How to avoid being scammed

Now that services have increasingly become digital, the significance of good information security skills and services is highlighted – they reduce the risk of being exposed to different kinds of scams and malware.

There are many ways to try to get hold of other people's personal data and money.  Criminals are constantly inventing new and trickier ways of phishing. Some of them target a large number of people at a time, while others are tailored to a particular person.  

You can protect yourself against phishing by applying the following basic principles

  • Be very careful and circumspect about links found in messages. The links many contain malware which can for example steal information from your device or upload content to it if the malware succeeds in installing itself on the device.
  • Never upload anything to your device from elsewhere than an official application store. Even there it is wise to find out about the pricing and the terms and conditions of the application. Keep your applications updated. 
  • Don’t give your user credentials, bank identifiers, personal data or any other personal information to anybody else. You need this information when identifying yourself or signing into different services, but nobody has a valid reason to ask you for this information. 
  • Your operator, bank and other service providers never ask for your information and user credentials on the phone or by e-mail. There is a scammer behind such enquiries. 
  • The scammer want to scare you or to get you upset or excited so that you would be vulnerable and fall for a scam. That is why they tell you to hurry, warn you of a danger or tell you about something unrealistically good.  They can try to convince you that something needs to be taken care of instantly or you would lose something important such as your user rights to your online bank or your e-mail, a considerable prize, or a large amount of money. 

The phone has become a virtual doorbell. The ringtone or the sound of an application interrupts what you are doing – wherever and whenever. The caller or the person sending a message can ask you to install an application to your device in a hurry when you are the least prepared for the situation. Your willingness to understand the caller and do as you are told is human. 
Ilkka Tuominen, DNA Fraud Manager


Examples of scam messages

You will find examples of scam messages below. In these messages the sender impersonates as a representative of a well-known company and puts pressure on you to take urgent action to avoid danger of losing access to your important account. Please also remember that a call can be made to lure you into a subscription trap or you to disclose the passwords for certain services.

Scammers try to stay a step ahead of you. If you assume that you are only in the middle of signing into a service, a scammer uses your credentials in the background at the same time to steal money from your bank account.

Freezing of e-mail service

Scammer hopes that you click on the confirmation icon and give your own information that is asked for in the view that is opening. Clicking on the link can also upload a malware on your device. 

Your e-mail box is full

The message tells that your e-mail box is full and tries to create time related pressure on you. Even in this case, the scammer will try to get you to enter login credentials or install a scam app on your device.

Text message scam

Text messages can also contain a scam. Messages often call for the matter to be dealt with quickly so as not to miss the opportunity. The most typical scams are those that tell you that you have received a shipment that requires additional charges to receive or the installation of an application. The message may appear to come from a reliable Finnish or international parcel courier, but it is actually sent by a scammer. Even in these cases, attempts are made to steal information or money from you.

Call scams

The scammer might also call you. In these cases, he will ask you to install software on your phone or computer that he can manage. The scammer collects information about the use of your device and tries to find out the details of accessing your bank account.

In every month, DNA prevents more than

700 000

phishing calls. These come from abroad, but the numbers are disguised to look like Finnish phone numbers.

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