Although you may think you're savvy to e-mail scams, a new survey says nearly 50 percent of us have fallen for them. Now these thieves are using new tactics that get around security programs. Here are some ploys you might not expect.
Cyber criminals can hit when you least expect it by phone or through a pop-up window on your computer screen that says something like, "your computer is damaged - click here so we can fix it."
Cyber experts constantly get calls from people asking if it is legitimate. They say most times, these are just criminals hoping to gain access to your computer and personal information.
"Not only is it a scam, it is so large the FTC has gotten involved. They are literally starting to prosecute these scam artists who call you, e-mail you, and they sound so legitimate," says cyber security expert Theresa Payton.
If you think you would never fall for one of these schemes, a recent Google study says about 45 percent of the time, nearly half of us are falling for those phishing e-mails. That means criminals are hacking into computers when you click on phony links in e-mails. The goal is to your personal information.
"They sound like they are really going to help you, but really, a lot of times, they are selling you false software, taking over your computer and even worse, in some cases, putting malware on your computer," says Payton.
Caution is the key. Never open any attachments or click links, including e-cards and funny jokes. Thieves can get into address books and make them seem like they come from friends. So be careful about what you click.
You should also change your passwords on a regular basis.