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Social media scams and identity theft

According to the FBI, the threat of cybercrime is incredibly serious—and growing. Now a multi-billion dollar business, cybercriminals are becoming increasingly savvy at using social media to target your information. When you post pictures and information of your memories to share with friends and family, fraudsters are potentially gathering information that might put your finances at risk.

What do scammers want? 

Cyber criminals want valuable data:

  • Social Security and credit card numbers
  • Bank account information
  • Email addresses
  • Home addresses
  • Birth dates
  • Personal information used in security questions

With this information, they can take over existing accounts or open new ones to make fraudulent charges. They can also conduct phishing operations with gathered email addresses.

The point is, scammers are using social media as a platform to commit fraud, so be careful about who’s sliding into your DMs! Supposed “friends” asking for personal financial information probably have been hacked. Numerica would never reach out to you for personal account information through social media.

If you’ve received an email, instant message, or social media post from unknown senders, this could be a phishing attempt. Don’t get hooked! If someone is offering a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Giving away money? There’s always a catch.

Here are some ways you can protect yourself from identity theft:

Remove geotagging

When you post to your favorite social media sites, is your location included? Many apps have location tracking built into the software by default. When you are posting about a fun day enjoying holiday beverages or shopping with friends, you are creating a map of your activities.

Don’t be your own paparazzi

Resist the urge to post a play-by-play of your beach vacation. In addition to letting potential criminals know you’re out of town, posting an itinerary of when and where you will be traveling can make you a prime target for fraudsters.

Be careful about information you share

The same security questions used to identify you when you log into your account can be answers that you easily give out unknowingly on social media. When you can, choose your own security questions. Select questions that are complex and not easy to find on your social pages (or family members’).

As a test, scroll through your pictures and posts or do a quick Google search to see if you could answer these common security questions?

  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Make, model, or color of your first car
  • Pet’s names
  • City you met your spouse
  • Your birthday

Being aware of common tactics in identity theft is just another way Numerica is helping you to relieve stress and live well! Check out some additional resources we have:

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June 22, 2024