5 Most Common Social Engineering Attacks and How to Prevent Them

Social engineering is a term used for a wide range of malevolent activities that cybercriminals practice in order to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive personal information. These malicious activities are accomplished via human interactions that psychologically manipulate and play make-believe with the users to extract as much information as possible. This extracted information will be consequently used later on by the scammers for a broad variety of fraudulent activities.

A typical social engineering attack happens in an approximate series of 1 to 4 steps:

Step 1:- The perpetrator first investigates the target and gathers background information on the target along with loopholes in his/her social security and devices the best appropriate attack for which the victim is likely to fall for.

Step 2 :- In this step the hacker now interacts with the victim while holding together an act of impersonation. Gradually the hacker beats arund the bush and gathers the information he needs by spinning a story to the victim and controlling the conversation.

Step 3 :- Now that the victim’s basic information is obtained by the hacker, the attack is executed as planned and the hacker gets his job done by disrupting the social security passwords of the victim.

Step 4 :- Once done accomplishing the purpose, the hacker now clears his tracks and erases all the traces of malwares and makes every change seem normal before he exits the attack frame.

Common Social Engineering Attacks

There are many kinds of social engineering attacks existing in the market that engineers scams of every kind.

Phishing

Phishing is a common social engineering attack in which the attacker convinces the victim into giving out personal information himself. The attacker uses all the messaging platforms within and beyond his reach i.e. both online and offline, to confront the target with any malicious URL that is a carrier of potential spyware or malware disguised as just any other URL.  Phishing is like fishing out the details of individuals like their name, address, log in details, social security passwords and so on. Phishing being pretty popular is of various kinds based on the platform/medium used.

Watering hole

A watering hole attack is basically a malware attack in which the hacker compromises a popular website’s security by introducing a malware.  The attacker looks into the vulnerabilities associated with the websites and injects malicious programming code, often in JavaScript or HTML as the code redirects the targeted groups to a different site where the malware or malvertisements are present. When any individual or group visits the unsecure website, there is a potential chance for the members of the group to get their devices infected with the malware as a backdoor trojan is installed on their computers on clicking any of the links, and in some cases even without.

Scareware

A Scareware falsely notifies the internet user on specific web pages with alerts that their computer has been infected with malware. These pop-ups display texts such as, “Your computer may be infected with harmful spyware programs and requires immediate fixing.” The pop-up alert also comes with a seemingly right solution to offer the target, which is in fact a malware waiting to be downloaded  and once installed, the malware can be used by criminals to capture and transmit sensitive company or personal data. The bright pop-ups and banners that are seen on web pages during browsing are the other faces of scarewares.  Even SMS or emails could be used as a medium proposing the scareware. It is undoubtedly an every day seen threat by avid browsers.

Baiting

It is possible that baiting could be the most popular and common social engineering attack in this list. Baiting as the name implies, is the taking advantage of an user’s curiosity or greed by displaying fake news in the form or text or video content on the web pages, promising a surprising or rewarding return on click. Baiting is so common that even the best of websites fail to prevent it. Baiting is a attack used for purposes not only to inject malware in the system but also earn revenue with every click. Click bait videos on Youtube, as known by everyone are an example of bating.

Pretexting

Pretexting although it is a ‘social’ attack, it is more personal in nature and approach. In a pretexting attack the criminal’s first goal is to gain the trust of the potential victim with crafted lies and woven stroies. To do this the criminal may pose as a social worker, co-employee, police officer, bank or government official etc. Once the hackers gains the trust of the victim, he slowly draws out sensitive information regarding the personal and professional life of the victim and ultimately use the same information to scam the victim. Company employees are the potential targets in these pretext scams as the perpertator aims to get hands on the company information via the employee.

Having seen these tactics of scamming, these are the preventive measures to drive clear of these social security obstacles.

  • Think before you click any found unreliable URL on the net. Until the purpose of the URL is crystal clear, do not give in to your curiosity and open the link.
  • Know your downloads before you download. As the matter being malware injection, know that malware is spread mostly using unsafe downloads on your devices. Therefore practice caution before any download from unreliable sources.
  • Don’t provide your personal information to strangers online or on call, no matter how desperate and urgent the situation might seem.
  • Do not make transactions or access your bank on your devices while using public Wi-Fi.
  • Set your email’s spam filters to high so that the eamils of unreliable sources are fitered even before you see them.
  • Don’t get carried away on seeing words like ‘Free, Discount, Coupon, Lottery, Vacation’ etc. in your mailbox as more than often, you’re only being scammed to visit a malware injecting website or install.

