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Scammers have a new most popular way to get your money and information

Link scam protection
Posted at 12:26 PM, Feb 29, 2024

Here's new proof showing just how convincing scammers have become.

Americans lost a record amount of money to fraud in 2023.

That's what new data from the Federal Trade Commission shows.

We collectively lost more than $10 billion.

That's a 14-percent increase over 2022.

Another first is the most common way scammers are reaching us.

It used to be phone calls and then it became texts.

Now the FTC data shows email is the most common way.

Cybersecurity expert and Metropolitan State University of Denver professor Steve Beaty tells us he thinks that's because email is a bit more anonymous for scammers.

And the FTC is now doing a better job of finding the scammers who are using texts and phone calls.

"I have two rules about email and one is, don't click in links and two is, see rule number one," said Beaty.

He said if the email shows it's from your bank for example, just go directly to their website to check it out or call them.

Sometimes you can also hover over the link in the email and the link that's displayed is not what comes up when you're hovering.

Beaty said you used to be able to just look for poor grammar in the email.

That's not the case anymore.

Scammers have gotten good at making it look like the email is coming from your bank or another company.

"A lot of businesses have taken to putting that kind of banner at the top of the email with the warning that this email originated from outside this organization. I hope that slows people down, make some think. But even if the banner isn't there, I think it's very important that people slow down, and instead of doing the convenient thing do the secure thing," said Beaty.

Beaty recommends making sure you have strong passwords, especially for your most sensitive accounts like your bank, and have multi-factor authentication set up on those accounts as well.

It won't stop the scammer, but it could slow them down.