Compromised Credentials Are the Gateway to Fraud!

R.O.S.E., Resources/Outreach to Safeguard the Elderly

Scammers are everywhere. They continue to attack unsuspecting individuals in new ways. In our increasingly digital world, scammers are constantly finding ways to exploit unsuspecting individuals. It starts with stolen, or compromised, credentials—your account IDs and passwords.

Criminal rings harvest credentials by different forms of phishing. Whether through email (phishing), text messages (smishing), voice mails (vishing), or QR Codes (quishing), all forms of phishing continue to grow. Phishing scams aim to trick users into revealing personal information, mostly your user ID and password, or credit card information. In some cases, the links will download malicious content that will compromise your device or provide the scammers access to your information. To protect yourself, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs of phishing and adopt preventive measures.

First, be skeptical of unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or random QR Codes, especially those that claim to be from a reputable organization. Legitimate businesses rarely, if ever, request sensitive information via text messages. If you receive a message urging you to provide personal details, such as account IDs and passwords, consider it a red flag. Always verify the authenticity of the message by contacting the organization directly using official channels. One scam that will increase in velocity is Voter Registration. If you receive a text saying that you may not be registered to vote, be skeptical. Instead of clicking the link, access your county Recorder’s office directly via Google or some other reputable search engine.

Second, watch out for messages that create a sense of urgency or fear. Scammers often create a compelling reason to act, and you need to act quickly—and it’s usually based on fear. They’ll say you are in danger of not being able to vote if you don’t click to register immediately. Or your Amazon order will be sent to the wrong address if you don’t correct it immediately. Take a moment to assess the situation and avoid the temptation to immediately click on any links. Legitimate organizations usually give their clients time to respond to real issues.

Third, check for suspicious links. If you received an email, you can hover over any links, without clicking, to see the URL or sender’s email address. Legitimate messages from reputable sources will have recognizable domains. But still, scammers are getting very creative in disguising the nefarious URLs. Don’t click the link. Reach out to the company directly online or with a verified phone number.

Finally, educating and staying vigilant are key components of safeguarding against phishing scams. Adopting a cautious approach and being proactive in verifying their legitimacy, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling prey to these malicious activities. A moment of skepticism can save you from potential financial and personal security threats.

R.O.S.E. creates change through education and awareness of financial scams that typically target the older adult population. For more information and resources, visit, email us at [email protected], or call us at 602-445-7673.