According to the FBI’s internet crime records, at least 422 million people were impacted by cybercrimes in 2022, while the annual cost of cybercrimes is projected to top 10 trillion dollars by 2025.
Given the growing threat, the importance of educating and protecting yourself against fraud, identity theft, and online scams – in both your personal and professional online activity – can’t be overstated. Let’s take a look at common types of scams, how to spot them, and what you can do to avoid falling victim to them.
It’s estimated that 80% of reported cybercrimes are attributed to phishing attacks. In a phishing attack, the criminal’s goal is to steal money, gain access to sensitive data, or to install malware on the victim’s device. While there are different categories of phishing attacks, this type of cybercrime typically involves a fraudulent email or text message solicitation with the perpetrator masquerading as a legitimate business or reputable person as well as a link to malware. To protect yourself from phishing:
Business email compromise (BEC) scams target businesses by tricking employees into transferring funds or sharing sensitive information under the guise of legitimate requests from other persons or departments within the company. To protect yourself and your business from BEC scams:
Money mule scams typically involve fraudsters recruiting individuals to facilitate illegal money transactions. In this type of scam, the victim is used as an intermediary to move funds which may have been obtained by illegally obtained through criminal activities. To avoid falling for a money mule scam:
Impersonation scams involve criminals pretending to be someone you trust – such as a family member, friend, coworker, or even a government official – in order to manipulate you into providing personal information or money. To protect yourself against impersonation scams:
Oftentimes, online purchase scams involve fictitious websites or sellers offering products at extremely low prices. Again, if something seems too good to be true – it probably is. Typically, the scammers will take your money without delivering the promised goods. To avoid online purchase scams:
Unfortunately, the convenience and connectivity offered by the internet comes hand-in-hand with the exposure to scams and fraud. Laurel Road will never ask you to share personal identifying information such as your Social Security Number via email. Use the tips above to educate yourself and continue to stay vigilant about protecting yourself from scams, fraud, and identity theft in your online life.
Get tailored Laurel Road resources delivered to your inbox.
Laurel Road does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.