Recognizing Online Scams - Intel

Recognizing Online Scams - Intel

Intel® Learn Easy Steps Activity Card Online Scams Recognizing Online Scams The Internet is a powerful tool for connecting with the world around us...

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Intel® Learn Easy Steps Activity Card

Online Scams

Recognizing Online Scams The Internet is a powerful tool for connecting with the world around us. We can communicate with friends through e-mail, do our shopping, conduct our banking, and research topics of interest to us without ever leaving our living room. Unfortunately, the Internet also provides scammers and other individuals with malicious intent easy access to potential victims. Knowing how to recognize and avoid these threats is an important part of protecting yourself online.

How to Recognize a Scam A. E-mail scams

If you use e-mail, you are likely to run into a phishing scam at some point. Phishing scams are attempts to trick you into revealing personal information such as credit card information, bank account information, social security numbers, etc. through the use of fraudulent e-mails and web sites posing as legitimate organizations. While some of these scams are fairly easily recognized due to their absurdity, others are quite sophisticated. There are, however, ways to help identify a phishing e-mail. Common characteristics of phishing e-mails include: Strange Sender Address If you have an account with ABC Bank and receive an e-mail from them, you should expect to see a sender address like “[email protected]” If instead you see something like [email protected], you should be very suspicious. The domain used by the company will appear after the “@” symbol, and should match up with their web site address as well. Even if the text before the @ symbol makes sense, it is the domain that is important. Awkward greetings The e-mail may refer to you as “Customer” rather than by name, or merely say “Hello,” or offer no greeting at all, indicating this may be a form e-mail sent to numerous individuals. Typos and incorrect grammar Scam e-mails usually include awkward phrasing and typos. This is a tactic cybercriminals use to avoid e-mail filters designed to detect spam. Legitimate companies and organizations generally employ copy editors and would not send out mass e-mail with these mistakes. Multiple spelling errors should be a red flag for a potential scam. Be especially wary of an e-mail with the organization’s name misspelled!

Links to other web sites Scammers want to get you to their phony web site in order to collect the information they are after. One way to do this is to disguise a fake web site behind a real URL or web address. Be wary of clicking on any link contained within an e-mail. Copyright © 2015 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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Intel® Learn Easy Steps Activity Card

Online Scams

Compelling or alarmist language A scam e-mail will often include language to scare you into immediate action such as “Urgent action needed to restore your account” or “We have detected unusual activity on your account.” Fake charity collections are also popular phishing scams, especially after disasters, and often ask for your immediate help with donations. “Too good to be true” offers Any e-mail that claims you can make a lot of money with little or no effort, or attempts to sell you medications or software at little or no cost should be treated as suspect. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

B. Web scams

Phishers and scammers don’t always try to get to you through e-mail. Sometimes just browsing the Internet can make you vulnerable as well. Some of the things to be cautious of while browsing online include:

Pop-Ups You might be browsing the Internet and suddenly a new window opens on top of what you are doing. This could be an innocent advertisement from a legitimate company, but it could also be something more malicious. One popular scam is the fake anti-virus software pop-up that tells you a virus has been detected on your computer and directs you to download software to repair the problem. You then download a malicious software program that either harms your computer or secretly collects your information and sends it back to the criminals. Another popular approach is to inform you that you have won a contest or prize and you must click to claim it. “Free” download sites Some sites might offer to let you download movies, music, or games for free. Be very skeptical of downloading anything from a web site you don’t trust as these downloads could install harmful programs on your computer without you knowing. C. Fake web sites You click on a link online that you think will bring you to the Bank of America web site where you can sign up for a low-interest credit card. It looks like the web site so it must be okay, right? It even has their logo and contact information. However, the URL window in your browser shows a strange web address or a misspelled web address such as “www.bnakofamerica.com.” This is not the Bank of America site and should be treated with caution.

How to Protect Yourself While receiving scam e-mail and browser advertising may be unavoidable if you are an active member of the Internet community, there are many ways to protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim. Take these steps to protect yourself: 1. Install and maintain anti-virus software, firewalls, and e-mail filters. Copyright © 2015 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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Intel® Learn Easy Steps Activity Card

Online Scams

Most e-mail applications and webmail services include some spam-filtering features. Find out what your e-mail provider offers. Most computers also come with some basic anti-virus protections; it is important to familiarize yourself with the process for keeping this software upto-date. Firewalls may not prevent spam in your e-mail box, but they can help protect your computer from sending information back out to hackers. 2. Regard all unsolicited e-mail with suspicion. Don’t automatically trust an e-mail sent to you, even if it appears legitimate. Look for the characteristics of scam e-mails listed above. Never click on a link in the e-mail or open an e-mail attachment unless you are certain it is safe. 3. Use common sense If an e-mail or web site seems to be offering you a deal that is too good to be true, assume that it probably is. 4. Never send personal, credit card or account information by e-mail, or enter it on a site you are not certain is genuine. Most banks and other institutions do not ask for account information over e-mail. If you are not sure, call your institution directly to confirm. 5. Always confirm the web address of the site you are expecting to be on. If there are typos in the web address or it does no match up with what you expect, don’t trust it. Using browser “bookmarks” is a good way to be sure you are going to correct web sites that you use often. 6. Never download any software or files from an unknown site. NOTE: If you think you may have been the victim of an online scam, immediately change your passwords on any accounts you think might have been compromised. Contact any institutions to which you might have revealed sensitive information directly by phone; do not rely on links or contact information contained in e-mail.

Activity Perhaps the easiest way to protect your information when using a computer is to make sure your operating system is up-to-date. An out-of-date operating system running on your computer could leave it vulnerable to attacks. Take a moment to check if your operating system is up-to-date by following the steps below.

For a PC 1.

Go to Start > All Programs > Windows Update. This will direct you to a Microsoft web site where you’ll be able to select Custom Install or Express Install.

2.

Select an installation method. We recommend you select Express Install.

3.

You’ll be notified in your system tray (bottom right of window) if there are new updates available to you.

Copyright © 2015 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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Intel® Learn Easy Steps Activity Card

Online Scams

4. If new updates are available, install them by following the prompts.

For a Mac 1. From the Apple menu: • Mac OS X v10.3 or later, choose “Software Update.” • Mac OS X v10.2.8 or earlier, choose “System Preferences.” From the View menu, choose Software Update. 2.

In the Software Update window, select the items you want to install, then click “Install.”

3.

Enter an administrator account name and password.

4. After the update is complete, restart the computer if one is required.

SOURCES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams: http://www.uscert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/emailscams_0905.pdf Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks: http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-014 Learn to Recognize Fraudulent Emails: https://www.wellsfargo.com/privacy-security/fraud/recognizeemail-scams/ Email and Web Scams: How to help protect yourself: http://www.microsoft.com/security/onlineprivacy/phishing-scams.aspx Common Online Scams: http://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0002-common-online-scams Spam: http://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0038-spam Top Scams: http://www.bbb.org/council/bbb-scam-stopper/top-scams/

Copyright © 2015 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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