals to:

Select a malicious link 

Open a malicious attachment

A passport cover

Hand over confidential information

Grant unauthorized access to your personal and financial information

Transfer funds 

Share passwords

How do scammers manipulate people?

Scammers manipulate people by exploiting their basic human instinct to be helpful, trusting, and curious and to respond to urgent requests. They use a variety of tactics to lure people into sharing sensitive information that can be used to commit financial fraud or identity theft. Find out more about fraud prevention.

Always exercise caution when communicating with someone you’re not familiar with who appears to be using one or more of these forms of manipulation:

Making an emotional appeal

Communicating a sense of urgency

Instilling a sense of fear or excitement

Pushing to build a rapport with you

Social engineering tactics

Here are some of the different social engineering tactics commonly used by scammers.

Why social engineering?  

With advances in anti-malware, software, and other cybersecurity controls, fraudsters are often on the lookout for easier targets. Fraudsters will also use social engineering as a first step in a larger plan to breach a system or network or to steal sensitive data.

There are a variety of methods used to manipulate you into sharing sensitive information or granting access to an authorized person. Let’s take a look at the different types of social engineering attacks. 

Types of social engineering scams

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