Online scams you should avoid during Kalag-Kalag
Online scams are expected to thrive during Kalag-Kalag, the time when we go out to visit and remember our loved ones who have departed. However, this is also the time when we must be wary of online scams haunting our phones and computers. The Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center’s executive director, Alexander Ramos, warns scammers are usually active when people are away during holidays.
The Philippines and other countries have been boosting cybersecurity measures in response to growing tech trends like artificial intelligence. However, the public must also do its part by identifying, avoiding, and reporting suspicious online activity. We can begin taking responsibility by learning more about online scams.
This article will discuss the most common Kalag-Kalag online scams, such as fake customer service messages and tech support scams. Later, I will explain how to report these fraudulent activities.
The 7 most common Undas scams
Open and unsecured Wi-Fi networks
Fake e-wallets and customer service scams
Tech support scams
Fake online shopping stores
1. Open and unsecured Wi-Fi networks
Free Wi-Fi networks with no passwords attract many to connect. However, they could endanger you as they enable hackers to control your device and steal your personal information.
CICC executive director Ramos says gadgets are susceptible to Man-in-the-Middle (MTM) attacks via open wireless networks. “An attacker will intercept the communication flow between your handsets and browser and steal information and potentially allow your device to be hijacked,” he said.
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The cybersecurity agency advises Filipinos to avoid public Wi-Fi and use mobile networks instead. “People enjoy accessing these open Wi-Fi because they are free without realizing that their open and unsecured nature also makes them vulnerable to attackers,” the director explained.
2. Fake e-wallets and customer service scams
Online scams during Kalag-Kalag may involve fake e-wallet apps that mimic popular digital wallets like PayMaya and GCash. However, scammers use them to trick people into sharing their login credentials and steal their money.
You may also encounter fake customer service contact details. These fake phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts typically pretend to work for banks and e-wallet companies.
“These fake customer service channels will target your personal information and money. Always check the source of the channel to see if it’s legitimate or not,” Ramos said. “Scammers can access your real e-wallet credentials if you download and install a fake e-wallet app.”
“The public must download e-wallet from legitimate app stores,” he added. Download apps from Google Play and App Store, not from other websites, especially those that ask you to download and open suspicious programs.
3. Tech support scams
Another online scam may scare you by sending an alert regarding your online banking, eCommerce, or e-wallet account. These tech support schemes usually request your personal information to fix the issue.
“Ignore calls from numbers you don’t know involving scammers calling you and claiming to be from your e-wallet provider. The scammers will claim that there is a problem with your account and that they need your personal information to fix the problem.” the CICC executive director said.
“However, the scammers will simply steal your personal information and money,” he added. Most banks and companies remind customers that they will never ask for your personal information, so official personnel will never do so.
4. Phishing scams
The US government defines phishing as “a cyberattack that uses deception to trick people into giving away sensitive information or taking actions that compromise security.” The most common method involves seemingly legitimate emails from reputable companies.
Often, they contain a link to fake websites that also look like the official ones. However, they will steal your e-wallet, eCommerce, and banking information.
5. Fake online shopping stores
The Christmas season means amazing bargains and discounts for many. However, Undas online scams take advantage of that trend by mimicking online shopping stores.
Scammers may pose as official eCommerce shops and social media pages but feature fake products. However, they are often cheaply made or highly toxic.
“Never believe a too good to be true sales offers. If the product is too cheap, then it must be fake, or worse, it does not exist. Always check the legitimacy of the seller and never transact outside the eCommerce site,”
6. Package scams
Buying stuff is much easier nowadays, thanks to online shopping. It lets us monitor our orders with timely updates and real-time trackers. However, Kalag-kalag online scams may prey on this convenience, too.
Scammers may send a fake email or text message informing you about an intercepted package delivery. It contains a link that a person must click to verify rerouting the delivery.
However, that link usually triggers a download link to malware that steals your personal information and money. “Always verify the sender or email address. Make sure that you don’t schedule a delivery when you are not home. Never entertain messages or calls from unknown senders,” executive director Ramos reminds.
7. Dugo-Dugo gang
Perhaps one of the most infamous Kalag-Kalag online scams is the “Dugo-Dugo Gang” scheme. It involves criminals calling a home to report an accident involving the homeowners.
They assume household helpers would answer the phone and panic immediately. In response, scammers would tell the person to bring a huge sum of money to a random location.
Then, they will take the money and run. “This is the most conventional that continues to victimize a lot of people. People left in the homes should always have a way to contact the homeowner to verify reports of accidents and other emergencies,” the executive director said.
Online scams become more prevalent during All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day. Most people leave their homes to go to cemeteries to pay respects, so online scammers take advantage of their absence.
People should know the most common Kalag-Kalag online scams to know how to avoid them. Moreover, they should share such advisories with their friends and family.
As a result, they could reduce the number of victims of online scams. Boost your knowledge of other online scams and digital trends at Inquirer Tech.
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