Many people are aware that scammers will try to access personal data through emails. However, cyber attackers have begun using other platforms to communicate with users including Skype, Slack, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and gaming apps. Scammers are increasingly communicating through these platforms because people are often more casual and informal on these channels.
The latest SANS Institute newsletter provides readers with clues that may help them identify which messages are a scam. The full newsletter article is available here.
It’s important to be on the lookout for red flags while using messaging apps, social media or gaming platforms. If someone sends you a message that immediate action needs to be taken or something bad may happen to you or your account, the scammer is trying to rush you into making a mistake and giving out sensitive personal information.
Another common way to tell if a communication is a scam is if the message says it’s from an official organization and is riddled with spelling issues. You should always remember that the majority of government organizations do not use social media platforms or apps to communicate with people.
Other warning signs that may help you identify a scam is if it invokes curiosity or promises, requests highly sensitive information, or it seems as though it may be someone impersonating a friend or co-worker.
If you encounter a message that has any of these red flags, the best way to protect yourself is by ignoring or reporting it. It’s always important to remember that people are not who they always appear to be online!