XTB Group: How to identify different fraud methods

Stock exchange broker, XTB Group, puts together top tips on how to identify the most common fraud methods and avoid being scammed

Over the last few years, technology has developed rapidly, making our lives a lot more comfortable. Not only can we access our bank accounts and perform a transaction with the simple click of a button, but we can also have full control of our finances and investments. Unfortunately, along with this technological development comes increasingly convincing cybercriminals and frauds.

 XTB.com has pulled together its five top tips to avoid being scammed as well as outlining different fraud methods so that you can be extra vigilant.

Be reasonable

Almost everybody with an active email address will have probably received emails from unknown sources at some point. While it may be tempting, never open email attachments from unknown sources, this also includes making sure that you don’t click on any suspicious links or banners.

Be private

Regardless of who you think is trustworthy or not, you should never share your login information or devices with anyone; create strong passwords and don’t use the same details for more than one account.

Be independent

Whilst out, it’s super easy to connect to public Wi-Fi or use public devices in places such as hotels and internet cafes without giving it a second thought; however, you should be extra careful when logging into any sensitive accounts.

Be on time

A super easy way to avoid being scammed is always updating your devices and software to the newest version and remembering to use antivirus protection.

Be aware

One of the best things you can do to evade a scam is gain more knowledge about the methods used by cybercriminals so that you can identify them should the situation arise.

What are the most common fraud methods?

1. Vishing

Sometimes fraudsters may impersonate employees of various services on the phone. They mimic employees of known and popular companies and use their authority to make calls where they try to extort login, password, or debit/credit card data.

Under the pretext of additional authorisation, data update or system malfunction, they will often ask for personal information and try to persuade users to install apps like AnyDesk or TeamViewer, which gives scammers access to their phone or computer, letting them steal data or money.

Never give anyone your password to trading, financial, or any other accounts.

2. Phishing

This is when scammers create fake internet websites or emails closely resembling those from banks or investing companies. Often, they’ll use logos and copy the graphic layout of messages. Under the pretext of updating the data, authorisation or confirming the transfer, scammers will suggest logging in to such fake websites.

Never open suspicious links and attachments from unknown sources.

3. Smishing

Using this method, cyber criminals send an SMS in which they inform, for example, about a new transaction on your account and the need to confirm it by going into the link, which leads to a fake website.

Once a user logs into the fake website, scammers steal their login and password, granting them access to real accounts. To extort such data, scammers can also give different reasons, like deactivation of service or IQ tests.

Scammers even impersonate government and national institutions, creating a fake SMS informing about the dangers of, for instance, the vaccination programme.

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