12. 5. 2023

You can detect fraudulent sms and e-mails from hackers yourself. Read how to do it

It is estimated that hacker attacks around the world have robbed people of an incredible 8 trillion dollars to date and will surpass the 10 trillion mark in 2025. In addition to large corporations or state organizations, ordinary people are also often the target.

You’ve probably already received an SMS in which someone asks you to pay the arrears at the post office or in the bank. These innocent-looking messages, which often involve only a few euros, are often a way for fraudsters to get your internet banking credentials and whitewash your account. Asking only small amounts makes sense because people are more inclined to pay them without much thought.

The number of attacks in this way has increased significantly recently, which is also confirmed by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity – ENISA: “In 2022, among the hacker activities, threats associated with ransomware, malware or social engineering appeared most often. They are immediately followed by threats associated with the misuse of data,” wrote European cyber security experts in their report last year.

The easiest way to avoid fraud is, of course, not to click on fraudulent lines and requests for additional payments. For example, Slovenská pošta (Slovak post office), which fraudsters often pretend to be, never asks for payment of postage via SMS and does not send similar messages. There are no exact statistics on how many people have already been hit like this. However, articles and reports about fraud victims appear quite often in the media.

“If you have entered your data into a fraudulent site, such as fake internet banking, it is essential to contact your bank immediately, either by phone or in person. If you do it quickly enough, the bank can still stop the transfer, or at least quickly reset access to internet banking. Of course, this is a good thing to do even if you only have a suspicion and are not sure if you are a victim of fraud. This way you can prevent problems,” advises Michal Srnec, a cyber security expert from Aliter Technologies.

In Slovakia last year, the trend of fraudulent calls was also in full swing, in which, mostly an automated machine rang out, impersonating various government institutions or law enforcement agencies and asking for the payment of a fine so that people could avoid prison. According to experts, this is so-called “vishing.” However, unlike SMS or e-mails, fraud can be recognized more easily.

“First of all, you have to realize that the Slovak police and other Slovak authorities never communicate in English. Of course, it is also necessary to note the caller’s number. Recently, fraudsters tried using Slovak numbers, but they were missing one digit. A frequent common feature of fraudulent phone calls or e-mails is the attackers’ attempt to induce the need for an immediate reaction in the victim. For example, “pay a fee of 3 euros within two hours, otherwise your package will be sent back by the post office” or “for security reasons, it is necessary to reset your password immediately by clicking on this link,” this way exposes a person to stress and can easily succumb to a hacker attack,” mentions ways to detect scammers Michal Srnec from Aliter Technologies. According to him, blocking incoming calls from such numbers is not very effective, as scammers change them very often.