It's that time of year again: International Fraud Awareness Week. Since thousands of fraudulent cases are reported annually, it's helpful to stay knowledgeable and take some precautionary steps before major transactions like moving into a new home or launching an internet business.
One common form of internet fraud is called spoofing. In short, spoofing refers to when an email is forged to appear as though it was sent by someone other than the actual source. This is an attempt to deceive the recipient into sharing personal information like passwords, credit card numbers or bank account information.
Another example to stay aware of is identity theft. It is especially common through social media. Scammers can easily gather sensitive information like where you live, what you look like and where you work so they can easily impersonate you. For example, if you accept a friend request from an unfamiliar person and they send you an email with a link, this may be an attempt to place malicious malware on your computer. This would then allow imposters to extract your personal information, particularly your online banking information. If you suspect a scammer, block or report them to the respective platform right away.
If you've experienced fraud sharing your story can help put a stop to future fraud. You can print and post a fraud prevention checklist in your workplace or community center. You can also participate in your city council to share tips on fraud prevention for local businesses. Show your support and stay informed!