Temperatures are Rising and so are Fraud Attempts

Sunshine, Summertime, and Swindlers.

While you’re relaxing in the sun, fraudsters are making sure you don’t have fun. Did you know that the summer is the most popular time of the year for fraud attacks?

According to a research report by Sift, June 26th and August 11th have been the highest attempted fraud days in 2019 and 2020.

After being pent up in their homes for nearly two years, people are eager to experience a normal, post-pandemic summer, and the FOMO factor is huge. With the return of travel and events, more consumers will drop their guard and be on the hunt for cheap tickets and deals, making it a prime time for fraudsters to swoop in with scams. Fraudsters love to take advantage of summer vacations, federal holidays, and people taking time off.

Social media plays a huge factor in allowing yourself to be vulnerable to fraud. Fraudsters are scavenging social media sites looking for people to prey on. Something as simple as posting your dog’s name on Facebook can give them access to all your passwords—or posting on Instagram that you’re on vacation lets them know you’re less likely to check your email and they have a few days to orchestrate and execute an attack.

Paymerang, a national payments services provider located in Chesterfield, has come up with tips to help you combat scammers and remain vigilant.

3 P’s of Preventing Payments Fraud:

  • Prepare—Set a variety of passwords, recognize red flags, and have a recovery plan in place if you do fall victim to a scam. We recommend using complicated or long phrases for passwords, not using the same password for more than one account, and using multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Protect—Stay vigilant, follow best practices, constantly update software, use antivirus and anti-spyware, and educate yourself and your organizations. Some best practices include:
    • Always think before you click. Malicious links disguised as real sites can install malware on your computer leading to a ransomware attack or giving impersonators access to your banking information.
    • Examine the contact info and context carefully. A fraudster might use john.kelly@compony.com (an extra ‘o’ in company) instead of john.kelly@company.com to trick victims into thinking their email is legitimate.
    • You are your best protection and your worst vulnerability.
  • Prevent—report the incident so it doesn’t happen again. Call your local FBI office or fill out an IC3 form on http://www.ic3.gov/ to file a complaint. A recovery asset team within IC3 will initiate fund recovery efforts if any money was successfully stolen.

Remember, it’s not a matter of if, but when you will encounter a fraud attempt. Be alert.

Megan Yardis

Megan Yardis