Here on NJFA’s blog we have featured a few posts about scams, we’ve also done articles in Renaissance and posted scam warnings on Social Media. It seems there is always a new scam or the resurgence of an old scam to be on the lookout for.
But that got us thinking… do we really know what all the terms associated with scams mean? The tactics that scammers use come with their own little lingo. In order to be more prepared and aware- we thought, why not share some of the terms most commonly associated with scams? That way you know what we are talking about when you read about a new scam or a warning of a scam to look out for.
Here is a sampling of terms and their definitions.
Pharming: When hackers use malicious programs to route you to their own websites (often convincing look-alikes of well-known sites), even if you’ve correctly typed in the address of the site you want to visit.
Phishing: The act of trying to trick you (often by email) into providing your personal data or credit card numbers, usually a scammer will pose as a trusted business or other entity.
Ransomware: A malicious program that restricts or disables your computer, hijacks and encrypts files, and then demands a fee to restore your computer’s functionality.
Scareware: A program that displays on-screen warnings of nonexistent infections on your computer to trick you into installing malware or buying fake antivirus protection.
Skimming: The capture of information from the magnetic strip on credit and debit cards by using a “skimmer” devices. These skimmers are secretly installed on card-reading systems at gas pumps, ATMs and store checkout counters.
Spoofing: Scammers can use technology to pose as a specific person, business or agency, this technology allows them to manipulate a telephone’s caller ID to display a false name or number, so that it appears they are calling from a legitimate business or from a local number.
Spyware: A type of malware installed on your computer or cellphone to track your actions and collect information without your knowledge.
As a reminder, if you have been the victim of a scam, contact your local Police Department and/or the Federal Trade Commission https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1 or the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs 1-800-242-5846 or www.njconsumeraffairs.gov