FBI sounds the alarm ‘phantom hacker’ campaigns sweeping the US… Here is how YOU can protect yourself #nigeria | #nigeriascams | #lovescams

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  •  Scammers are telling users their system has been hacked to demand money
  • This  phantom hacker attack is plaguing senior citizens across the nation

The FBI is sounding the alarm on a growing menace: money-stealing scams that fleeced unsuspecting victims of an eye-watering $542 million in just the first half of 2023. 

These scams often begin with a seemingly legitimate notification appearing to be from your bank or even a government entity, alerting you to a computer breach. 

But as most savvy tech users might guess, they’re complete fabrications.

Here’s the New Low: ‘Trust me, I’m here to help’

Scammers are launching devious ‘phantom hacker’ campaigns, with older adults often in their crosshairs. Their ultimate goal? Manipulating their victims into draining their own bank accounts. 

This sinister method is an evolved version of the long-standing tech support scams, where victims are startled by sudden pop-up messages warning their computers have been compromised.

But here’s where they’ve upped the ante. Scammers have diversified their masquerade repertoire. Gone are the days of solely feigning tech support personas.

Now, they’re imitating bank executives or government officials to lull you into a false sense of security before they strike.

A Glimpse Into Their Playbook

Imagine this scenario: Your phone rings, and on the other end is someone claiming to be a helpful representative from your bank. 

They spin a harrowing tale of a hacker from a distant foreign land who’s ominously lurking in your account. Panic sets in. 

They then suggest you move your funds to a ‘secure’ government account for protection. Remember, it’s for your own good. 

Don’t fall for it. Once you do that, your account and money are under the scammer’s control.

The FBI’s alarming stats shed light on the scale of these scams: 19,000 complaints linked to tech support scams in just six months, resulting in losses of $542 million. 

A heart-wrenching detail? Nearly half of those defrauded were individuals aged 60 and above. You’ve got to be on your toes!

Shielding Yourself: The Game Plan

Stay skeptical: When confronted with unsolicited emails, texts, or pop-ups cautioning you about a data breach, banking issue or account problems, pause and assess. Odds are, it’s a scam.

Validate the source: Before taking any action, confirm the alert with your bank or the purported agency. Always rely on official phone numbers or websites.

This sinister method is an evolved version of the long-standing tech support scams, where victims are startled by sudden pop-up messages warning their computers have been compromised – and the scammers then demand payment to release the person’s computer

Halt those transfers: No U.S. government agency will instruct you to send money overseas or purchase gift cards.

Regularly review bank statements: Periodically checking your financial statements can help you spot any unauthorized activities early.

Use two-factor authentication (2FA): Enhance the security of your accounts by activating 2FA wherever possible.

Educate and warn others: Share information about these scams with friends and family, especially those who might be more vulnerable.

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Avoid remote access: Never allow unknown individuals to take control of your computer remotely.

Password protection: Regularly update and diversify your passwords using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Install a reputable antivirus: Keep your devices protected with up-to-date security software.

A Final Protective Measure

Alert the FBI if you’re targeted or fall prey to such a scam. Reporting the incident could be invaluable. 

In my conversation with the FBI’s top brass, I was given the assurance that every report is meticulously examined. 

By sharing your experience, you equip the authorities with the intel needed to nab these crooks.

Beware of the Heartbreak Hustle – The Romance Scam

While tech support and banking scams are raging, another type of con is stealing more than just money: the ‘Romance Scam.’ 

In a digital age where many seek love online, scammers have found a way to exploit the heartstrings of the unsuspecting.

How it plays out:

Sudden Love: Scammers set up fake profiles on dating sites or apps, luring victims with charming profiles and attractive photos.

Building Trust: They’ll invest weeks, even months, building trust, often sharing made-up personal stories and pretending to fall in love.

The Sob Story: Once trust is established, they’ll share a heartbreaking story, like a sudden medical emergency, and request financial help.

Shield Your Heart and Wallet

Profile Check: Reverse search profile photos on the internet. Scammers often reuse pictures from other sites.

Avoid Oversharing: Be cautious about sharing personal or financial details with anyone you’ve just met online.

Never Send Money: No matter how convincing their story, never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person.

Real love shouldn’t cost a thing. If someone you’ve met online starts asking for money, it’s time to question their intentions.

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