Fake Text Messages on The Rise - i-HLS Innotech

Experts warn that financial scams have become more sophisticated and easier to perpetrate, ballooning into a billion-dollar industry.

Last year more than 239,000 scams worth $570m were reported to Scamwatch, but the organization says the real number is much higher, as only about 13% of scams are reported.

The Guardian reports that investment scams remain the number one risk, however, there has been an increase in deceptive text messages, such as the “hi mum” scam, in which fraudsters send a text message pretending to be a family member. Some recent examples have been highly sophisticated, with scammers and pretending to be from either the victim’s bank or a company such as Amazon, stating their account has been compromised and asking for personal data.

Dan Halpin, the chief executive of Cybertrace, a company that specializes in cyber fraud investigation, said scams were becoming highly sophisticated. “We have noticed an obvious change in the level of sophistication and victim manipulation over the past two years,” Halpin said. “As with any crime method, the longer it is used, the more refined it becomes.”

Halpin said fake cryptocurrency or forex broker websites were still the most common scam, but there was an increasing trend in online job/hotel booking assistant scams.

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