As quoted by Newton Lee, “ As the world is increasingly interconnected, everyone shares the responsibility of securing cyberspace.” And that is why, think before you click, share or subscirbe and avoid being the sufferer.

How To Report A Scammer On Facebook

Facebook has become an easy target for scammers through which they can scam its users. Mostly, because many people accept unknown friend requests on Facebook without giving it a second thought. The scammers make a fake id on Facebook by imposing someone you know, then they text innocent Facebook users to trick them into giving money, personal information or clicking on random malicious links.

Since there is no way of knowing if the people behind the screens are actually who they show they are on their profiles or just predators looking for victims to scam, how can you be sure and secure in who you are texting and trusting into giving information? So its very important to be careful while dealing with scammers on Facebook not fall prey to them.

How to Find Out Whether Someone Is A Scammer or Not

  • If you receive a friend request, go through their Facebook profile. A fake profile will have a few pictures with barely any likes and comments on them.
  • Have you received a friend request from someone with whom you are already friends with? To make sure it’s not a scammer disguised as your friend, check your friends list. If you already have a friend with the same name on your friends list, then you know who’s the fake one.
  • Go through their friends list. If there are a very few people on their friends list or no mutual friends, then its potentially a scammer.

If you are getting messages from people you don’t know and you suspect that it’s a scam,

How to Report A Scammer on Facebook

  • Go on to the profile of the scammer.
  • There’s an ellipsis () button on the bottom right of the “cover photo” of that profile. Click the () button and a drop-down menu will appear. Next, click the “Report” option from the menu.
  • After you click on the Report button a new pop up will open from which you can select the option according to your situation and finish reporting.

Sometimes scammers use your name to make afake account with your identity. If you don’t own a Facebook account and still an account with your name exists, then chances are your details are being used by a scammer to lure other Facebook users. But you can report this too. Here’s how to report a scammer disguised as you on Facebook-

  • Report an imposter by visiting the Help Centre webpage of Facebook,
  • Click the “Report Something” option on the left side of the screen under the “Desktop Help” button.
  • Next, a new menu will appear. Now select “Don’t Have an Account” option. This will open another menu from which you select “How do I report a fake account that’s pretending to be me if I don’t have a facebook account?”. Click on the “file a report” option which will lead you to the “Report an Imposter Account” menu. Select the option that relates to your situation.
  • To take action against the imposter account, Facebook will ask you a few questions that you will have to answer on this page. It will also ask for your details to verify your identity such as your email address and a valid Id issued by the government. Once your identity is verified by Facebook, it will delete the imposter account.

Therefore, the above mentioned measures can help you prevent yourself from getting scammed and report a Facebook scammer in easy steps.

How Hackers Can Steal Your Data Using Public WiFi

Let’s be honest. Any person’s frugal nature is evident when they choose free Wi-Fi over their own mobile data.  You are outdoors browsing as usual but as soon your smartphone notifies you that there is a free Wi-Fi network nearby, you switch. Who doesn’t like free Wi-Fi? As a matter of fact, many restaurants and public places provide free Wi-Fi as a trick to increase their customer traffic.

So for a thing so good, what could possibly be the harm in enjoying a free of charge Wi-Fi? For starters, how about a potential hacker attack? It is not known by many people out there in the world that by using an insecure free Wi-Fi connection, a person is giving his/her device access to hackers, unknowingly. On receiving access to your device, any scammer is likely to invade your private information and potentially steal the data and use it to exploit your weaknesses. And that is exactly why hackers love public Wi-Fi. With a large outdoors radius, it is for certain that at least one person would become the victim of their trap. So how do hackers steal data and exploit users of public Wi-Fi? Let’s see.

