Pretexting attempts of customers are in the rise. TDS is urging its customers to please be protective of your private personal information.
What is Pretexting?
Pretexting is a method used to convince victims to divulge personal or financial information including bank account information, social security numbers or birthdays.
What makes this kind of attack unique is that the scam artist comes up with a story — or pretext — in order to fool the victim. The pretext generally casts the attacker in the role of someone in authority who has the right to access the information being sought, or who can use the information to help the victim. The scam artist also will tell the victim a situation which makes it seem like they would need access to your personal information.
The scammer will generally ask:
1. Are you free now to talk
2. I need your help
If they’ve done their homework, they may also bring up a situation or pretend they have met you by researching you on your social media accounts. They may also mention, “It was nice to meet you in Atlanta,” if you recently mentioned you recently traveled there for a work trip.
They may also you for your cell phone number, so they can text you the information to complete a certain task.
Finally, a scammer can also pose as an employee of an internet provider. They could easily trick you by saying that they came for a maintenance check. What you can do in this scenario is to ask questions and say that nobody informed you that such a visit would occur. Moreover, you can take this a step further and ask what internet plan you are subscribed to or more advanced questions that only a real employee would know. Check their sources and directly call your internet provider.
Tips to protect your identity:
Protect your Social Security Number, financial accounts, and personal information throughout the year. Don’t give it out unless there’s a good reason and you’re sure who you’re giving it to.
Check your credit report at least once a year for free at annualcreditreport.com. Make sure no one has opened a new account in your name.
Report identity (ID) theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at IdentityTheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. The FTC will collect the details of your situation.