The Latest Cyberscams

The Latest Cyberscams

Whether you know it or not, every day there are cybercriminals looking to steal your information to turn a profit. There are various methods for scammers to lure you into handing over your sensitive information. That’s why it is crucial to be aware of the latest hacking techniques so you can spot them before anything bad happens. We’ll go over some preventative steps and reminders to help curb cyberscams from happening to you. Frankly, these cyberattacks are getting harder and harder to detect, so let’s dive right in.

Robots Scamming You

A.I. is the newest tool in just about every industry, including the hacker community. Cybercriminals are using A.I. to generate more convincing and natural-sounding phishing emails, text messages, and even eerily accurate images and voices.

One scam that has been around for a while (but is getting hard to sniff out with A.I. generated voices) is where a victim receives a call supposedly coming from one of their grandchildren. The voice on the phone pretending to be their loved one will sound frantic, as if they just got in a car accident or arrested. Naturally, they will need money from the victim to get out of trouble. Scammers know most grandparents want to help their grandchildren, especially in a tricky situation. By putting the pressure of dire circumstances, scammers have been successful in getting grandparents to hand over money.

Student Loan Forgiveness Trap

Congress has gone back and forth with changes to the student loan forgiveness programs, causing confusion and disarray.  Hackers know this and see an opportunity to take advantage of people with heavy student loans by promising to take the debt off their shoulders. These cybercriminals will call or create phony application sites to apply for debt relief. This is just a ploy to gather your personal information, such as your Social Security number. To add insult to injury, they’ll even charge you an application fee for getting scammed.

The Reverse Hack

Beware of phone calls supposedly from “Microsoft” or other IT companies claiming they’ve received reports of viruses on your computer. The trick here is that the caller will tell you they urgently need to add software updates to remove the viruses. They encourage you to navigate to a website that will grant them access to your computer so they can download the solution to your virus problem. What’s actually happening here is that there was no virus on your computer to begin with, but once you’ve given the hacker access to your computer, they will install malware to extract any sensitive information they want. Again, to add insult to injury, they may even charge you to install the updates (viruses) on your computer.

How Do You Minimize Your Chances of Being Hacked or Scammed?

As you can tell, these cybercriminals are getting very crafty with their schemes. Luckily, there are multiple methods to protect yourself from cyberscams.

  • First and foremost, use unique and long passwords for all online accounts. To make this less painful, we recommend using an online password manager to help create and save each password. That way, if a hacker gets one of your passwords, it won’t give them access to all your accounts.
  • Never give your personal information on a suspicious inbound phone call. If a company calls you asking for sensitive information, more times than not, it is a scam. End the phone call with the potential scammer and call the company back on the phone number you regularly use to communicate. Then you can verify if the previous phone call and information requests were valid.
  • Never send personal information via email (even if it’s to a trusted party) unless you utilize some type of data encryption. FSA uses data encryption software to safely send and receive documents that have personal information.
  • Before responding to emails or clicking links, it is best practice to double-check the email address and embedded link by hovering your mouse over them. If they look different than what they should be or are extremely long and not familiar, these would be red flags that you may not want to click the link. Amazon does not send you emails from an email ending in

The internet and technology have created great progress in our society but at the same time has opened several new avenues for cybercriminals to stealthily steal your information and cause havoc in your life. Stay vigilant when you are answering phone calls, responding to texts/emails, and clicking links.

If you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover in an upcoming blog, please send us an email to or click here to schedule a call with one of FSA’s CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals. See you in the next blog post!


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