There is a technical term “MITM” that requires our understanding. MITM as in ‘man-in-the-middle’ is when a third party (hacker) is interfering with a connection between two parties i.e. you and the website you are accessing like Facebook or email etc., making everything you browse unencrypted. Free or fake/disguised Wi-Fi networks usually consist of the MITM aspect of the connection, allowing the hacker to witness all your ongoing online activities like every site that you browse and every app that you open and use.

Assuming you are at XYZ airport, what hackers usually do is provide a free Wi-Fi connection surrounding the airport and name the Wi-Fi same as the airport. For instance, they name the Wi-Fi as ‘XYZ Free Wi-Fi’ and in some cases provide a password like ‘XYZ123’, and in these  situations, it is not the victim’s fault when he chooses the seemingly secure Wi-Fi and gets hacked. And with this MITM Wi-Fi network, the hacker now has access to your emails, passwords, sensitive files and copies of your identity proofs for motives of impersonation. Considering you use the Wi-Fi for a long enough duration, the hacker can even potentially load spyware and malware in your phone. This ultimately leads to data breach and identity stealth consistently, allowing the hacker to even use your bank account and credit card details.

Risks of Free Wi-Fi:

  • Man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Malware distribution
  • Identity stealth
  • Unencrypted networks
  • Data breach and manipulation
  • Financial frauds and credit card misuse.

Tips to Take Away to Not Fall for The Free Wi-Fi Trap:

  • Always try to know who the Wi-Fi provider is.
  • Turn off automatic Wi-Fi connecting setting in your phone.
  • Try incognito mode or an HTTPS network to connect to websites in order to keep the browsing encrypted.
  • Regularly modify your passwords on phone.
  • Use of VPN (virtual private network) to keep connection secure.
  • Always log out of the apps or sites after use.
  • Finally, try to avoid the free Wi-Fi zones.

Public Wi-Fi’s are everywhere and it is of great urgency to educate people on the dangers that these free Wi-Fi networks pose. The fact that even password secure Wi-Fi zones are not secure is a matter worth concerning. Although many sites and apps provide end-to-end encryption these days, basic precautionary steps could prevent a prodigious loss of personal information.

When You Get Unwanted Calls On Landline

We all know how much of a nuisance it is when we have to get up to pick a spam call that keeps on calling repeatedly and if we don’t pick up, to listen to the phone that keeps on ringing, is even more annoying.  These unwanted nuisances include calls from telemarketers, charity organizations, political, and automated robocalls.

But luckily, there are ways to stop these unwanted disturbances. If you want to block numbers on your landline phone then you can call your landline service provider and request them to activate call blocking services. You may be charged monthly for these services. Although most telephone companies’ call blocking services do not allow you to block specific numbers.

Given Below Are Steps On How You Can Block Specific Numbers-
  1. Pick up your landline phone and once you hear the dial tone, dial *60 to activate call blocking service.
  2. Next, an automated recorded voice will tell you if the call blocking feature is on or off for your number. And if it’s not on, it will tell you the instructions on how to turn it on.
  3. Finally, once the call blocking service is on for your landline, it will create a directory to which you can add unwanted specific numbers.

When you are done adding numbers, you will never receive calls from those specific numbers.

There are times when a Caller ID won’t show up on your landline because they have blocked their Caller Id to show, so if you receive anonymous calls repeatedly,

Here’s How To Block Anonymous Calls on Your Landline
  1. Dial *77 code on your landline.
  2. Once you dial this code, you will hear an automated confirmation that this feature has been activated.
  3. It will activate the feature which allows you to block anonymous calls whose Caller ID doesn’t show up. Also, to avail this service you need to have a Caller ID too.

Another way of stopping unwanted calls is registering your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry of Federal Trade Commission. Through their website, you can register three numbers at once but if you wish to add more numbers then you’ll have to go through the whole registration process again.

Here’s How to Register Your Number on The National Do Not Call Registry Website-
  1. Go to the website, www.donotcall.gov. After the webpage appears, click on ‘Register Your Phone Number’. Also, add your email address.
  2. Next, you will receive an email to confirm your registration.
  3. Once you confirm the registration, your number will be added to their Do Not Call List and telemarketers will not call any number which is on their list.
  4. Once your number is registered you will not receive any calls from telemarketers, if you do receive a call, just wait till your number has been registered for at least 31 days.
  5. If even after 31 days you receive unwanted calls, you can lodge a complaint on their website. 

