Scams: How to Protect Yourself From Scams

With malicious users becoming more sophisticated, you’re the first line of defense for preventing scams. By recognizing these four basic signs, you can protect yourself and your money.

  1. Malicious users pretend to be from a familiar organization or agency, like the Social Security Administration. They may email attachments with official-looking logos, seals, signatures, or pictures of employee credentials.

  2. Malicious users mention a problem or a prize. They may say your Social Security number was involved in a crime or ask for personal information to process a benefit increase.

  3. Malicious users pressure you to act immediately. They may threaten you with arrest or legal action.

  4. Malicious users tell you to pay using a gift card, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, wire or money transfer, or by mailing cash. They may also tell you to transfer your money to a “safe” account.

Report the Phish

Common Tactics:

Compromising email: Scammers can impersonate a company official to request a change for your account by email or text. Don’t call the number provided in the message. Instead, find the company’s official number from a trusted source and validate that the request is legitimate.

Impersonating an institutional associate: Some scammers will pose as an employee of a banking institution and use email, phone or text to request your personal information or to transfer money. When in doubt, ignore the message and call us at the number listed on the back of your debit card, credit card or bank statement.

Gaining remote access: Scammers claiming to be from well-known companies can try to gain remote access to your personal devices. If an associate from one of these companies cold calls you claiming they can fix an unknown issue, ignore the call and contact the company directly. Be sure to use a phone number from a trusted source.

Faking job offers: Job listings or offers could have a scammer behind them. During the hiring process, the scammer will ask you to link accounts to other banks and send money they promise to refund. Don’t be pressured with time-sensitive demands or high salaries. Instead, contact the business with a trusted phone number or email.

Rushing cryptocurrency investments: Scammers can pose as investors to sell you on a lucrative cryptocurrency opportunity. They’ll give you a short time limit to invest, but will keep the money you sent for themselves. If they’re represented by a company, contact them from a trusted source, like their company phone number.

 

  • If you receive a text or call from someone claiming to be your financial institution, hang up and call the Institution back directly.
  • Never share one-time passcodes from your bank with anyone.
  • Immediately contact your bank if you suspect unauthorized activity. 

 

 

Additional Resources: 

 

For more information visit villanova.edu/ITSecurity

Questions or concerns? Contact the UNIT Help Desk at support@villanova.edu

#BeCyberSmart

Details

Article ID: 142250
Created
Fri 9/30/22 11:00 AM
Modified
Mon 3/11/24 9:22 AM