Don’t Be a Victim: Stay Vigilant for Evolving Fraud Schemes
Fraudsters have become increasingly creative in finding ways to exploit vulnerabilities and unlawfully access personal and/or business information and assets. These cons have evolved over the years with dramatic spikes during times of economic and political global duress. Fraudsters have exploited the pandemic by offering COVID-19 services in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. We’ve also seen a rise in tax-related schemes during year-end tax filing season. It’s critical to stay aware of these evolving trends to protect both yourself and your company. Below are some examples to stay wary of.
A host of other well-known cyber-attacks such as ransomware and malware are designed to encrypt data or deny access to the organization until a ransom is paid. These attacks are often initiated through successful phishing or spear-phishing attacks by clicking invalid email links.
Key Tips & Reminders
- Consider – Take the extra second before clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited, suspicious or unexpected emails or text messages.
- Secure – Adjust your privacy settings and be selective with what you share online. Don’t connect with people you don’t know.
- Verify – Do not give out any financial information via the phone unless you have appropriately validated that you know you who are speaking with.
- Report – Tech support companies will not contact you via pop-up messages or problems with your machine. If you suspect an issue with your machine, contact your trusted IT department directly and immediately.
- Know – The IRS generally makes first contact through regular mail (not by phone or text message) and will never request personal or financial information through e-mail or text messaging.
Identity theft, phone scams and tax frauds are just a few ways that individuals can be compromised. In response, the IRS issues an annual list of the top twelve tax-related schemes, known as the “Dirty Dozen,” that taxpayers may encounter, many of which peak during filing season. Always stay vigilant so that you don’t fall victim to these scams!
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