So next time you receive an anonymous call, spoof call or a call from annoying telemarketers, by using one of the above-mentioned ways, you can stop these unwanted calls that you dread picking up, everytime your phone rings!

Voice Phishing Can Harm You

Phishing is the hoodwinking of individuals into revealing critical financial information willingly to scammers after being played. A concept not so different from phishing, is voice phishing. Voice phishing, or better as known as vishing, is a technique that uses social engineering and voice technology to gain access to any individual’s personal, private and valued data using telephonic networks such as cell phones, landlines, messaging services etc.

While blocking or deleting is a convenient option for unwanted emails, it isn’t the same with a constantly buzzing phone. That is exactly what is annoying about vishing considering it is a scam whose playground is the telephone line.

In vishing, fraudsters use caller ID spoofing i.e. they manipulate and control what phone number to display on the victim’s cell on receiving the call. The victims are usually sent a text message that reads their bank account security has been breached and is requiring immediate response to tackle the situation before the loss. Along with the message, the scammers send a specific phone number, labeling it to be from the bank and persuading them to make contact to the number for assistance. But once the account holder calls the given number, he/she is directed to an automated voice that requests their credit card details to further access their account or confirm their identity. In case the victim complies with this request, the scammer receives all the sensitive information that he can use to virtually rob the victim.

Besides directly launching onto the financial segment, the ‘visher’ can even play the tricks of attractive discounts, gift cards coupons, easy job recruitments, free holiday trips or tickets; only to request bank credentials for authorization later on.

Warning Sign Of Vishing

  • Requests for account verifications.
  • Congratulatory context that promises the user some sort of reward, is yet another bait to be seen coming.
  • Security-risk notifications out of the blue.
  • Grammatical errors in the SMS or e-mail that raise suspicion.
  • Unclear phone line.
  • Unusual favors asked on telephonic basis and not personally.
  • Too much information requested in a single conversation.
  • News that does not seem logical i.e. is too good to be true or too devastating.
  • Repeated spamming.
  • Too many requests for prompt action.
  • Links that redirect on opening.

With all this heavy planning in the background, the facility of spoofing is of great help to vishing scammers in remaining anonymous and carrying out the deed of trapping innocent people and extracting information from them, solely out of the confidence of anonymity.

Just as how phishing is hard to trace back, vishing as well is similarly too complex when it comes to locating the fraudster as he could be from any country in the world. This leads to absolute delay in law enforcements due to cross country rules & regulations and the huge costs that incur in the process. Adding more mystery to the crime, using of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to vishing, makes it even harder to trace the source by helping the scammer/programmer in giving their phone number a complete make over, making it almost impossible to trace or identify.

Tips to Stay Safe From Vishing

  • Suspect before trusting information or claims made by unreliable sources with regards to your social security details.
  • Limit the amount of information shared online and keep your security questions complex.
  • Educate yourself with the advancements made in scamming and hacking methodologies.
  • Use blacklist features on your devices in order to filter and block unwanted calls.
  • On receiving a call, enquire as much as you can.
  • Do not trust caller IDs’ as they could be spoofed.
  • Report any such unusual activity to your bank authorities and police immediately, so that they warn others.
  • Acknowledge that cyber criminals are at a rise and remain vigilant at all times.

Finally as a lesson learnt, do not give out your information, even if it’s for confirmation.

Have You Received A Call From 876 Area Code?

If you get a sudden call from a number that starts with an 876 area code, be aware—there is a possibility it’s a scam. They call to say you’ve won the “Mega Millions” Jamaican lottery, and you may even win a vehicle! All you need to do is pay a few thousand greenbacks in taxes or prices, and the large jackpot is yours. Scammers ask people to pay “taxes and fees” with prepaid cards. They tell you to visit the nearest pharmacy or a large retail store, purchase a card, and make contact with them. Whether you use a pay as you go card or a wire transfer — after you send your cash, you cannot get it again. So do not share your bank account details with anyone. Scammers use this data to hustle even extra money out of you. Victims of this scam are informed that if they pay an upfront tax or administrative fee they will receive millions in prize cash. Unfortunately, the lottery winnings are not actual and the targets of this scam will by no means see their money again.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), calls from this area code were linked to an ongoing, persistent phone scam in which victims are instructed that they’ve received the Jamaican lottery. If you get a call about a foreign lottery, we suggest that you hang up.

