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Impersonation Scams & Its Safety Tips

Written by Anuraag Singh ~ Modified: 16-08-2023 ~ Cyber Awareness ~ 5 Minutes Reading

Impersonation scams

Do you know what “Impersonation Scams” exactly mean, how you can identify these scams and how you can avoid such scams? 

If your answer is no, then keep continuing reading this article because, at the end of the day, this article will help you protect yourself.

What is this Scam All About? 

These types of fraud include con artists posing as a reputable institution, such as a bank and government agency. You will receive a call, text message, or email purporting to be from a reliable business or person. Your bank account may be threatened, therefore a thief may demand that you transfer your funds to a “safe account.”

How Do Scammers Trick You in Impersonation Scams?

If you want to know how cybercriminals operate this scam then keep on reading…

  1. You get an email, text message, or call that appears to be from someone you know or do business with. Scammers impersonate other individuals and companies by making calls or sending texts that appear to be from a legitimate number.
  2. They can claim that they want money immediately, that you have unpaid bills, or that your internet is down. Always be wary of any unknown conversation. 
  3. Scam artists will try to hurry or frighten you. They may claim that there has been fraud on your account. And that you must move the money to protect yourself, which is a surefire clue that they are con artists.
  4. Scammers can alter their email addresses, phone ID, or text message headers to seem like a particular business. The practice of “number spoofing” hides the sender’s true identity by making it appear from someone you know.
  5. If you receive a call or message that is fake, especially one that demands money, disconnect the conversation. To get their phone number, use a reliable resource like the company’s website, and then call them.

Types of Impersonation Scams

This fraud has several different types through which scammers accomplish it. 

  • Social Media Scams: On Facebook or Instagram, scammers frequently imitate their target’s friends or followers by using hijacked or fake social media profiles. Under the guise of assisting their targets in signing up for (false) competitions or promotions, they utilize this to request personal information from their targets, such as their cellphone number, online banking account information, and OTP. Later, the victims learn that unauthorized transactions were carried out using their bank accounts and mobile wallets.
  • Bank scams: This is an another part of impersonation scams. In this, the victim will get a call from someone posing as a bank representative seeking to talk about any ‘problems’ with transactions made on their accounts or credit cards. Scammers would inform victims they need to ‘transfer’ the call to a police officer for inquiry if they say they are unaware of or did not make such transactions. The call is then transferred to a different con artist working for the same criminal organization who will pretend to be a police officer and fool the victim into giving their personal information and bank account information in the name of resolving the problem.
  • Fake Friend Call Scam: Typically, con artists would contact their victims from unidentified numbers and ask them to guess who they are. Then, victims tries to identity the caller. The con artists then adopt that friend’s identity and make the excuse that they misplaced their phone or that their phone number had changed. And then, fraudsters act to victim’s good friend and give hazy explanations of who they are and their purported romantic history in an effort to dupe their victims into believing them. After promising to repay them shortly, they frequently seek their victims for immediate financial aid before requesting money transfers to fictitious bank accounts. 

How Can You Spot this Impersonation Scams?

In this section, we will cover a few steps through which you identify this scam.

  1. You get a call, text, email, or direct message (DM) asking you to pay or transfer money urgently and fraudsters also ask for your personal or financial information.
  2. They are the ones they have to do for the scam the scammer will come into it.  
  3. Scammers create a sense of urgency while accomplishing the scam. 
  4. When fraudsters communicate with you, it fells like you have some burden on your mind. They try to pressure you every time. 
  5. You are requested to move money to another account for “safekeeping.”
  6. There are lots of grammatical errors.

How Can You Prevent These Impersonation Scams?

You might be waiting for this section, if you are then your wait is over. Because now we will discuss some of the safety precautions that you can take easily fight against such scams. 

  1. Never share your confidential details with anyone. 
  2. Be cautious when clicking links in text messages and emails, especially when they want personal information or payment.
  3. Never allow a caller you didn’t anticipate getting remote access to your computer or other device.
  4. No reputable individual would ever demand that you move your funds to a “safe account” or warn you that “your money is at risk.” It’s a fraud if this occurs.
  5. Download Malwarebytes Premium for free and sign up to protect your devices from threats like viruses, ransomware, and phishing schemes.

Final Analysis 

In this article of impersonation Scams, as we learnt that you have to remember not to disclose your personal or financial information. But accidentally, if you become the victim of this impersonation scam, then within 48 hours file a complaint at cybercrime police station.