Phishing, Smishing, Vishing, And Other Cybercrimes You Should Know About

Every day we are exposed to a large number of computer attacks created by cybercriminals who seek to penetrate our computer and mobile device. To do this, they use various scam techniques such as phishing, smishing, and vishing, among many others, with the aim of stealing our money or accessing valuable information that we store on our devices.

These methods are based on social engineering to try to manipulate victims until they take the bait, either by clicking on an infected link or getting them to provide their personal information on a fraudulent page.

5 Computer crimes to consider

To prevent you from falling into the clutches of hackers, here are five computer crimes widely used today and the keys to recognizing them:

1. Phishing

It is a computer fraud strategy that seeks to gain the trust of people to manipulate them and thus be able to specify the scam. The hackers often send emails impersonating another person or company, inserting a dangerous link, or ensuring that the victim reveals valuable information.

Generally, the objective is to steal money through fraud, infect computers and mobiles, or penetrate the system to obtain valuable information.

The term phishing comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “fishing” which, in this case, refers to the act of casting a hook to make the victim fall.

How to recognize it?

  • “Most phishing attacks begin with the receipt of an email or a direct message in which the sender impersonates a bank, a company or other recognized organization  in order to deceive the recipient”,
  • Cybercriminals use social engineering strategies to grab people’s attention, using phrases that convey urgency and invite quick action.
  • if you think you have received a phishing message in the email, delete it immediately. Do not click on any link or enter a website that is within the email.

2. Smishing

It is a computer crime that consists of sending a text message to the victim’s mobile, seeking to make him click on a suspicious link or provide valuable information. The name comes from the mix between “SMS” and “phishing”.

Hackers almost always send an SMS using the identity of a bank or an electronic payment service such as PayPal.

Employing social engineering techniques, they invite users to take urgent action to protect their account or take advantage of a one-time promotion.

The fraudulent message usually includes a link that redirects you to a manipulated website, practically identical to that of your bank, where you must enter your password to log in.

Now you will be in the hands of criminals, who in a few minutes will leave your account at zero.

How to recognize it?

  • The first technique to detect a smishing attempt is to verify the number that is sending you the message. If you don’t know the sender, you should delete the SMS as soon as possible.
  • You can also look at the spelling and grammar of the message, as hackers from foreign countries use translation tools to fool people around the world.
  • Similarly, keep in mind that banks will never ask you to send your password or personal data through a text message.

3. Vishing

It is a computer scam that is executed through a telephone call and that seeks to obtain sensitive information from people, such as their bank passwords or the passwords of their electronic wallets.

To give it greater credibility, hackers often operate through an automated voice system, impersonating a banking institution or other recognized body.

But a person can also make a call, using social engineering techniques to gain the victim’s trust.

Posing as a bank manager or financial advisor for a well-known company, they are friendly, approachable, and very confident in their approach.

The term vishing is born from the mixture between “voice” (voice) and “phishing”, since it also tries to make the victim sting using a digital hook.

How to recognize it?

If you think a scammer has called you, you can ask for their name, job title, and office phone number. Now you can run a Google search to verify their identity. If you refuse to provide your details, hang up the call immediately.

The computer security company Kaspersky recommends not taking any action on a request of presumed urgency. “While it’s tempting to give in under pressure, a frenzied sense of urgency is a clear red flag. Users must take a deep breath and then write down any information that the person provides in the call, without offering any details of their own, “they advise on the company’s blog.

Of course, we should not open any emails or pay attention to the text messages sent by the person who has called us.

4. Whaling

Hackers pretend to be top executives of a reputable organization, with the aim of tricking a significant other into scamming them, obtaining relevant information, or accessing their device’s system.

Like phishing, this method can spoof known websites or send messages via manipulated email.

The term “whaling” means “whaling”, as this hacking technique directly targets corporate bigwigs.

How to recognize it?

  • Before sending the hook message, cybercriminals investigate as much as they can about the life of their potential victim: employment, family, social networks, hobbies, and even their resume.
  • Then they write an email posing as an executive of the company where the person works or a similar company, with which he could be related.
  • For example, if the victim uploaded photos to Facebook of his skiing vacation, the scammer creates a message with a close language, but at the same time with the confidence of senior executives, making a comment about that trip. Then he invites you to add your data to the company’s new platform so that you can contact him at any time.
  • Both the sender’s email name and the platform to which it will be directed are carefully created to deceive the entrepreneur or executive.

5. Ransomware

It is a malicious program that hijacks information stored on a computer or mobile phone and then asks for a ransom in exchange for its release. That is why the compound name begins with “ransom”, which means rescue.

The hackers use the technique of phishing to enter the device, sending a link infected via email. 

Also Read: 7 Types Of Digital Strategy For Companies

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