Threats Of Physical Harm

Some people who have faced this scam have been threatened with physical harm if they don’t comply and pay the fees. But don’t worry—this is best a scare tactic to intimidate you into paying.

Remember, a valid lottery or sweepstakes will by no means require you to pay “coverage,” “taxes” or “delivery and managing costs” to collect your prize.

Report All Suspected Scams

•    If you get hold of any such scam telephone calls, cling up straight away and record it to the FTC.

•    Never ship cash.

•    Never share your Medicare or Social Security Numbers.

•    Never share your financial account numbers. No reliable organization, like a bank, will ask you to give personal account statistics over the phone. 

•    If you feel that you or a loved one has been focused by a Jamaican lottery scammer, file the phone call complaint without delay to the FTC and your state’s Attorney General.

Jamaican lottery scams have been victimizing Americans for more than ten years. It is anticipated that Jamaican scam working phony lotteries scouse borrow extra than 3 hundred million dollars a year from Americans. Jamaican authorities were trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to crack down on this crime for a few years, but American regulation enforcement, till now, has been stymied in looking to take legal motion against the perpetrators of this type of fraud.

Protect Yourself From Earnings Tax Identity Theft

A examine by way of the University of Iowa has found that there might be a physiological motive that the older people are so frequently the victims of scams. The examine factors to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) that’s an area of the mind that controls perception and doubt. This part of the brain deteriorates as we age. According to the have a look at, “vulnerability to deceptive records, outright deception, and fraud in older adults is the precise end result of a deficit in the doubt process this is mediated through the vmPFC.”

Jamaican scammers make as many as 30,000 smartphone calls every day to the US telling people that they have got received a non-existent lottery. Often these calls are made on disposable cell phones that are difficult to guess.  Sometimes the scammers may also contact the victims posing as regulation enforcement officials or government officials investigating the scamming; but, their assist comes at a price. Once more, money is demanded from the victim below numerous guises such as the cost of finding evidence or making a claim.

As frightening as the Jamaican lottery scam can be, it is simple to stay from it. Start via remembering that it is tough to win a lottery you’ve got entered and it’s impossible to win one which you have by no means even entered. It is likewise far illegal to play overseas lotteries from the US.

To Shield, Yourself Check Out These Signs of The Jamaican Lottery scam

1. The call comes from region code 876

Jamaican scammers were traced to the 876 area code in particular.

However, scammers use caller ID spoofing to lie to their victims via changing their caller ID. Regardless of the number, you should be very suspicious about getting such calls.

2. You don’t remember being part of a lottery or contest

Don’t agree with any caller imparting winnings from a contest you do now not recall getting into without delay.

It’s not possible to win a competition which you haven’t entered and – no matter crooks’ claims.

3. The caller requests in advance expenses are paid

The trademark of the Jamaican lottery phone scam is the caller’s request for in advance costs to say your prize. Do not disclose any monetary facts to unknown callers, who can use these statistics to get entry to your debts and withdraw funds.

4. You receive a couple of calls

To convince callers they’re legitimate, scammers frequently name repeatedly and leave voicemail reminders.

5. The caller tells you to hold your winnings mystery

The caller tells you now not to share the information of your alleged winnings, claiming it’s to guard you till you’ve accurately secured the alleged prize money.

With aged victims, this tactic is designed to save your own family members from intervening. This is similar to the grandparents’ phone scam wherein the caller pretends to be a grandchild in hassle. Make sure seniors which you care about recognize the danger of smartphone scams and that they need to be skeptical whilst a person calls and asks for money.

How to Check If Your Photos Were Exposed By Facebook’s Latest Bug

It has only been 7 months since the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal was brought into the limelight. And once again recently, Facebook has found itself in yet another crisis of privacy violation.

Just this Friday (December-14th), Facebook, the King of social media revealed that a photo API bug that impacts third-party apps was discovered by one of their internal teams during an inspection. The API bug had impacted over 6.8 million users globally by providing access to both public and private photos of users to third-party apps for about 12 days between 13th and 25th September, allowing unshared photo content to be accessed by apps.

