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How AI Is Triggering A Surge In Scam And Fraud

By Trilogy Financial
June 7, 2024
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AI is revolutionizing the way scams are conducted, drastically reducing operational costs while simultaneously enhancing the believability of fraudulent calls. In the 12 months since the launch of ChatGPT, AI-aided identity fraud surged nearly 1,800%, and phishing emails surged by nearly 1,300%, with their quality being the best we've ever seen. Additionally, AI-operated news sites, often used to push out misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda, grew from 40 sites to nearly 600.

Things to Know:

  • Content Farms: These platforms pump out low-quality, clickbait articles to earn ad revenue. Initially, humans edited AI-drafted articles for quality, but now, AI can produce vast amounts of content with little to no oversight.
  • Advertising Concerns: Reputable brands might unknowingly advertise on these spammy sites, which can mistakenly lend these articles credibility.
  • Disinformation Risk: Without human checks, AI can spread false information. This ranges from accidental “AI hallucinations” (fabricated facts) to deliberate disinformation, like fake celebrity obituaries designed to increase site traffic.

Tips for Navigating Content Safely:

  • Critical Thinking: Always question the authenticity of online articles.
  • Recognize AI Signs: Be cautious of sites with generic names or an overload of ads. Look out for errors and placeholders (e.g., “[date]”) that suggest AI-generated content.
  • Take Breaks: Regularly step away from the digital avalanche to avoid content fatigue and maintain cybersecurity awareness.

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By
Jim Young
July 21, 2022

Ok now that you’ve recovered from falling off your chair after reading the tile of this blog, let me explain.

Inflation is one of the biggest challenges in achieving, and maintaining, financial independence. The low inflation we have experienced for decades has made many of us lazy when it comes to spending.  Now is the time to put some great habits into place that will reduce your spending now and will help even more when inflation get’s back to historical norms.

Here are some tips:

  1.  The days of clipping coupons seems to be a thing of the past.  Time to resurrect this time-tested way to save money.  Now it’s done electronically.  Click here for a great article on coupon apps.
  2. Bargain shop.  The meat department is the best place to shop for deals.  Supermarkets would rather greatly reduce the price on meat than throw it away.  I’ve seen bargains at 50% off.  And not to worry, the meat is still good.
  3. Dump the name brands.  I am a big name-brand guy however that is changing.  You can save 30-50% on certain items by going with the store brand such as Kroger at Ralphs.  Just today we saved 30% on peanut butter and couldn’t tell the difference.
  4. Use those credit card miles.  If you fly Southwest use their Chase Rewards Card.  This year alone I flew two of us to Hawaii roundtrip and flew myself to NY and used my miles.  Pretty much all carriers have credit cards they use for miles.
  5. If you shop at Ralphs use their Ralph’s Reward Card.  They have a great app that shows you year to date savings.  We have saved $500 so far this year.  You also get fuel points that you can used at Shell Stations.  I’ve saved as much as $.50 per gallon!
  6. This one is real hard for me but try to walk out of restaurants with a doggie bag.  I’m the type of person that if something is real good, I’ll clean my plate (thanks mom!).  But with portion sizes so big you should have no problem making two meals out of one.  Your wallet and belly with thank you!

 

These are just a few habits to help get you through this time of high inflation that could help your plan when inflation gets back to “normal”.

By
June Adams
May 10, 2021

Weak passwords can compromise the best security tools and controls. With a never-ending list of applications and services that users and consumers access, people may have dozens of passwords to maintain at any given time. Often, the temptation to use familiar terms such as pet names, favorite teams or the names of children or friends can cause risk since much of those details can be discovered by a simple examination of social media.

Creating strong passwords offers greater security for minimal effort. Weak passwords can compromise the best security tools and controls. With a never-ending list of applications and services that users and consumers access, people may have dozens of passwords to maintain at any given time. Often, the temptation to use familiar terms such as pet names, favorite teams or the names of children or friends can
cause risk since much of those details can be discovered by a simple examination of social media.

Under Lock and Key
You can buy a small padlock for less than a dollar—but you should not count on it to protect anything of value. A thief could probably pick a cheap lock without much effort, or simply break it. And yet, many people use similarly flimsy passwords to “lock up” their most valuable assets, including money and confidential information. Fortunately, everyone can learn how to make and manage stronger passwords. It is an easy way to strengthen security both at work and at home.

What Makes a Password ‘Strong’?
Let’s say you need to create a new password that’s at least 12 characters long, and includes numerals, symbols, and upper- and lowercase letters. You think of a word you can remember, capitalize the first
letter, add a digit, and end with an exclamation point. The result: Strawberry1!

Unfortunately, hackers have sophisticated password-breaking tools that can easily defeat passwords based on dictionary words (like “strawberry”) and common patterns, such as capitalizing the first letter.
Increasing a password’s complexity, randomness, and length can make it more resistant to hackers’ tools. For example, an eight-character password could be guessed by an attacker in less than a day, but a 12-character password would take two weeks. A 20-character password would take 21 centuries. You can learn more about creating strong passwords in your organization’s security awareness training. Your organization may also have guidelines or a password policy in place.

Why Uniqueness Matters
Many people reuse passwords across multiple accounts, and attackers take advantage of this risky behavior. If an attacker obtains one password—even a strong one—they can often use it to access other valuable accounts.

Here is a real-life example: Ten years ago, Alice joined an online gardening forum. She also created an online payment account and used the same password. She soon forgot about the gardening forum, but someone accessed her payments account years later and stole a large sum of money.

Alice did not realize the gardening forum had been hacked, and that users’ login credentials had been
leaked online. An attacker probably tried reusing Alice’s leaked password on popular sites—and
eventually got lucky.

Guarding Your Passwords & PINS. Passwords and PINS protect sensitive data and it's critical to keep them safe. Try these best practices to stay protected.

1. Do not write them down – Many make the mistake of writing passwords on post-it notes and
leaving them in plain sight. Even if you hide your password, someone could still find it. Similarly, do
not store your login information in a file on your computer, even if you encrypt that file.
2. Do not share passwords – You cannot be sure someone else will keep your credentials safe. At
work, you could be held responsible for anything that happens when someone is logged in as you.
3. Do not save login details in your browser – Some browsers store this information in unsafe
ways, and another person could access your accounts if they get your device.
4. Use a password manager – These tools can securely store and manage your passwords and
generate strong new passwords. Some can also alert you if a password may have been
compromised.
5. Never reuse passwords – Create a unique, strong password for each account or device. This
way, a single hacked account does not endanger other accounts.
6. Create complex, long passwords – Passwords based on dictionary words, pets’ names, or other
personal information can be guessed by attackers.

 

 

 

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