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How to Protect Yourself from Sophisticated Fraud Tactics

In today’s highly connected digital world, fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their tactics to deceive unsuspecting victims out of their money and personal information, with new schemes emerging steadily. Staying vigilant and aware of the latest fraudulent ploys is crucial for protecting yourself and your assets.


One of the most unsettling new fraud methods gaining traction is deepfakes, which are highly realistic artificially generated audio, images, or videos used to impersonate others.

Scammers can now clone a victim’s relative’s or prominent public figure’s voice, appearance, and mannerisms with eerie accuracy. They can then exploit these deepfake forgeries to pressure the victim, making it seem like the impersonated loved one or authority figure is in distress and urgently requiring financial assistance. The cutting-edge nature of deepfake technology makes these scams extraordinarily convincing.

SIM Swap

In financial fraud, SIM swapping or SIM hijacking attacks are an escalating threat. This scheme preys on lax mobile carrier security practices to allow scammers to fraudulently gain control over a victim’s mobile phone number and device. By hijacking the phone number, criminals can then intercept incoming one-time passwords and login credentials from banks, enabling them to drain accounts and wreak havoc on the victim’s digital life.

Email Forwarding Rules

Social engineering and phishing remain effective vectors for initial account compromises that open the door to more sophisticated fraud. Once scammers gain illicit access to a victim’s email inbox, they can surreptitiously implement email forwarding rules to hide unauthorized activity notifications and maintain persistent visibility into all incoming messages—even after their initial criminal access has been revoked. This continuous data feed provides a steady stream of sensitive information like bank notifications and statements for continued illegal exploitation.

Spoofed Emails

While specialized technical scams grab headlines, old-fashioned phishing emails, smishing texts, and vishing calls are still going strong and claiming many victims. This is what makes it one of the most sophisticated fraud tactics. These schemes frequently spoof legitimate businesses and organizations to trick recipients into divulging personal data or clicking malicious links. Scrutinizing sender domain names and URLs is critical, as scammers often typosquat by registering domains with slight misspellings or modifications to impersonate a real company. Any unsolicited message conveying a sense of urgency and demanding immediate action is a red flag.

For example: name@ameranbank.com (without a ‘t’ after ameran), name@ammerantbank.com (double ‘m’) or amerant@gmail.com

Fake Websites

Fraudsters also create imposter websites and fake online portals, mimicking the look and feel of trusted brands as a lure for harvesting login credentials. Other ploys include fake package delivery notifications with malicious links designed to deploy malware and steal data. The paper mail system has risks as well, with checks being stolen from mailboxes to drain accounts and enable identity theft.

Tech Support Scams

Even areas like computer support and software maintenance are exploited by bad actors. Perpetrators contact their victims via text or phone, informing them of a virus on their computers and convincing them to provide access to their computers to enter their passwords and personal information to resolve the issue.

Alternatively, scammers contact their victims to notify them that their anti-virus software has expired, and to renew it, they need to provide payment information.

Checks Overpayment Scam

In e-commerce, overpayment scams involving counterfeit checks run rampant for online goods and services sales. Fraudsters impersonate buyers and intentionally overpay, immediately requesting the “accidental” overage be wired back. Once the victim complies, the original fake check inevitably bounces, leaving them with substantial losses.

Beneficiary scam

Grant and government impersonation schemes continue duping people by claiming the victim has won bogus prizes or funds. However, processing fees must first be paid, which ultimately lines the pockets of fraudsters.

The good news? There are steps individuals and businesses can take to protect themselves from sophisticated fraud tactics:

  • Always enable two-step verification with your cell phone provider and be attentive to sudden loss of reception.
  • Keep your Personal and Account information Private.
  • One-time passcodes are additional security measures. Do not provide them by phone or text unless you have initiated the communication.
  • Review your email settings and ensure no unauthorized email rules are in place.
  • Avoid clicking or downloading anything from suspicious or unsolicited messages.
  • When accessing the Amerant website, always verify that the URL is https://www.amerantbank.com/ and https://secure.amerantbank.com/ for Amerant Business Online Banking.
  • When in doubt of a message received from your financial institution, go directly to their website or reach out to their Customer Call Center number located at the back of your card to verify if the message is real
  • Be suspicious of requests for urgency. Scammers will try to make the situation urgent, so you will give them what they want before you realize what is happening.
  • Create unique, strong passwords for all your online accounts. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdates or names. Consider using a password manager to generate and securely store complex passwords.
  • Install a reputable antivirus software and keep it up to date. Enable a firewall on your devices to protect against malware and other online threats.
  • Use Caution on Public Wi-Fis and never enter banking or personal information.
  • Set up your Alerts and Notifications in your Online Banking
  • Monitor your bank statements and transaction history regularly. Report any suspicious or unauthorized activity immediately to your bank.

Defending against sophisticated fraud tactics requires vigilance in the constantly evolving digital age. By implementing best practices, we can reduce susceptibility to sophisticated new schemes from bad actors. Visit our Security Center for more tips and information.

Editorial Team
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