According to the Identify Theft Research Center (ITRC), 2023 data compromises are on pace to set a new annual record.
The number of data compromises reported in the U.S. in the first half of 2023 is higher than the total compromises reported every year between 2005 and 2020, except for 2017.
The lead actors? Scammers using phishing and ransomware techniques.
WHAT IS PHISHING?
With phishing, scammers use texts and emails to trick individuals into sharing personal information. They try to obtain passwords, Social Security numbers, account numbers and more. Be on the lookout for these identifying factors:
- Inconsistencies in Email Addresses: Phishing emails will typically come from an unfamiliar or unusual email address. Hover your cursor over the email address to reveal the true “from” address.
- Unfamiliar Greetings: Sometimes an informal or irregular salutation is a sign of suspicious activity. For example, if your financial institution greets you with a nickname you don’t use with your accounts, it’s likely phishing.
- Demand for Urgent Action: Emails, text messages or phone calls threatening some type of negative consequence, loss of money or missed opportunity are key factors in phishing scams.
WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?
Ransomware scrambles a target’s data with encryption and then withholds it until the victim pays a ransom, often only to find the data is corrupted.
Ransomware attacks impact businesses and individuals alike. Take steps to reduce your exposure by installing antivirus software, updating your devices with the latest security patches and storing file backups on a separate computer.
BEAT THE BREACH
Are you taking steps to proactively prevent fraud and protect your information? Some of the simplest actions can make all the difference between a successful breach and one that fails.
If you believe your personal information has been compromised, contact Ameris Bank immediately at 866-616-6020 and file a report with the FTC.
Looking for more tips? Be sure to visit our online Cybersecurity Center for the latest security news.
Revised September 2023
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Ameris Bank is not affiliated with nor endorses any of the companies featured in this article.