Red Flags Warn of Social Engineering

red flags of social engineering

Red Flags Warn of Social Engineering

The easiest way to avoid falling for scams and other social engineering attacks is to understand the tactics employed by attackers. Here, we outline some of the most common scams and their warning signs.

One of the most common signs of a scam is the use of “stressor events,” which play on the victims’ emotions to make them act irrationally. Scammers can try to rush you by claiming that the deal will be called off if you don’t respond soon. Scammers can threaten you with arrest, or worse if you don’t pay them quickly. Stressor events, such as a sudden family tragedy affecting the ability to send or receive a transaction, can also be used as an excuse by the scammer.

Users should be suspicious if a person is difficult to contact, unwilling or unable to speak on the phone or meet in person, or comes up with excuses to induce you to send or receive money in an unconventional way. For example, whenever someone asks you to pay them in gift cards, don’t. This is a crucial sign that this is a scam.

Users’ ability to resist scams depends primarily on their ability to recognize the red flags of social engineering. Some of those red flags include the following:

  • An email address, website address, logo, or body of the email looks suspicious.
  • An email is sent when the person is supposedly out of the office or on vacation.
  • The user is being asked to wire large amounts of money or redeem gift cards.
  • Password resets from social networks are being requested.
  • Attachments are sent in a txt. file.
  • An email was sent at an unusual time of day.

The number one scam defense is awareness education. Most scams are easy to spot once you know how they work. Security awareness training can teach your employees about these techniques so that they can recognize and resist social engineering attacks.

Brian Jackson, President and COO