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Get Safe Online has launched a major new campaign in the UK to help raise awareness of the dangers of social engineering, as figures suggest more needs to be done to inform the public about this growing nuisance.
Statistics released by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau indicate that there has been a notable spike in phishing scams, with a 21% increase in reported incidents over the past year alone.
Get Safe Online’s own research echoes these findings, as it has reported that over a quarter of victims of online crime have been duped by social engineering scams.
Social engineering is a technique used by fraudsters to manipulate individuals in such a way that they become vulnerable to all sorts of cons. It can happen over email, via a phone call or through instant messaging, to name but a few.
The campaign’s slogan, Think Twice Before They Act, aims to educate people about the telltale signs of social engineering, as they’re increasingly difficult to spot.
Advice includes never giving out personal or financial data – including usernames, passwords or PIN numbers – as well as never clicking on email attachments from unknown sources in case they contain malware.“Social engineering is becoming ever more targeted and personal which is why it’s no surprise that the number of cases is on the rise.
“Social engineering is becoming ever more targeted and personal which is why it’s no surprise that the number of cases is on the rise,” said Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online.
“What’s worrying, however, is the complex nature of these scams and how they tap perfectly into feelings that make us panic.
“We’re pleased to be teaming up with the banks, City of London Police, CIFAS and FFAUK to encourage people to think twice before they act and not to let panic override common sense.”
Commenting on the campaign, Commander Chris Greany, from the City of London Police, advised members the public to “ignore” unsolicited phone calls, texts, emails or letters.
He also urged people to “never enter into conversation with someone that you don’t know online or over the phone”.
Author Narinder Purba, We Live Security