Uncle SCAM Wants YOU!

March 4th, 2021 by admin

A man dressed like Uncle Sam pointing

The most recent election cycle has been a divisive one. Certainly the most extreme in my lifetime, and if you disagree, YOU'RE part of the problem, so unfriend me!

As the temperature increases in the political climate, emotions are running higher than ever. Trust between citizens, government, the media and the opposing views are at all-time lows. I'm not a smart enough guy to tell you which sources you can trust, but I can tell you about some key players in politics today that no one, left, right or moderate should trust. Hackers and scammers are using the political war ground to line their own pockets, and they are targeting any and every person that invests in political campaigns or movements.

One of the primary operating procedures for all kinds of scams, is to pick a target that is already in an emotional state, or to trigger an emotional state in their target. The goal is to scam you when your guard is down, when you're distracted, or when you might act rashly. Acting rashly used to mean a 3-day bender where you wake up in a Mexican prison, wearing a bumblebee costume that hasn't fit since 4th grade. In the modern digital world, however, getting you to click a link that you shouldn't have is sometimes all it takes. A few seconds of action in a heightened emotional state can have serious costs and consequences.

The 2020 presidential candidates raised more money than any other candidates in US election history, and scammers have been targeting political donors. There are fake campaign websites, candidate profiles, and emails claiming to be from a campaign with direct links to donations. These tactics are not just being used for the presidential race that is now over, they are being used with all kinds of politically affiliated organizations, movements and non-presidential elections.

The common threads of appeal are panic, desperation, anger and other high intensity emotions that match what so many people are already feeling. The medium used for the scams vary widely, but social media, cell phone texting, email and fake campaign websites are the most common. Often there is something subtly off in the email address or website, but other times it might seem spot on. A wary eye will be able to spot this, however, in a moment of intensity, it's easy to let emotion take over, allowing you to miss small mistakes that have big impacts.

The best rules to follow to avoid falling victim to these attacks, is to stay alert and stay calm. If a message or call to action is driving you to make a donation to any cause, you can always search for the official page directly. Verify the webpage looks correct, and even do some searches to see if that exact address is the official site for the campaign, candidate or organization. With emails and social media posts/messages, it's always safest to not use the donation link provided. If you find yourself wanting to contribute, it's best to find the official webpage yourself and donate directly. Most importantly, don't let your mom's neighbor rile you up about something on social media. Staying cool over differences not only will improve your relationships and interactions with people, but it could also save you from a deadly computer virus.

Posted in: News