28 Jul Emails Worth Millions: Influencers and Internet Fraudsters are Getting Sneakier… and More Brazen
The kings of schemes aren’t hiding behind screens anymore. Instead, they’re showing off their mega-fortunes from highly sophisticated scams on social media.
A stranded traveler. An unclaimed fortune. A preapproval for the house of your dreams. You just need to transfer a couple hundred dollars, maybe a thousand, to cover legal expenses and paperwork fees and shortly after, the money will be released into your bank account…we all know how the story ends. Your money disappears, the fortune never comes, and eventually you realize: you’ve been the victim of an email scheme. And the orchestrator of the fraud? Anonymous and untraceable. That is until now.
A huge break in an international mail fraud investigation led to the two arrests and their subsequent extradition to the US to face charges. But the headlines stuck out from other online scam cases for a few reasons; the victims were US-based companies not individuals, that lost millions not thousands. And the alleged scammers? Instagram influencers, Hushpuppi and Mr. Woodbury, who together had almost 3 million followers.
The scheme wasn’t as recognizable to victims either. Rather than being a plea for help or unclaimed funds, the fraud perpetrators gained unauthorized access to business email accounts and sent messages that appeared nearly identical to previous business correspondence but changing the account numbers to funnel money into Hushpuppi’s private and anonymous account.
As phishing schemes and cyber attacks become more sophisticated and their ringleaders equally as bold, the need to enhance cyber security increases. Beyond phishing, account hacking, camfecting (gaining illegal access to recording devices) and theft of personal data is a constant online threat. And just as we protect our devices from viruses, we have to protect our information from becoming stolen goods.
Thanks to the cutting-edge technologies and security services available today, protecting yourself is easy. To ensure you get the best protection look for these features when shopping for privacy software:
As Hushpuppi and Mr. Woodbury relied on email to run their alleged con, so do many malwares. 94% of malware is delivered by email and many of those emails are disguised as official. Malware scanners help identify malicious attacks like these, protect your recording devices from unauthorized access; and safeguard against unsafe websites. When shopping for online security services, one that includes a malware scanner is a must.
Another critical way to shield yourself from identity and data theft is by encrypting your log-in information. The alleged scheme being run by Hushpuppy and Mr. Woodbury was successful because they were able to gain access to email account information and send to the users’ contacts. By encrypting usernames and passwords, not only is your account protected but so are your frequent contacts.
VPNs aren’t just for accessing blocked streaming services, they also secure your connection and keep it private. This helps shield your internet activity from prying eyes. Using a VPN also enables you to browse the web anonymously, which means you’re also protected from intrusive ads and cookies.
Privacy scanners help track your information and make sure it stays your information. When hackers and scammers get ahold of private information, they can either use it themselves, sell it on the dark web, or both. To ensure your data stays your data, a privacy scanner scours the internet and dark web and keeps your private materials and information out of the wrong hands.
While the most recent phishing scheme to make international headlines was incredibly successful, you can protect yourself from being a victim of such cons by using a full-service privacy shield software that protects your personal information, recording devices and more. You can read more about Polarbackup’s privacy software, Polarprivacy Shield here: https://www.polarbackup.com/polarprivacy/
Offering all of these features and more, it’s the last innovation from your favorite cloud backup provider.