Most email, text and phone scams are deceptively simple – that’s why they’re effective.
Here’s a common scenario: a family member, friend, or your personal banker contacts you with a request to send them money online. Or perhaps they ask you to divulge sensitive account access information. You don’t think twice about complying because you know and trust the sender, and because the phone number or email address look legitimate.
Next thing you know, you’ve been ripped off.
What you might not realize is how easy it is for bad actors to hack a social media account and impersonate a relative in need. Or to spoof a caller ID from your best friend. Or send a text from a number you recognize.
The good news is that it’s also simple to defend against such attacks: just pick up the phone and call your relative, friend or banker before taking the bait and stepping into the trap.
Another all-too-frequent scenario: a scammer contacts you about a “refund” for a recent purchase you can’t recall making. Warning: don’t disclose personal information to receive the “refund” without double-checking with the seller.
The end of the year is a stressful time for everyone, but it’s especially stressful for lawyers and legal professionals. Closing out case matters, completing Q4 financials, shopping for presents, making holiday plans. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. The key to easing your stress could be Micro Self-Care. What’s Micro Self-Care? Attend our annual wellness webinar “What is Micro Self-Care and Why Do You Need It?” on December 14 and find out. The presenter, Michael Kahn, is a JD and licensed therapist who concentrates in treating lawyers struggling with stress, depression, substance use disorders, and other career issues. This free, one-hour webinar is the latest in Alta Pro’s ongoing series of cutting-edge legal education programs. Sign up here.
Safety Tips for Thwarting Hackers
Here are some pointers for spotting and avoiding imposter scams, courtesy of Wells Fargo:
- Be wary of get-rich-quick schemes. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Avoid sending money or giving your account information to anyone you don’t know or a company you can’t verify as a legitimate. If you send money as part of a scam, you may not be able to get it back.
- Beware of scammers impersonating a tech support company, fraud department, or government agency through a phone call or pop-up message on your computer. Do not provide your account information or access code, or give them control to your computer.
- Be wary of an unexpected request for payment for a good, service or fee through any form of communication (email, phone call, social media, etc.) Do your research and don’t be afraid to end communication with the person making the request.
- Don’t send money back to someone who has provided a check or overpayment for goods or services.
- Be suspicious if someone requests your account information or assistance with a financial transaction, such as cashing a check on their behalf or transferring money for them.
Source: Wells Fargo
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