The world is already changing. The way we live and interact with one another and how we conduct business will be very different in the coming years, and fraudsters are banking on it.
Studies show that fraudulent activities like data breaches and cyber-attacks rose in 2020, with damages reaching about $5 trillion annually by 2021.
Fraudulent activities are already costing organizations millions of dollars a year. Still, without a doubt, this number will continue to grow as hackers take advantage of our vulnerabilities through technology breakthroughs and innovations for their gain. Here are a few fraudulent activities that may increase in 2021 and beyond.
The first type is malware attacks. Many people think that viruses, Trojans, ransomware, etc., belong in the past. However, they remain an extremely popular way for cybercriminals to extort money from users.
The number of users attacked by malware is constantly growing, as cybercriminals are constantly working on new samples and improving old ones. Therefore, taking care of personal data has become more critical than ever. Today, there exist various tools to fight cyber threats, and you’d be wise to take advantage of them.
Identity theft has always been one of the most significant crimes in the United States, and it is expected to keep rising. If you are like most people, at least one piece of mail that has come to your home recently has been opened by someone who isn’t you.
That’s because your address is the target of identity thieves hoping to obtain the information they can use to make purchases or open up lines of credit under your name. Avoiding identity theft requires that you:
- Avoid putting your personal information on social media sites
- Review your bank and credit card statements regularly
- Shred documents with your personal details before throwing them out
- Collect your mail every day to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands
Cloud Service Fraud
Cloud technologies are actively growing in popularity. For example, today, several solutions make it possible for users to save their data on the cloud. Moreover, many users do not take advantage of the cloud’s payment functionality. Consequently, cybercriminals are devising new ways to steal money from users’ credit cards by using third-party platforms.
Dating Services Fraud
The number of people being deceived through dating services is constantly growing. Cybercriminals are paying more attention to this sphere every year. In 2021, the dating scene has changed significantly. Because of the pandemic, people prefer to meet partners online as there are minimal opportunities to meet offline because of the pandemic.
In recent years, people have become much more open-minded. They communicate with strangers via dating services without any fear of being deceived since the Internet has taught them to be careful enough online. Fraudsters are already taking advantage of this fact.
The main way for fraudsters to extort you online is by catfishing. They may use the following techniques to get you:
- Asking for intimate photos that they will later use to blackmail you
- Reporting a personal crisis and asking for financial help
- Claiming to be stuck in a different country
- Requesting assistance with a personal transaction
- Asking to send you money. This is a way to obtain your personal and financial information
Another rising trend is cryptocurrency extortion. Nowadays, there are many cryptocurrencies that users actively use for their personal or business needs.
Cybercriminals can create malicious software designed to steal users’ crypto without their knowledge. As the popularity of crypto payments keeps increasing, the prevalence of this fraud may increase as well.
Online Banking Fraud Attacks
Another increasing threat is online banking fraud attacks. It has become much more frequent in recent years as people prefer to complete their transactions online instead of visiting physical stores.
Online banking services are constantly gaining new users who prefer them to traditional financial institutions due to their convenience and high speed. Unfortunately, many people don’t use additional security measures.
For example, users often neglect the need to enable two-factor authentication. Therefore, cybercriminals can easily bypass security and access victims’ funds via online banking services.
There are several ways for cybercriminals to intercept SMS messages from banks – both those sent as part of two-factor authentication and those sent as other services (i.e., banking alerts, transaction confirmation).
These attacks are extremely popular with cybercriminals since they allow them to steal money from users’ credit cards easily. A well-designed phishing attack can result in the immediate theft of millions of dollars from a company or bank.
In some cases, attackers use special phishing technologies to change the appearance of a website and make it look more trustworthy. That’s why users need to make sure that every link they click on their browser leads them to the website they were looking for.
Overall, cybercriminals are devising new ways to extort money from users every day. They keep developing new types of malware and other threats to lure unsuspecting users into performing certain actions. It is necessary to put in measures for protecting yourself from these and other crimes.