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Personal loan scams take advantage of people’s financial vulnerabilities and can trap people in a vicious cycle of debt.

Since the pandemic, people in many parts of the world have had a difficult time financially. Climate crises, increases in food and energy prices, and ongoing inflation have made household spending difficult.

It has put great pressure on employees and families. High interest rates, including in Europe, made matters worse. As always, cybercriminals are lying in wait to see how they can take advantage of others’ misfortune.

Credit fraud can take various forms. It uses the lure of free loans to deceive vulnerable internet users. It may be common at certain times of the year. Those particularly at risk are young people, the elderly, low-income households, and individuals with low credit scores.

Fraudsters know that these groups are among the worst affected by the current cost of living crisis and are developing various strategies to trick users into handing over their money.

  credit fraud

Top 7 credit fraud threats

Loan fee (advance fee) fraud. The most common type of credit fraud, where a fraudster usually pretends to be a legitimate lender. They claim to offer a no-strings-attached loan but require you to pay a small fee up front to access the cash. The scammers then disappear with your money.

Student loan fraud. It targets those seeking financing for their education and recent graduates who are burdened with tuition fees and other educational expenses. They may offer attractive loan terms, debt forgiveness, fake help with loan repayment, fake promises to reduce monthly payments, consolidate multiple student loans into a more manageable package, negotiate with lenders on behalf of borrowers.

Credit “phishing” scam. Some scams may involve the scammer asking you to fill out an online form so the loan can be ‘processed’. Doing so will give your personal and financial information directly to the bad guys to be used in more serious identity fraud. This can run alongside advance fee fraud and result in the loss of both money and sensitive personal and bank account information.

  credit fraud

Malicious credit practices. It reported 20 of these fraudulent apps to Google, which had more than 9 million cumulative downloads on the official Play Store at the beginning of 2022. Detections of “SpyLoan” apps increased by 90% between the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023. It found 18 more malicious apps with 12 million downloads in 2023. SpyLoan applications, SMS It lures victims with the promise of easy loans through messages and social media sites such as X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and YouTube.

They often impersonate the brands of legitimate credit and financial services companies to add legitimacy to the scam. If you download one of these apps, you will be asked to confirm your phone number and then provide extensive personal information.

This information may include your address, bank account information, and photos of your ID cards, as well as a selfie, all of which can be used for identity fraud. Even if you don’t apply for a loan, app developers may start harassing you and blackmailing you into giving money, or even threaten you with physical harm.

Payday loan scam. These scammers target individuals in need of quick cash, often with poor credit or financial difficulties. As with other types, they exploit the urgency of the borrower’s financial situation, promising quick and easy loan approval without a credit check with minimal documentation. To apply for credit, the scammer often asks the borrower to provide sensitive personal and financial information, such as social security number, bank account information and passwords, and uses them for identity theft and financial fraud.

Loan repayment fraud. Some scams require prior discovery by criminals. They target victims who have already received loans. They impersonate the loan company in question and send you a letter or email, claiming that you missed the payment deadline and demanding payment plus a penalty fee.

Identity fraud. A slightly different approach is to steal your personal and financial information. The purpose is to then use them to obtain a loan on your behalf from a third-party provider. The scammer will max out the credit and then disappear, leaving you to pick up the pieces.

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Security

The Eight Most Common Mobile Threats

We trust our mobile phones with everything, both private and work-related, but we do not pay enough attention to mobile security. Don’t underestimate the issue of mobile threats.

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We trust our mobile phones with everything, both private and work-related, but we do not pay enough attention to mobile security. Don’t underestimate the issue of mobile threats.

According to a recently released report by Verizon, many people underestimate the issue of mobile threats. Almost half (49%) of users believe that clicking on a malicious link or attachment could only negatively impact their device.

The average user’s SMS phishing The probability of being exposed to attacks is 6-10 times higher than email-based attacks.

People often combine their personal and work lives on a single device. 78 percent of users use their work devices for personal activities, and 72 percent use their personal devices for business activities.

mobile threat

The most common mobile threat topics:

Phishing: Attackers use social engineering techniques to persuade individuals to click on malicious links, share personal information, download malware, or provide account information via email (phishing), SMS (smishing), or calls (vishing).

SIM hijacking: SIM hijacking occurs when an attacker uses personal information they find on the internet to impersonate someone else and contact a telecom provider to redirect your calls or messages to their device, giving them easy access to your data.

Malicious apps: Disguised as legitimate applications, these applications are often accidentally downloaded from unofficial sources such as third-party app stores or websites, or through phishing emails that direct victims to visit these app stores and websites.

Once installed on a device, these malicious apps can perform various harmful actions such as data theft, financial fraud, or acting as spyware.

mobile threat

Fake banking apps: It is a dangerous type of malicious application. If you unknowingly download and install a fake banking app, you could enter sensitive information such as login details, account numbers, and other personal data into the app and unintentionally hand that information over to cybercriminals.

Fake credit apps: Deceptive apps posing as legitimate lenders offering high-interest loans are created by cybercriminals to collect victims’ personal and financial information. They can then use the collected data for identity theft, financial fraud or other malicious activities.

