Since the dawn of time, crooks have calculated on how to take advantage of others by hijacking the ways we live our everyday lives, and since the dawn of technology it’s gotten a whole lot easier for them.
It’s rare for an average 21st century American to go an entire day without checking email or surfing the internet, usually multiple times, and so the technology that has become our greatest convenience has also become our greatest vulnerability. If you’ve ever received a desperate email from a stranger asking for your monetary support to escape a war-torn country, or an unexpected estate settlement from a distant uncle whose attorney only needs your bank account info to wire you the money, you know what I’m talking about.
It’s easy to feel smug if you’ve never been fooled by one of these seemingly obvious scams, but recently these misanthropic masterminds are increasing their camouflage. Here are a couple red flags to keep watch for:
- Emails asking for your password – If you ever receive something via email asking for your password, especially if you didn’t initiate a password reset, delete it immediately. It’s also a good idea to contact the company that the message supposedly came from to let them know, such as your email or credit card provider and also ask what their protocol is for things like password resets so you can make the distinction.
- Fake online leads – If you work in an industry where potential clients or business connections often contact you via email, such as real estate, pay careful attention to unfamiliar email addresses and the way the emails are worded. Even if you think the message is legitimate, never click on any links it contains. Instead, opt for contacting the person via other information they may have provided like a phone number.
Technology may be all about innovation and new advancements, but some old things never go out of style. In this case, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”