Even though people are getting more and more digitally savvy by the year, the number and creativity of cyber frauds keep increasing. This is especially true in light of the universal pandemic-reinforced digitalization and the growth of 5G. To avoid becoming a victim, check out these cyber fraud trends of 2022 and learn how to protect yourself from them.
iGaming is growing worldwide. This is happening both thanks to the wave of online gambling legalizations and the impact of the lockdown that makes people search for new forms of entertainment available from home. Sadly, though, scammers are as quick as ever. Sure, in most cases, you can rely on safe Visa payments on casino sites, especially when you stick to reliable casino iGaming platforms.
But fraudsters are still very active in the iGaming industry. They find a way to deceive even the most advanced monitoring systems that online casinos are installing to ensure players’ safety. There is no bullet-free way to protect yourself from them. But what works best is learning about the signs to look out for before entering your financial details (in addition to using only trusted online casino operators).
The same applies to e-commerce, so be extra cautious before entering any financial information on any website, especially if you haven’t used it before. Also, be aware of the fraudsters posing as vendors. One of the common fraudulent techniques today is tracking potential victims’ transactions and then contacting them pretending to be the vendor they’ve recently paid. For example, a fraudster can claim that the transaction was unsuccessful and demand you repeat it.
The scariest thing about this scheme is that thanks to how much effort fraudsters put into monitoring (essentially stalking) you online, they can know the staff that makes their victims trust them instantly. So double-check your recent transactions and contact your bank if something like this happens to you.
Ransomware attacks are one of the most frustrating frauds, especially for organizations that rely on digital information and have employees who are working remotely. The perpetrators of ransomware attacks basically debilitate entire computer systems and demand money. Until victims pay them, they can’t do anything.
Ransomware attacks have grown increasingly popular since the beginning of the pandemic. Since more companies have switched to remote work, they are great targets. According to recent research, one-half of organizations were hit by a ransomware attack at least once in 2020. The number isn’t expected to go down in 2022.
Pandemic-related phishing is yet another fraudulent product of the lockdown. It refers to fraudulent messages sent to people asking them to pay, provide personal information (typically financial), or download some questionable software. Phishing scammers pose as a well-known trusted company akin to Facebook or PayPal. So naïve users can easily fall victim to them.
Phishers thrive in chaos, and the pandemic has created an awesome environment for them. People are stressed and constantly bombarded by pandemic-related information. Therefore, they are more likely to trust a phishing message or email. The rule of thumb is that you should never open any links you get in an email until you’ve examined it closely and verified the sender’s identity.
How to maximize your protection
Sadly, it’s impossible to make yourself 100% safe from all cyber frauds. But it is possible to do everything that depends on you to minimize your vulnerability. As discussed, never trust a message or email asking to repeat a money transaction or follow a link that demands you enter your personal data.
Approach every situation when you need to enter your financial information with caution (be it on an iGaming site, when buying online, and anything else). When it comes to online payments, it is better to err on the side of caution.
Finally, make sure to update your antivirus (as well as firewalls, especially for organizations) regularly to limit your chances of getting successfully hit by a ransomware attack.