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Consumer tips: Easy ways to spot digital fraud | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp


File media-photo courtesy © Microsoft

Digital scams on the rise. In the current climate it is increasingly difficult to discern if an email, text message, phone call or website is legitimate or not. Hence, more people are reporting losing time and money due to online scams, and in particular, elderly individuals report falling victim.

For example, in 2021 for the U.S., over 92,000 victims over the age of 60 reported losses of $1.7 billion to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). This is a 74 percent increase over losses reported in 2020.

From these incidents, the number one area of attacks were in technology support fraud, including identity theft and personal data breaches.

Data suggests that by taking a few key steps, people of all ages can reduce the risk of scams, and online fraud. In recognition of U.S. National Parents Day, the company Lookout, via Hank Schless, the Senior Manager of Security Solutions, has provided tips to Digital Journal that family members can take to best protect parents and elderly family members from digital risks.

Check the “sent from” email address

Real companies will send from their own domain. One easy way to check for authenticity is to make sure a company email isn’t coming from an address ending in “@gmail.com” or “@yahoo.com”.

Go directly to the source

If you receive an email requiring action from you, usually involving private information like social security, birthday, bank information, or more, immediately call the company this message is reportedly from.

Beware of urgency

Be wary of urgent demand or emails that require immediate action and divulgence of personal information. “Emergencies” can sometimes cause people to act without fully understanding the request or the implications of them, which make them a common tool for cybercriminals.

Watch for obvious misspellings and grammatical errors

Professional newsletters, notifications, and other email messages go through several rounds of approvals before distribution, so emails that include spelling errors and odd punctuation can be a sign of a scam.

Set Stronger Passwords

Use Two-Factor Authentication: This makes it harder for hackers to access your account, and will alert you to any potential hacking attempts.

Password Changes: Regularly change the password to your most important accounts. This will help prevent hackers from getting access. Make sure you use a combination of letters and numbers for the best protection. If your information has been compromised in a data breach, act immediately.

Install Security Software On Your Devices

Security protection, like Lookout, will automatically monitor and identify scam URLs in email, text messages, and on the web and block you from threats that can-do harm.

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