Fraud Alert: Top Financial Scams 2021

2021 is the year with malicious cyber activity on the rise. With the same goal to obtain financial or other gain, scammers' tools and strategies are becoming more and more sophisticated - oriented on stress and pressure tactics, psychology (people's trust, fears, greed, pride, curiosity, wish to help others, etc.), human age and other social features, and much more. And there are no chances you have never received scam attempts. Let's have a closer look at what scams are, their types and, of course, top financial scams 2021 to know about and get protected.

Top Financial Scams 2021

What Are Scams?

A scam is a malicious activity of defrauding people of their money, data, or belongings. Internet-related scams make victims provide personal and sensitive data or download malicious software. The majority of Internet scams are phishing scams. They are based on some sort of falsification of an individual or business identity known to their victim.

Incredible Losses Over the Past Year

Several straight years, scam attempts tend to beat their previous results with growing numbers of victims and tremendous losses. As we like to say, nothing speaks louder than numbers. See for yourself. For instance, the US recent research showed that every third American became a phone scam victim in 2020 - with some of them even far from once. That means that about 60 million Americans were deceived by phone scammers and gave them about $30 million over a year.

The FBI's IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) got approx. 800 000 cyber scam claims featuring incredible losses of $4+ billion in 2020. This is the figure of reported Internet crime; we can only speculate on the virtual volume of the damage caused by scammers.

Top Financial Scams 2021

Phone-Related Scams

The first step of hackers' strategy may include a simple phone call which can lead to the actions when you enter your personal or business data or download malware. Most of these scams are oriented on the capabilities of your smartphone or other devices. There are such phone-related scams: smishing (SMS + phishing) texts with a compromised link; impersonators copying somebody (relatives, bank clerks, police officers, etc.) to make their message credible; robocalls; QR code spoofing, etc.

COVID-19 Scams

Scammers constantly analyze the current situation; the pandemic and people's fears and uncertainty brought by it gave criminals more opportunities. COVID-19 scams include vaccine-related scams offering fake medicines, prioritized vaccination, etc., other fraudulent offers like fake checks and other manipulations related to government COVID relief programs, and much more tactics concerning the topic. The final goal of all these schemes delivered via emails, text messages, phone calls, etc., is 'verification' of personal or business data. And once you enter the data, you're totally on hackers' hook.

Synthetic Identity Fraud (SIF)

SIF is a comparatively new and evolving kind of cybercrime. Hackers use a combination of stolen valid information and fake data. As it uses some real credentials, synthetic identity fraud is more complicated to reveal. Here, the only working way to fight back is to take personal and business identity seriously and protect it thoroughly without engaging in suspected activities, such as providing identity data to the sources with a poor cyber security policy.

Best Tips to Protect Yourself from Top Financial Scams 2021

The best practices to avoid scams include basic cyber hygiene practices and raising cyber security awareness. Check out these simple but effective rules:

  • Be skeptical about what you receive via emails, texts, etc.
  • Don't reveal any personal or sensitive data to unknown callers. Make sure you understand who you're talking to (or communicating with, or receiving requests from). After that, double check the company or source.  
  • Don't open links. If it comes from an unknown source or there is anything that bothers you (e.g. your friend's writing style, or corporate logo inaccuracy, etc.), don't open the link. If the link offers to confirm your data or other identity reveals, don't click. 
  • Stay up to date with your current financial status. And find out the valid contact information of essential institutions.
  • Research before entering any data or paying.
  • Use official online banking software only.
  • Utilize the best cyber security tools and solutions for business. Reach out to MBS Tech for an expert consultation. 



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