Facebook quoted, “Currently, we believe this may have affected up to 6.8 million users and up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers”. Dvir Shapira, director of partners at Imperva says, “This particular bug was in Facebook’s application programming interfaces, or APIs, which provided a direct gateway to sensitive customer info without checking who is accessing the data.” He also pointed that there could be a rise in the potential threat posed by API bugs in 2019.

So for a data breach so huge, along with an apology, Facebook assured the users of their security by planning to introduce a new tool that might come handy for app developers in figuring out which users have been vulnerable to the bug.

Although Facebook has fixed the issue and claimed that it will alert individual users who may potentially have had their photo collection compromised by the bug, users need not rely on Facebook alerts to check their privacy status. There is a manual way to check whether or not your photos were exposed to app developers during the period when the bug was active.

How To Check Your Photos

  • Log into your Facebook account
  • Go to the link
  • Look for the highlighted section where you are asked, “Which apps may have access to my other photos?”

Using this help page created by Facebook to address the concerns, users can check the privacy status of their accounts themselves and find out if their account has been compromised.

Fortunate users whose accounts haven’t been affected will be relieved seeing that their account is safe. And for users who have been hit by the bug, instructions will be provided on the page regarding what to do.  

As a protective measure, it is recommended to set all your Facebook posts to private, cross check if there any sensitive photos are on your devices and safeguard them before any such data breach happens again.

Little Secret About Fake Tech Support Numbers

Tech support scam is a type of fraud that uses social engineering and tactics to afraid the victim to give in. Many scammers use pop-ups to indicate that your system has been infected even though it’s not.

The scammer pretends to be calling from a well-known organization for tech support. Then creates fake errors to show the victim that there is a problem with their system and tricks them into buying services or stealing their identity. The scammer even might ask for a fee to fix the problem.

Whenever you receive unexpected tech support call claiming that your system is infected, be very careful; as legitimate organizations never call unless and until you asked for an assist with the problem. This can process is known by many names: the Fake Tech Support Call Scam, the Event Viewer Scam, the Ammyy Scam, and the TeamViewer Scam.

Tech support scam has become global and has been around for many years. This has caused victims all around the world thousands of dollars.

These scammers always find a way to get the victim into buying some sort of services or getting the victim’s credentials.

How to Spot Tech Support Scam?

Receiving Unexpected Tech Support Call

Microsoft, Dell, or some other major organization’s tech support will not call you. If you have got tech-support problems, they know that you’ll call them.

2: Caller IDs

It’s necessary to “spoof” the caller-ID system to show any name or number that the scammer needs. Don’t consider that just because your telephone says “Microsoft” or “Dell” that those corporations are on another end of the call.

3: Name and Accent Mismatch

Ex. The scammer might tell you that his name is “John” but he won’t sound western as his name.

4: “Event Log Viewer” Trick

The scammers need you to consider that they are knowledgeable and that there’s a problem with the system by displaying you the errors. They do that by asking you to open the Windows Event Log Viewer so that they will try and prove their case.

Some sort of minor bugs or warning will always appear in the log viewer session. The presence of those common system errors does not suggest that your system is having real issues or is infected by a virus.

5: Tool Installation

The scammers want to take control of your computer, however not for the purpose of fixing it as they say. The scammers need to infect your pc with malware, rootkits, keyloggers, etc. In order for them to achieve this, they want a way in.

There are various tools available which provide remote connectivity for the tech support purpose. Some of the greater famous ones utilized by the scammers include Ammyy, TeamViewer, LogMeIn Rescue, and GoToMyPC. The scammers will ask you to install this kind of tool and provide them with an ID number or a few other details generated. They will then use this information to gain get the right to access your pc. At this point, your computer has been compromised.

6: Request for Password

Never share your password with anyone. No legit organization ever asks for it.

7: Unfamiliar Pop-ups

When you come across unwanted pop-up window don’t engage with it in any way also do not call any number enlisted on it. Simply close your internet browser. If you are Apple user press Command+Option+Escape to Force Quit. If you are windows user press on Ctrl+Shift+Esc, select the browser and click on End Task.   

