Protecting our customers against cyber fraud requires staying well-informed of trends in cyber fraud and educating customers on the techniques criminals most often utilize, as well as ways to prevent themselves from becoming victims.
When it comes to identifying potential victims, cyber thieves are indiscriminate. There are noticeable differences in the process they use to deceive people within different generational groups into providing sensitive personal information.
Who are the Most Common Victims?
Senior citizens, who are less digitally experienced, tend to be the most targeted. Three-quarters of the country’s wealth belongs to this generation. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s, senior citizens 60 and older were swindled out of more than $1.7B to scammers. On average, these individuals lost $18,246 in 2021; an increase of 74% from the previous year.
Cyber Fraud Trends
One-Time Password Fraud- One tactic cybercriminals are using to target all generations is one-time password (OTP) fraud. This is done by submitting a request on an individual’s behalf that generates an OTP to be sent to them. They then call that individual and portray themselves as a representative of an actual organization (ex.- financial institution) and ask the account holder to affirm the code they just received.
Another OTP scam involves the delivery of a package to your home, where an individual will mimic a delivery employee and ask for an OTP instead of your signature. If the recipient says that they haven’t ordered a package, the agent will insist that an OTP is necessary to cancel the order. They’ll send an OTP message to the recipient’s mobile phone. This will generate the delivery of an actual OTP code from a legitimate company to the individual’s phone. Once given to the delivery agent, it can be used to hack your account.
QR Code Fraud
QR code fraud has increased since the outbreak of COVID-19. The use of contactless, mobile-initiated transactions during the pandemic meant that people became familiarized with scanning QR codes for things such as paperless menus and parking apps. Younger generations, who tend to be more familiar with mobile phone apps, are more likely to fall prey to this scam.
A new QR code scam, heading to the US, is circulated by email through Microsoft Word attachments using QR codes to make it undetectable by malware programs. The senders claim to be from a governmental entity significant to the victim, describing government grants for which they are eligible. If individuals follow the instructions of the scammers, they are directed to a fake electronic grant application used to capture their personal financial information. This information can be used by criminals or sold to a third-party for future crimes.
Protect your personal information with the following tips:
- Never share an OTP with anyone, and make sure any OTP you use is one you have generated yourself directly through a company’s website or app.
- Make sure to type in the URL when accessing any digital content.
- Never click on any unverified link.
- Only scan QR codes that you know are legitimate.
- Don’t store any passwords on your phone.
- Do not use public computers to access personal accounts.
- Routinely check your accounts for suspicious activity.