Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission | CYSEC GUIDE: HOW TO STAY ONE STEP AHEAD OF SCAMΜERS
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Investor Protection Financial Education Hub Featured Information CYSEC GUIDE: HOW TO STAY ONE STEP AHEAD OF SCAMΜERS


Scammers are becoming increasingly savvy, and they are constantly looking for new ways to con unsuspected people out of their hard-earned money.

As technology evolves, scammers have more tools at their disposal, allowing them to contact potential victims in a multitude of ways. These include fake emails, fake websites, text messages, phone calls, online advertisements, social media, and more.

It is important to be aware of the various techniques’ scammers use, as it can help you stay one step ahead and protect yourself from being taken advantage of.

Fake emails/ telephone calls/text messages purporting to be from a legitimate source can be used to induce the unsuspecting to reveal personal or financial information or pressuring them into investing in fraudulent or worthless investing opportunities.

Read on for some of the most common channels and ways scammers might employ to contact and deceive you.
Fake emails and fake websites

Scams via fake emails and websites are among the most pervasive online threats.

Scammers will use phishing techniques, such as creating a fake website that appears legitimate to collect personal information, like financial or login credentials.

They’ll send messages designed to entice people to click on an attached link or open an attachment that contains a malicious code. The message may look legitimate, as it will often contain your name and other personal information, but the goal is to gain access to your information or computer system.

Therefore, be suspicious of any website that requests such sensitive information and be alerted if you receive an email from an unknown sender that contains a link or attachment.

Today, phishing schemes have become more varied, and are potentially more dangerous than before. Successful phishing messages are difficult to distinguish from real messages and are often represented as being from a legitimate company or government body, even including corporate logos and other collected identifying data.

CySEC has from, time-to-time, detected cases of fraudulent impersonation of CySEC Officers and representatives by imposters requesting information from the email recipients, or soliciting fees, in exchange for settlement of bogus compensation claims related to firms under CySEC supervision.
Phone Calls

Another common way that scammers may contact you is via a phone. Some calls may seem legitimate and convincing, as they’ll provide information about you or your account, which they may have obtained from a search in your social media accounts.
So, always keep in mind that you must never give out financial information or other personal details.
What’s more, have you ever heard of social engineering?

It’s a broad term that refers to the scams used by crooks looking to exploit a person's trust and feelings in order to obtain money directly or obtain confidential information to enable a subsequent wrongdoing. The channels used by scammers include social media, telephone, or even contact in person.

Social engineering is when fraudsters use the knowledge they have of you, against you. They use psychological manipulation of inherent emotions, biases, and weaknesses that all humans share, to trick people into trusting them and giving away sensitive information or even investing large sums of money.

Social media is the preferred channel for this, but it is not unusual for contact to be made by telephone or even in person.
Text Messages

With the widespread use of smartphones, scammers increasingly send text messages directly to individuals.

These text messages, as in the case of fake emails, can also include links to malicious websites or contain fake investment offers with promising returns that can be used to lure people in and steal their information or money.