There are so many varieties of scams coming our way through e-mail, SMS, websites and the phone, it can be daunting to know ‘what’s real’. Here are a few thoughts to guide you on whether or not you are being social engineered:

1. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Make money fast. Mortgages 1%. You won the lottery. Help the poor widow. Disaster victims need your help. Just $100 for complete information. Long lost relative left you a ton of money, etc.

2. If you are asked for personal information, be cautious, especially if it’s from an unknown person or business. If you get a telephone call to verify your details, be warned! Legitimate businesses will not do this.

3. If you get a call or e-mail from your ‘Bank’ or ‘PayPal’ or other business that you deal with and have any suspicions, call them back on a number you are familiar with! Not the one they provide you.

4. Your Social Security number or any unique national identification method, is rarely needed in day-to-day business, much less internet transactions. It’s probably a scam.

5. Keep personal information on public websites to a minimum. Do you really want all of your personal details shared with hundreds of friends? Learn how to control privacy restrictions on Facebook and other social media websites. Keep in mind that they change from time to time, so recheck periodically.

6. Don’t click, don’t return e-mails and don’t fill out forms without really thinking it through first.

7. Use your common sense. Teach your coworkers and family about potential social engineering scams. Share your experiences and learn from each other!

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