Social Engineering

Most, if not all, scams rely on social engineering. Social engineering is defined as the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.

The perpetrator pretends to be someone they are not. For example, someone calls or e-mails saying they are from Microsoft and he or she wants to assist you with some computer issues. You are then either directed to go to a certain website address, at which time malware and/or viruses can be downloaded to steal your personal information, or you are asked for your credit card information to validate your copy of Windows. This scam has been around for years. Microsoft does not make unsolicited contact to help you fix your computer nor would they ask you for your credit card number to validate your software license.

There are multiple scams based on social engineering. Be sure you know who you are talking to and never provide personal information unless you initiated the contact and are sure of the recipient of the information.