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2012 Year of the High-Tech Fraudster

Unfortunately research has predicted that in 2012 we will see a rise in the number of high-tech fraudsters. People are being warned early as all these fraudsters want is for them to part with their hard earned cash, with new tricks up their sleeves you will be surprised just how clever they have become.

Currently there is a financial struggle experienced by a number of people and when times are tough fraud increases, the fraudsters turn to desperate measures just so they can make ends meet.

Brick technology web design has a number of warnings regarding where scams will be focused in 2012. We have based these on items which have been gaining popularity and thus gaining a pool of victims for the fraudsters to target. Unfortunately we have seen the devastating effects a victim is left in when clever internet marketing carried out by a fraudster goes to plan and they gain access to valuable information.

First up with iPads and Smartphones now proving to be a popular choice for many for those who are brand new to the concept of a smart phone, mobile internet browsing and the millions of apps that you can download then unfortunately what seemed like a shiny new and exciting item could well turn into a gateway for fraudsters to attack.

Text messaging scams have become more and more common, unfortunately if something seems too good to be true then it probably is. The same goes for apps, recently the Android Market store has been targeted and with a number of premium titles which seemed legitimate and were FREE people just couldn’t resist the download which in reality contained malware which sent premium rate text messages to users. 10,000 people downloaded the app and so just think how many people were affected and how much money was lost.

What can you do?

When downloading apps always check them through for legitimacy and ensure you check your mobile phone bill through thoroughly in order to eliminate them racking up a huge bill. In addition to this then please do not respond to texts which you do not know the sender.

Social media is rising in popularity and with sites like Facebook and Twitter growing in numbers every single day is it any wonder this is going to be the next place of attack for the fraudsters?

Once a virus attacks a victim’s computer then they can make it so it accesses their Facebook on login and sends an email to each friend requesting them to click a link to view a photo or video. As you know who it is from you trust the name of the sender and many would click on the link and this then makes their computer infected. Embedded within these emails may be keystroke-logging software which will find your passwords along with other details.

Alternatively it goes beyond just login details, when the man-in-the-browser virus is present anytime that a specific online banking site is accessed then the virus or Trojan wakes up and intercepts the banking data.

What can you do?

It is all systems on lockdown! What you need to do is set your profile to private viewing, so friends only. All personal details should be restricted even if they seem relatively unimportant to you then items such as your birthday could be valuable in the wrong hides as it is regularly used as a security question.

Think before you click, does your friend type as the email is wrote? If an email claims to have come from your friend but doesn’t sound like something they will have wrote then do not click any links as this could suggest a virus or Trojan.

The rise in e-commerce sites has meant that it is now easier and more convenient for many people to shop online. This is known as “card not present” fraud and unfortunately you realise you are a victim of it when it is all too late. It can occur over the phone, by mail and also over the internet but in reality all the fraudster needs is your card number and the three security digits on the back of the card.

What can you do?

Keep a check on your bank statements and ensure that you recognise all the purchases made on the account. It is vital that you keep card data safe and never give out a pin number over the phone. If your bank is calling you then they will only ever ask for selected digits and never the entire number.

Seen a job online which advertises for you to be able to “work from home”? Well in this type of fraud the person is recruited and then they receive large amounts of cash into their bank accounts which they then have to wire overseas. This is in reality money laundering and this will occur for some time until the fraudster then attacks your bank account because throughout the whole process you have been clicking through and opening emails from the fraudster.

What can you do?

Ensure that you do not respond to any job opportunities which are “work from home” unless you 100% know that they are legitimate. With people constantly looking for jobs and becoming desperate it is this type of fraud which is on the rise.

Stay safe and one step ahead of these fraudsters!

For more information then please contact Brick technology on 01254 277190 or email info@brickweb.co.uk.