Tech support scammer already has your information? Here’s what you can do:

•    The very first and most important thing you should do is DISCONNECT your infected system from the Internet connection.

•    To get the scammer off of your system, run the anti-virus and anti-malware scan immediately. Remove anything that has red flags.

•    Change your passwords.

•    Restore your web browser to default settings. Check if the browser has any unknown extensions or add-ons; remove if found.

•    If you already paid what the scammer asked for your bank to reverse the payment and keep an eye on your account for unwanted further transactions. If you happen to share the personal details with the scammer you should consult with FTC and report identity theft.

How can you protect yourself from Tech Support Phone Scams?

1.    Make sure you register your phone number under Do Not Call Register.

2.    Do not share your bank account details, date of birth, credit card number, pin, system password with anyone especially on phone call.

3.    Do not give remote access of your system to anyone.

4.    Keep track of Anti-virus updates in your system.

Learn More Why Are You Getting Robocalls?

What is Robocall?

Robocalls are phone calls with pre-recorded messages initiated by using an autodialer. These messages are unstoppable and sometimes so convincing which makes you feel like there’s a person at the end of the call. These calls have increased in recent years due to the fact of technology. Robocallers can easily call millions of people that too at very low cost.

Robocalls are used for a huge type of communications including public service bulletins, appointment reminders, advertising, marketing, opinion polls, and political campaigns. Some robocalls use personalized audio messages to simulate an actual private phone call. They’re also often used illegally for telephone scams.

Are Robocalls Illegal?

All calls with prerecorded telemarketing sales messages are unlawful unless you agreed to be called. Some non-marketing robocalls are authorized with the aid of law in most states, despite the fact that they’re unwanted.

How Does Robocall Occur?

There are many ways that your contact number can come to be a target of robocalls, however, it is also very likely that your number was auto-dialed at random. A proper way to test if your phone numbers are public is to look for them in Google or other search engines like Google. You might also find that your number is related to social media profiles that are on hand to the general public and easily scraped by using call listing collection companies.

Though it is viable that your phone number may additionally have been scraped from the internet, commonly, there may be no approach to the insanity – your telephone number is dialed at random. Using auto-dialing technology, spam calls can be placed in enormous extent with little method or approach to the phone numbers called. In those cases, the motive is usually to find if it’s an active phone number.

If the caller is unsuccessful in scamming or promoting their product to the victim in the course of their first try, the phone number may be flagged as “try again”. This can be because of the decision recipient engaging with the caller, dialing a variety of to “opt out”, or asking for to not be called. This, in flip, will increase the number of spam calls you to get hold of – virtually due to the fact, the unsolicited mail caller is aware of they’re under your skin. For this cause, it’s very important to keep away from answering or engaging with unfamiliar calls as often as possible.

Warning Sign of Robocalls

Robocall scammers always rush you into saying ‘yes”. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released the following list of red flags to help consumers recognize a phone scam:

•    If the caller offers 0% interest rate services

•    They tell you that you are getting a free trip to a foreign country

•    The caller informs you that your loan has been approved and they need your account details to wire the money

•    The caller says there is a problem with your credit card

•    They tell you that you owe money to I.R.S.

•    The caller rushes you into giving your personal information

How To Stop Robocalls Forever?

There are many ones of kinds of robocalls. Though some robocalls have the goal of being beneficial or informational – the fact is that most aren’t.  

Robocalls distract us from our families and friends, interrupt productive working days, and worst of all, attempt to steal our money or personal identity. More and greater, we come to be much less straightforward of strange numbers calling because of the developing robocall trouble – and as a result, we pass over important updates from callers with true intentions.

Taking the time to learn how to stop robocalls the proper way will certainly make your lifestyles better. It will exponentially reduce your chance of phone call scams, time wasted answering unwanted or illegal robocalls, and restore your sense of confidence when answering incoming calls.

•    Go to the National Do Not Call Registry at DoNotCall.Gov and sign in your telephone number(s). It is unlawful for any telemarketer to call any person on the list – whether making a live call or the usage of a prerecorded message. While a few ignore the list, many acknowledge it – so it is important to sign up.

•    Consider using an anti-robocall tool. Various companies offer services or products that help you manipulate what calls ring for your telephones. They range from mobile apps for wireless phones to devices you could plug into your phone jacks which will block robocalls for your wireless phone.

