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Social engineering

What’s Social Engineering?

Social engineering is a term that covers a broad range of deceptive tactics to manipulate someone into doing something. Fraudsters will use these techniques to convince you to share personal and private information. They’re often looking to gain access to your devices and accounts. Social engineering tactics can include phishing attempts in the form of phony websites and pop-up ads. They often look and feel like a trusted site.

Recognizing the Signs

Social engineering attempts often involve fraudsters using the following methods to get your information:
  • Pretend to be from an organization you know
  • Insist you pay in an unusual way
  • Present a problem or an enticing deal
  • “Spoof,” or use fake Caller ID to look like a legitimate business
  • Pressure you to act quickly
They seem convincing, and they may outline various scenarios to encourage you to share even more private information. For example, a scammer may tell you:
  • Your order or service has been canceled or can’t be fulfilled
  • There is a payment processing issue
  • Delivery will be delayed
  • Fraudulent activity was detected on your account

Ways to Protect Yourself

  • If a call doesn’t sound or feel right, hang up
  • Don’t share personal information with someone you didn’t reach out to first
  • If a website looks suspicious, don’t engage – close it out
  • Don’t click on links in an email or text message that come from an unknown source
  • Report social engineering attempts to the Federal Trade Commission
If you believe you’re a victim of social engineering, consider placing a fraud alert to prevent criminals from opening credit accounts under your name. Contact each of the three credit bureaus listed below to place the alert and monitor activity on your credit report: