As we enter 2018 scams and fraud are already off to a fast start. The new threat is digital and it’s growing exponentially. The Advocacy Network is a member of the ACFE (Association Certified Fraud Examiners), and in this month’s fraud newsletter there is an article “Fraudulent Scams expected to rocket in 2018” Robots, ransomware and ripoffs..how criminals are getting smarter. In 2017 approx. 2 million online fraud incidents were reported in 2017, according to new data. Only 20% of crimes are actually reported so these numbers could simply be the tip of the iceberg.

It goes on to discuss how we will be scammed by robots. Not the robots from Sci-Fi but the AI bots who roam the web. It seems the opinion is we will see more “phishing” attacks that rely on AI (Artificial Intelligence) over the next 12 months. Threat-actors will harness AI technology to launch sophisticated, automated campaigns. The proof seems to show itself in the fact that in 2017 Equifax, SEC and NSA were all breached. The bottom line is YOUR identity has never been more transparently available. It’s almost like you walk around with all your personal information printed on your forehead for all to see.

I am providing you with a link to a great one stop guide on how to detect phishing emails and keep your inbox protected. Just follow this link to that guide and keep it for future reference, send it to your closest friends as well.


Can you imagine a piece of malware that can train itself on your writing style and how it differs based upon who you are contacting, then leverages this nuanced understanding to send tailored, contextually relevant messages to your contacts. Cybersecurity professionals warn they expect the use of social media bots will expand beyond public influence campaigns to financial gain, automatically distributing malware, linking to spam sites, phishing and more. As these bots evolve, they will become less distinguishable from humans, increasing both their influence and effectiveness.

Fraudsters will use news and fake news to get our attention

The spread of fake news via email and social media has grown exponentially and now the crooks will be monetizing it.

Scams exploit a person’s emotions as opposed to their logic and rational thinking, tugging at a person’s heartstrings by tempting them with salacious and financially beneficial material. This fake news epidemic is going to get much worse so it is important to be aware of the efforts. What they look like, what they sound like, what the motivations are, all of this info is vitally important for your protection.

Poorly protected businesses will aid scammers. Many small businesses do not have the financial wherewithal to completely protect their information. Small banks, (well even BIG banks as is seen by the hacks of some major financial institutions) especially merchant banking services are poorly protected. The scammers and fraudsters are well aware of this and they have become more sophisticated in technological advances.

The bottom line is awareness and that is what we provide. The Advocacy Network will keep providing you the most up to date and fully vetted information. You must beware that there are also scams in which the fraudsters will attempt to education you on their scams and be sucking you into their scams. It’s truly a very deep pool and the players keep changing their rules to stay ahead of law enforcement and government agencies. When the so called major government agencies are victimized how can you feel any sense of safety?

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR ONLY Concern!