How you can avoid falling victim to ‘phantom hackers’ | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — October is spooky season, but nothing is scarier than your money being stolen.

It’s been happening here in Arkansas and across the country with a new scam called ‘phantom hacking.’

The FBI said there are more than 19,000 people in the U.S. who have lost more than $500 million dollars with this scam. 

The scammer poses as tech support, a government agency, or as a bank.

“Usually it’s a text message or an email, maybe a pop-up. Now, you have people calling and talking you through downloading software,” said Lorrie Trogden, the president of the Arkansas Bankers Association.

Trogden said an Arkansas bank lost $25,000 to fraud in a quarter, which has hurt the business and customers.

In the scam, the person will call the victim to say that their computer and finances have been hacked and the money must be moved, like to the Federal Reserve or another government agency.

“They are not set up to take deposits or anything like that so if somebody tells you that you need to move your account to the federal government, [well] accounts don’t exist there. That’s an absolute lie,” Trogden explained.

There are several ways to protect yourself.

The FBI recommends you do not click on any unfamiliar links or attachments, do not download any software, and do not contact any phone numbers provided in a message or email.

Trogden also said banks will never call you and ask for your password. If you get a call, you should hang up, and call the number on the back of your debit card.

The Arkansas Bankers Association has also seen check fraud. 

It’s recommended you don’t put your checks in the blue box outside the post office or in your mailbox. You are instead asked to take it directly inside the post office.


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