You've won! Click here to collect your CASH PRIZE!
If someone approached you on the street and stated that you just won $10,000, you'd most likely tell them they must be mistaken. Unfortunately, while the internet makes many everyday actions easier, it also makes it easier to fall for scams.
Hello, it's me... the IRS
If you've ever received a phone call claiming to be the IRS asking for immediate payments or actions, this is a tactic used by scammers with the attempt solicit sensitive information. The IRS will not contact you by email, text, or social media. If the IRS needs information, they will contact you by mail first. Beware of these phishing scams that are known to come via email, text, or over the phone.
Mission Impossible: Hypertext Transfer Protocol
Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the default way of browsing many sites and can be a sign that a website is not legitimate. This protocol is unsecure, as it leaves all of your browsing unencrypted and open for those on the same public Wi-Fi, providing the ability to access your username and password information. Check your browser to see it has an option to enable HTTPS. The added 's' stands for secure, as this is the encrypted version of the HTTP. Using HTTPS, especially for making online transactions, is vital to protecting your identity online. Anyone may see the information you share with HTTP sites - making you particularly vulnerable when making a transaction.
The copycat's out of the bag
It's easy for cyber criminals to copy the logo of a reputable company or organization and create a replica site or send a phishing email. When responding to a simple request, you may be installing malware. Malicious software could be hiding in plain sight and appear completely regular. When disguised as sites or companies that you normally visit and trust, scammers can easily complete their mission. Approach all messages with caution and look for signs that something is not quite genuine. Your safest strategy is to ignore unsolicited requests, no matter how legitimate or enticing they may appear.
Don't fall for the weakest link!
Do not click on links or pop up screens, or open any attachments from sources you are not familiar with. Be suspicious of unsolicited emails asking you to click on a link, download an attachment, or provide any account information. Links and attachments are an easy way for scammers to entrap you and attain your sensitive information. Don't download an attachment from an email you are not expecting. Approach unfamiliar messages with caution, and try not to visit any foreign web pages without reason.
Always be on the lookout for suspicious messages. Be wary of ads and notifications that are not from your security provider and claim that your device is infected. This threat is an easy way for scammers to gain access to your device and the opportunity to wreak havoc. Scammers can sometimes expertly recreate valid security notifications. Always try to verify where your notifications are coming from, and know what a warning from your security provider will look like in the case of an emergency.
At the end of the day...
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at email@example.com - and to the organization impersonated in the email. Report any suspected fraud on your Central Bank account to us immediately by phone at (866) 777-7912 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.