In 2019 the FBI documented 3.5 billion in losses. In 2020 cybercrime reached 4.2 billion in losses.
Cybercriminals spend their time stealing and conducting fraudulent activity.
Here is just the top of the list:
Disguising themselves as a reputable and familiar entity (like your bank), the email tries to get you to click on it. Once you do, you are taken to a site that steals your information and exposes your computer to attack. Always look at the sender’s email. If it doesn’t come from the organization, report it and delete it.
Ads and popups try to get you to believe that your computer is infected with a virus. They tell you that you can fix the problem by downloading their software, gaining access to both your credit card and your computer.
Someone offers you more than your offering price, but the check they send is counterfeit, you get conned into sending the difference back to them, then when the counterfeit check bounces, you owe the bank, and they got your money.
These scam artists tell you that you’ve won major money from the lottery or some other big sweepstakes, but you must send in some processing money. Gotcha.
People with bad credit sometimes fall for an email claiming to repair their credit. They say they negotiate with your creditors and remove negative information from your credit report. The scammers charge upfront fees, but then of course have no help to offer.
A letter comes to you in the mail claiming that you are pre-approved for a bank loan or a credit card. Credit card companies never charge an upfront fee to apply for a card or bank loan. These do.
One of the most common, a wealthy Nigerian or other West African family wants to relocate a large sum out of their country, but you need to submit payments for large chunks of their cash. Don’t respond. Instead, forward the info to the FBI.
You’ll receive a phone call, an email, or a pop-up warning you that your computer is infected. They wouldn’t know.
You’re most likely being scammed if anyone asks for your banking or personal information.