Protecting yourself from fraud and financial exploitation is a many-faceted task, but it starts with knowing the terms associated with these types of activities. As a wealth management firm, Bastion Balance in Korea has helped many clients throughout the years develop sound financial practices, investment strategies, and plans for prosperity. In fact we’re on our third generation of clients, and we don’t plan on slowing down.
For more information about how to protect yourself, assistance with asset and wealth management issues, and other financial services, get in touch with our office in Seoul, Korea.
A List of Relevant Terms
Without further ado, let’s explore some of the terminology that you might come across when dealing with scams and other online, virtual, and financial exploitation practices. As a quick reference, the American Association of Retired Persons has a full list you can come back to.
Many forms of cybercrime and online financial schemes involve some form of malware. This term is short for “malicious software,” and it encompasses all kinds of programs designed to infect your computer and commit harm. That can include anything from:
- locking or deleting files
- making your computer unusable
- extracting personal information such as PINs or credit card numbers
This type of malware often shows up in emails from scammers. When you click the link, it either transfers vital data to the con artist or creates a program preventing you from accessing that data. In exchange for the promise of unlocking or returning the information you need, the would-be thief demands payment. Hence, the use of the term “ransom.”
Importantly, ransomware is often used against larger entities such as businesses and corporations. In these cases, the goal is to bring the institution’s daily business to a grinding halt so that the people in charge feel the need to pay large sums of money. However, it can also be used against individuals.
Next, we have a practice that can be particularly confusing, especially for older generations or people unused to using the internet. Pharming occurs when a hacker employs programs that take you to their “fake” website rather than the URL you typed into your browser. Even if you typed the address correctly, the software will take you to the con artist’s false site, which is often designed to look like your original destination. Once you type in private information, this data is routed to the other person rather than the company you thought you were giving it to.
Whereas pharming takes you to copy-cat webpages, phishing makes use of copy-cat email addresses. In this type of scam, the con artist will send you emails posing as a member of a legitimate organization. Usually, they demand some kind of transfer of funds, the purchase of a specific type of gift or credit card (which they then transfer to themselves), or the handing over of personal and financial information. For example, the hacker might pose as a representative of a bank and ask for your account number and PIN, Social Security or government ID information, etc.
This type of fraud is committed at ATMs and other locations that make use of credit card readers. By installing a “skimming” device on the credit card reader, the fraudster can have crucial credit card information sent to them instead of through the ATM. When you swipe your credit card through a reader, the magnetic strip signals identifying information about your account. The skimming device captures this for the scammer, giving them access to your funds.
One simple way to combat this is to use a credit card that has chip technology instead of the magnetic strip. Since these use one-time codes for each transaction, the danger is vastly lower.
The above terms are only a handful of items that pertain to different types of financial and internet exploitation schemes. Since the best weapon is knowledge, it is best to continually revisit educational websites and literature from financial institutions about fraud trends and common ways thieves are gaining access to personal information.
For help managing assets and fortunes, the financial advisors at Bastion Balance are currently available. Call our Korea office to join our growing list of clients, with over $1 billion USD managed up to date.