Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team
SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Guide: Hacked Email
If You Are A ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Victim You May Have Shared Your Logins With Your ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. Or Given Them The Clues To Crack Your Accounts!
All of a sudden you get a flood of messages from friends and family. They’re getting emails from you with seemingly random links, or messages with urgent pleas to wire you money. It looks like your email or social media account might have been taken over. What do you do? For starters, make sure your security protections are up-to-date, reset your password, and warn your friends.
How You Know You’ve Been Hacked?
You might have been hacked if:
- friends and family are getting emails or messages you didn’t send
- your Sent messages folder has messages you didn’t send, or it has been emptied
- your social media accounts have posts you didn’t make
- you can’t log into your email or social media account
In the case of emails with random links, it’s possible your email address was “spoofed,” or faked, and hackers don’t actually have access to your account. But you’ll want to take action, just in case.
What To Do When You Think You’ve Been Hacked?
1. Update Your System And Delete Any MalwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts.
Make sure your security software is up-to-date
If you don’t have security software, get it. But install security software only from reputable, well-known companies. Then, run it to scan your computer for viruses and spywareSpyware A type of malware installed on computers or cellphones to track your actions and/or collect information without your knowledge. Some spyware can change computer settings for pharming redirection. (aka malware). Delete any suspicious software and restart your computer.
Set your security software, internet browser, and operating system (like Windows or Mac OS) to update automatically
Software developers often release updates to patchPatch A software program update that corrects known bugs or problems, or adds new features to a software program already installed on your computer. security vulnerabilities. Keep your security software, your internet browser, and your operating system up-to-date to help your computer keep pace with the latest hack attacks.
2. Change Your Passwords
That’s IF you’re able to log into your email or social networking account. Someone may have gotten your old password and changed it. If you use similar passwords for other accounts, change them, too. Make sure you create strong passwords that will be hard to guess.
3. Check The Advice Your Email Provider Or Social Network Site Has About Restoring Your Account
You can find helpful advice specific to the service. If your account has been taken over, you might need to fill out forms to prove it’s really you trying to get back into your account.
4. Check Your Account Settings
Once you’re back in your account, make sure your signature and “away” message don’t contain unfamiliar links, and that messages aren’t being forwarded to someone else’s address. On your social networking service, look for changes to the account since you last logged in — say, a new “friend.”
5. Tell Your Friends
A quick email letting your friends know they might have gotten a malicious link or a fake plea for help can keep them from sending money they won’t get back or installing malware on their computers. Put your friends’ email addresses in the Bcc line to keep them confidential. You could copy and send this article, too.
What to Do Before You’re Hacked?
Use Unique Passwords For Important Sites, Like Your Bank And Email
That way, someone who knows one of your passwords won’t suddenly have access to all your important accounts. Choose strong passwords that are harder to crack. Some people find password managers — software that stores and remembers your passwords for you — a helpful way to keep things straight. If you use a password manager, make sure to select a unique, strong password for it, too. Many password managers will let you know whether the master password you’ve created is strong enough.
Safeguard Your Usernames And Passwords
Think twice when you’re asked to enter credentials like usernames and passwords. Never provide them in response to an email. If the email or text seems to be from your bank, for example, visit the bank website directly rather than clicking on any links or calling any numbers in the message. Scammers impersonate well-known businesses to trick people into giving out personal information.
Turn On Two-Factor Authentication If Your Service Provider Offers It
A number of online services offer “two-factor authentication,” where getting into your account requires a password plus something else — say, a code sent to your smartphone — to prove it’s really you.
Don’t Click On Links Or Open Attachments In Emails Unless You Know Who Sent Them And What They Are
That link or attachment could install malware on your computer. Also, do your part: don’t forward random links.
Download Free Software Only From Sites You Know And Trust
If you’re not sure who to trust, do some research before you download any software. Free games, file-sharing programs, and customized toolbars also could contain malware.
Don’t Treat Public Computers Like Your Personal Computer
If it’s not your computer, don’t let a web browser remember your passwords, and make sure to log out of any accounts when you’re done.
In fact, if you can help it, don’t access personal accounts — like email, or especially bank accounts — on public computers at all. (Also be careful any time you use public Wi-Fi.)
Stay Safe Out There!
A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.
Portions from the Federal Trade Commission
TAGS: Antivirus, Email, HackerHacker A computer hacker is a computer expert who uses their technical knowledge to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle, within a computerized system by non-standard means. Though the term hacker has become associated in popular culture with a security hacker – someone who utilizes their technical know-how of bugs or exploits to break into computer systems and access data which would otherwise be unavailable to them – hacking can also be utilized by legitimate figures in legal situations. For example, law enforcement agencies sometimes use hacking techniques in order to collect evidence on criminals and other malicious actors. This could include using anonymity tools (such as a VPN, or the dark web) to mask their identities online, posing as criminals themselves. Likewise, covert world agencies can employ hacking techniques in the legal conduct of their work. Oppositely, hacking and cyber-attacks are used extra- and illegally by law enforcement and security agencies (conducting warrantless activities), and employed by State actors as a weapon of both legal and illegal warfare., ImposterImposter An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors., Password, Phishing, Scam, Social Networking
– – –
Tell us about your experiences with Romance Scammers in our Scams Discussion Forum on Facebook »
– – –
FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- Your National Police or FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. (www.IC3.gov »)
- The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network HERE » or on www.Anyscam.com »
This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.
– – –
Visit our NEW Main SCARS Facebook page for much more information about scams and online crime: www.facebook.com/SCARS.News.And.Information »
To learn more about SCARS visit www.AgainstScams.org
Please be sure to report all scammers HERE » or on www.Anyscam.com »
All original content is Copyright © 1991 – 2020 SCARS All Rights Reserved Worldwide & Webwide. Third-party copyrights acknowledge.
SCARS, RSN, Romance Scams Now, SCARS|WORLDWIDE, SCARS|GLOBAL, SCARS, Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS., Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, SCARS|ANYSCAM, Project Anyscam, Anyscam, SCARS|GOFCH, GOFCH, SCARS|CHINA, SCARS|CDN, SCARS|UK, SCARS Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support GroupSupport Group In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated.
Contact the law firm for the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated by email at legal@AgainstScams.org