Beware of "Smishing" and "Drone Hacking" in 2020

It seems that cybercriminals are always a step — okay, several steps — ahead of the rest of us, finding creative ways to steal our information and sense of security.

But forewarned is forearmed. And to raise awareness of security threats, credit reporting company Experian has identified these four data breach scams that consumers should watch out for in 2020:


You've heard of email "phishing" scams; "smishing" is a scam via text message. The texts might appear to be from someone raising money for a social issue or political candidate that you also support, causing you to let your guard down and provide the sender with your credit card or bank account information.

Tip: Delete suspicious texts and ignore those from unknown senders.

Hacker in the sky.

Hackers may use drones equipped with mobile hacking devices to steal information from consumers who are using unsecured public Wi-Fi systems.

Tip: Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi for sensitive tasks. Adopt two-factor authentication and password protection.

Deepfake technology.

Criminals will use deepfake video and audio technology to manipulate the appearance and voice of corporate and government leaders to disrupt politics and financial markets.

Tip: The signs of deepfake videos include blurring of individual faces and irregular blinking.

Mobile payment breaches.

Cybercriminals may steal credit card information or change the amount of a purchase made through a mobile point-of-sale platform, particularly at large venues such as concerts and sporting events.

Tip: Check the mobile receipt on your phone to make sure the charge is correct.

ICMA-RC also offers more tips to protect your information and finances. And you can be confident that your retirement investments are safe and secure with the assurance of the ICMA-RC Security Guarantee. This protection reimburses all losses from unauthorized activity through no fault of your own. One important step you can take is to log in to your ICMA-RC account and ensure your contact information is up to date and accurate.

Please note: The contents of this publication provided by MissionSquare Retirement is general information regarding your retirement benefits. It is not intended to provide you with or substitute for specific legal, tax, or investment advice. You may want to consult with your legal, tax, or investment advisor to review your own personal situation. Some of the products, services, or funds detailed in this publication may not be available in your plan. This document may contain information obtained from outside sources and it may reference external websites. While we believe this information to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its complete accuracy. In addition, rules and laws can change frequently.

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