30 Aug Quick Guide to Identify Scams
Quick Guide to Identify Scams
Detecting scams is not always straightforward and might lead to tricky situations, as scammers are increasingly becoming sophisticated in their malicious attack attempts. In this short blog we present a number of hints that help detect scams like the LESA and Malta Post scams that hit Malta in the past few days.
Guidance Notes to Identify Scams
One might ask what defines a scam. Scams come in various forms, but all have the malicious intent of stealing funds and / or sensitive information. It is of paramount importance to identify scams, to be able to protect yourself against fraudulent actors. Scammers hit via phone calls, sms text messages, emails and other messaging forms, such as whatsapp messages and Facebook messenger messages. What was a common email scam up until a few years ago, a Nigerian prince wanting to transfer funds to your bank account from his empire, nowadays developed into much more sophisticated attempts.
So the obvious question is ‘how to recognise a scam?’
If the message has a sense of urgency, for example asking for a quick money transfer, or it looks too good to be true, such as the winning of a lottery prize, the chances are that it is a scam. Even more if the message is unsolicited. If you are the recipient of a message with unusual behaviour, like a different payment method or a set business activity falling on a Sunday; then these should raise red flags.
Strange looking URLs, that generally link to malware-infested fake websites, are another way to detect scams. The latter together with typos in names and email addresses usually distinguish a scam from a legitimate message. If in real life, you get an unexpected contact such as a text message from DHL, when you are not expecting anything (via shipping) then the chances are that the message is a scam. Scams create hoaxes. Knowing what to look for when it comes to scams is by far the best way to protect yourself, your data and your finances.
When in doubt, never click!
Modern scammers are using very well written messages, in native language, with perfect grammar and make their sender number and details look very similar to ones you trust. When in doubt, always call the company through their official numbers (or other channels) to verify that the request is legitimate.