Online Baiting: Common Methods Hackers Use to Steal Your Information


Hackers understand the key to gaining access to your information is to compel you to action. And they have many effective ways to do this including online baiting–this is where they offer some kind of benefit to you if you download an app, click on a link or open an attachment.

How Hackers Employ Online Baiting

It could be a regular day, you’re checking your email when you come across a message stating that you could be a winner of a drawing or your relative passed away and left you some money. Anything with this kind of messaging should draw red flags, especially if you don’t remember entering the contest.

The reason for this is if you play along, they’ll ask you to provide more personal information. This can include your Social Security number and bank account number to receive the winnings.

In most instances, this is nothing more than a phishing scam. Logically, most reputable companies won’t ask for your Social Security number nor your bank account information through an email. They’ll either send you paperwork or call to verify they have the right person before they even begin disbursing money.

We Need Your Help Messages

Another common scheme involves a problem they need your assistance with. One way hackers mask this is by pretending to be your bank. The email will say something along the lines of “your account has had uncommon activity” then they provide a link for you to click on to fix it.

Of course, the link will send you to a landing page that might resemble your bank’s website. From there, you’ll follow prompts to enter your personal information and the hackers will use or sell that information to the highest bidder.

It’s important to keep in mind that banks have other ways of alerting you to uncommon account activity. Often, this takes the form of a phone call from the fraud department or a text message. However, text messages can be trickier since hackers can remote access phones, so the best course of action, if you receive a text, is to contact your bank through the phone number on the back of your debit or credit card.

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An Offer You Cannot Refuse

Many of us shop for deals, and because of this we become bombarded with emails about all the latest trends. Hackers picked up on this and have devised ways of mirroring their message to coincide with emails you would receive from online auction sites and classifieds.

In addition, the message will include some eye-popping deal (think a newer computer for $100) to appeal to your budget sensibilities. That said, if a deal is too good to be true, chances are it is. It’s important to first research the seller’s reputation and if you cannot find one, Google the ad to see if it’s appeared other places on the web. If this is a scammer trying to make a quick buck, there’s a good chance you might find one.

Ultimately, hackers use a variety of online baiting tools to try to prompt you to action. If you have had files stolen due to malware from these types of social engineering schemes, know help is only a phone call away.

Our team at Outsource Data Recovery have extensive experience in recovering files from malware-infected devices. Along with expert repairs, we provide exceptional service where you’ll receive a free, no-obligation quote before repairs begin. When you need to recover files quickly and want someone trustworthy to do it, you don’t have to look any further than us. Contact us today to get your case started!