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The online landscape in 2021 is awash in criminals trying to steal valuable data and empty your bank accounts. Due to the fact that we are all spending more time online and working remotely, there are many more opportunities for fraudsters to try and take advantage, without the security blanket that working in an office HQ used to provide.

The good news is that your methods of staying safe are the same as ever: strong passwords, two-factor authentication, vigilance around any communications that ask for personal details. If you maintain strict security hygiene on all your devices, and you know what to look for, there’s no reason for you to fall prey to one of the many scams that are circulating.

 

Here are 5 very common scams to be aware of right now:

 

1. The Bogus NHS website

Many people have reported that they have received a text message from the NHS saying that they are ‘eligible to apply for the Covid-19 vaccine.’ Contained within the message is a link to a website that looks like the NHS where you are required to enter your personal details and your bank details – supposedly for verification.

Of course, none of that is true and the NHS has stated clearly they will never ask for that kind of information.

 2. The ‘Flubot’ Scam

More people than ever are making use of home delivery for goods, and that fact has led to a number of scams. One of the most damaging is known as the Flubot scam. What happens is you receive an SMS out of the blue that says something like “DHL: Your parcel is arriving. Track here (URL)”

When you click the link from an Android device, it installs a malicious piece of tracking software on your phone that is used to spy on your device and gather sensitive information.

According to Vodafone UK, millions of these kinds of messages have been sent in 2021 and clearly, enough people are clicking on them to make it worthwhile for the hackers.

Once again, all you can do is be extremely wary when you get messages. Slow down and think before you click and regret.

3. Another Delivery Text Scam

This scam is quite elaborate, and usually starts with someone being notified they have missed a delivery and will have to pay a fee to get the package. Victims click through to a website, and fill in some details. That’s when they get a call, supposedly from the bank, saying there has been unusual activity on their account and that they should transfer the money out of that account to another bank.

Of course, once they do that, they never see the money again.

Some of the more gullible victims have reported losing as much as £35 000 in this scam.
That can be devastating and life-changing to many people. Once again, the trick is to slow down, verify who you are speaking to and never click through from a link in a message to start entering your details.

4. The Account Takeover

This is not a new kind of fraud but it made a huge resurgence in 2021. In a nutshell, criminals pose as you, gain access to your accounts, and then carry out unauthorised transactions from those accounts. This can all happen in the space of a few minutes and, by the time you realise what’s happening, it’s all over and the money's gone.

Research firm Kaspersky calculated that every second fraudulent attempt in 2020 was an account takeover attempt. That’s a massive number and clearly something you need to be aware of. Biometric logins on mobile devices are one of the best ways to counter this kind of account takeover.

5. Covid Track and Trace Scam

Another scam that uses Covid as a gateway. In this instance, fraudsters call up and claim to be from the NHS and say they’re contacting you to track an outbreak they’re monitoring. Once that is established, they ask for your bank details and a fee from you in order to see the details of their tracing.

Many elderly, isolated people are falling for this scam.

Again, be aware that the NHS will never ask for bank details, or ask you to set up a password / PIN number over the phone.

Cybersecurity is not something you can just wish away and hope you don’t have to deal with. It’s become part of all our lives and the sooner you stat to apply good security on your devices, the easier it will be to stay safe.

To find out more about how 2|SEC can help you stay secure and avoid these devastating scams, reach out and speak to us today.

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