•    Fios Digital Voice customers can sign on for Nomorobo – a service offered by means of the Telephone Science Corporation that may help block robocalls and telemarketers from calling your personal phone number.

How to Stop Robocalls on iPhone?

•    Go to the Apple App Store

•    Search for “RoboKiller” and tap “Download”

•    Open the RoboKiller app

•    Select the Green “Continue” button

•    Enter your mobile phone number for activation

 Robocall Blocker for Landlines

•    CPR V5000 Call Blocker: It has a red button that says ”Block Now” for quick blocking. CPR V5000 includes 5000 preprogrammed spam numbers. And you can additionally block 1500 numbers that you want to.

•    CPR Shield: It comes with a preprogrammed list of 2000 calls including robocalls, spams and political calls. You can block 1500 numbers on your own, just tap the Block Now button.

•    Digitone ProSeries Call Blocker: The display shows you the name and number of a caller, time, date, total and new calls and it makes sure that the blocked number never calls.

Phone Call Spoofing Can Happen To You

What Is Spoofing?

To spoof someone means to deceive them. And when it comes to the ever-evolving world of computers, spoofing is the camouflaging of communication from an unknown source into appearing to be from a known, trusted or reliable source. During the early introductory years, the reach of spoofing only went as far as E-mails, phone calls and websites. And with each advancement made towards technology, its reach got as farther as to IP addresses, DNS servers etc. So it can be told that today, there is almost no regular tech that cannot be spoofed.

Phone Call Spoofing

Phone Call spoofing AKA Caller ID spoofing is a paid service that allows a caller to tamper with their phone number and display a fake phone number on the recipient’s cell. Or sometimes, it is not the number that is changed but instead the caller’s actual geographical location is replaced with a fake location, in order to avoid being tracked and imprisoned.

Spoofing a number now is pretty simplified with the broad access to information of every kind. Various tutorials on YouTube are readily found by anyone who wants to learn this technique. The videos present how easy it is to spoof a person’s phone and for which, all the caller/scammer has to do is only choose a suitable online spoofing services from a large pool of options, and pay for their services.

This paid catastrophic service requires only information on 3 things:

  1. Caller’s original phone number
  2. The target’s phone number
  3. The fake phone number

Once paid, anyone can spoof anyone they want, from anywhere they are.

Why scammers use phone call spoofing? / The threats it poses:

  • To Request sensitive information such as passwords, social security numbers, account information etc. by callers pretending to be bank officials.
  • Using another individual’s phone number and exploiting it in ways that the owner of the number faces consequences.
  • Sending anonymous threats or blackmailing the individual.
  • Potential abduction of recipient/target by calling him/her to any spoken place.
  • A medium to demand ransom.
  • Impersonation of individuals to make false conversations or claims by scammers.
  • Continuous prank calls and probable harassment.

The list is not exhaustive.

How to Know When A Number Is Being Spoofed?

  • Ask who is calling when uncertain. Even if the information is false, it would be of value in tracking the scammer.
  • Listen carefully to your phone line and if you hear a sort of blowing or static, know that your phone has been tapped.
  • If the caller claims to be a known person, try to spot any strange behavior or change in their tone and talk.
  • Asking for financially favors by calling is still a clear sign that you are being spoofed.
  • Use trusted apps to check the authenticity of the number.
  • In case the caller pretends to be a closely trusted person, meet the person and enquire regarding the call and also warn him/her.

How To Avoid Phone Call Spoofing

Although there isn’t much that can be done about spoofing as the scammers could be working from any corner in the world, changing your phone number is a good escape even if it is undesirable. Below are a few measures to protect yourself from such spoofing.

  • Do not make your phone number public in social accounts; always restrict it to private and close friends.
  • Once again, have trusted security apps installed on your phone which makes it possible to block numerous unwanted numbers; or simply use your phone’s inbuilt features to do the same.
  • Be cautious which apps are allowed storage & media access on your phone.
  • Get a voicemail service to send/discard phone calls from chosen numbers.
  • Report fraudulent and nuisance callers.
  • Try to identify the caller if you could.
  • And the last and best tip is: Hang up!

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Remain alert and play safe before you are played.