Ransomware: During a ransomware attack, cybercriminals may encrypt your files and demand a payment. They may claim that if you accept their demands, they will give you a decryption key. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Poor physical security: Weak authentication methods are a big problem when it comes to mobile threats. Cyber ​​criminals who take over your device can easily access your data or payment information and use it as they wish.

Similarly, if you lose your device and it is not adequately protected, you can jeopardize not only your own cybersecurity but also your company’s cybersecurity.

Unsecure Wi-Fi: If you’re using public Wi-Fi at a hotel or coffee shop, you may be the target of a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack, in which an attacker can interfere with communications between your device and the website you want to connect to.

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Security

Do Wearable Devices Present a Privacy Risk?

Smartwatches, fitness trackers and other wearable devices have become as commonplace as our mobile phones and tablets. These connected devices do much more than tell the time.

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Smartwatches, fitness trackers and other wearable devices have become as commonplace as our mobile phones and tablets. These connected devices do much more than tell the time.

While wearable devices are entering our daily lives more than ever before, they are also collecting more data and connecting to an increasing number of other smart systems.

It is useful to understand these potential security and privacy risks in advance. Threatening There are many ways for actors to monetize attacks against smart wearable devices and the related application and software ecosystem.

They can intercept and manipulate data and passwords and unlock lost or stolen devices. There are also potential privacy concerns about secretly sharing personal data with third parties.

wearable devices

Where do wearable device ecosystems fall short?

The device you plug in is only part of the picture. In fact, there are multiple elements, from the device’s software to the protocols it uses to connect to its application and back-end cloud servers. All are vulnerable to attack if security and privacy have not been properly taken into account by the manufacturer. Here are a few of them:

Bluetooth: Bluetooth Low Energy is often used to pair wearable devices with your smartphone. However, over the years, numerous security vulnerabilities have been discovered in the protocol. These vulnerabilities could allow close-range attackers to crash devices, spy on information, or manipulate data.

Devices: Often the software on the device is vulnerable to external attacks due to bad programming. Even the best designed watch is ultimately made by humans and therefore may contain coding errors. These can lead to privacy leaks, data loss, and more. Additionally, weak authentication/encryption on devices can mean that they are subject to interception and eavesdropping. Users should also be aware of shoulder surfers when viewing sensitive messages/data on their wearable devices in public places.

Applications: Smartphone apps connected to wearable devices are another attack route. They can be poorly written and full of security vulnerabilities, revealing access to user data and devices. Another risk is that applications and even users are careless about data. You may accidentally download fake apps designed to look like legitimate apps and enter your personal information into them.

Back servers: As mentioned, providers’ cloud-based systems can store device information, including location data and other details. This presents a tempting target for attackers. There’s not much you can do about this other than choosing a reputable provider with a good track record in security.

wearable devices

Tips for keeping wearable devices safe

  • Be careful to choose reputable wearable device providers.
  • Take a close look at the privacy and security settings to make sure they are configured correctly.
  • Change settings to prevent unauthorized pairing.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication.
  • Password protect lock screens.

Protect your smartphone:

  • Only use legal app stores
  • Keep all software updated
  • Never jailbreak/root devices
  • Limit app permissions
  • Install reputable security software on the device

Protect your smart home:

  • Don’t sync wearables to your front door
  • Take care to keep devices on the guest Wi-Fi network
  • Update all devices to the latest firmware
  • Make sure all device passwords have been changed from factory default settings
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Security

53% of Malware Steals Data!

The share of corporate devices compromised by data-stealing malware has increased by a third since 2020. 21% of employees whose devices were infected ran the malware repeatedly.

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The share of corporate devices compromised by data-stealing malware has increased by a third since 2020. 21% of employees whose devices were infected ran the malware repeatedly.

An alarming trend has emerged that shows corporate devices are facing a growing threat from information thieves. The share of corporate users compromised by such malware has increased by 34 percent since 2020, according to data from data-stealing malware session files found on the dark web.

By 2023, experts show that one in every two devices (53%) infected with identity-stealing software will be corporate. Data shows that the most infostealer infections are found in Windows 10 Enterprise edition.

malicious

Recommended Steps to Minimize the Impact of Data Leakage

After infecting a single device, cybercriminals can gain access to entire accounts – both personal and corporate. According to Kaspersky statistics, a session file contains, on average, 1.85 corporate web applications containing a login with a corporate email address.

These applications include webmail applications, customer data processing systems, internal portal and more.

To minimize the impact of a data leak caused by phishing activities, we recommend you follow the steps below

  • Immediately change the passwords of compromised accounts and monitor these accounts for suspicious activity;
  • Advise potentially infected users to run antivirus scans and remove malware on all devices;
  • Monitor dark web markets for compromised accounts to detect compromised accounts before they impact the cybersecurity of customers or employees.
  • To detect potential threats and take immediate action security software use it.

For greater protection against skimming infections, develop an employee security awareness program and offer regular training and evaluations.

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