The numbers of ways you can be defrauded is growing. Cyber-criminals are not ignorant. Most are looking for a challenge. They look for easy ways to steal your money and/or your identity. You have to be very cautious. Be careful opening emails or following links on emails. Below are some of the common methods of tricking you:
Email Scams: You receive a legitimate looking email from the IRS, FDIC, or a bank. It has all the correct logos and your name is correct. The email asks you to fill out a simple form to confirm your account information. You reply. One or two things happen. You probably just downloaded key logging software onto your PC. Secondly, if you completed the form, you just gave the criminals your name, address, SSN, account numbers and bank routing numbers. They now have everything they need to steal your identity or worse.
ACH Scams: If you have direct deposit, or if an insurance company drafts your account for your insurance premium, you use ACH. If a criminal obtains your name, account number and bank routing number, they too could send ACH debits to your account and withdraw funds from your account. Your best protection is to promptly review your bank statements for any unusual transactions.
Nigerian scams: You have probably opened an email from someone claiming to be from a foreign country. They want to flee to the U.S. because of persecution or political unrest. They promise to give you ½ of any money they send to you if you will just help them. Being curious, you reply. They will ask you for your name, address, account number and routing number so they can send you $1,000,000. You can keep half of it for just helping them. A few days later you find they have emptied your account.
These are just a few of the scams used. Be cautious and skeptical of anything that appears too good to be true.