Social engineering is a new name for an old con-artist trick. In this scam, a fraudster tries to gain your confidence by convincing you they are someone they are not, in order to get personal information from you.
What to Look For
These con artists can approach you by phone, email, text or social media. Here are some of their usual tricks:
- Claim to be a friend or family member in trouble
- Pretend to be a company threatening to shut down an account or service
- Pretend to be a company with a great discount offer or verifying account information
- Claim to be a collection agent working on behalf of a government agency or company
How to Help Protect Yourself
You can help protect yourself from social engineering by remembering these things:
- Be skeptical.
- Only give out information if you made the call to a number you know is right.
- If you think it’s a scam, hang up or delete the message. And don’t try to outsmart the bad guy by intentionally giving out wrong information. Just hang up. If you want to see if it was a real call or offer, contact the company by using information published on the real company website.
- Do not click on a link provided by an email or text message.
If you think a caller is trying to scam you, hang up. If you get a suspicious email or text, do not reply. If you suspect you are a target of fraud on your AT&T mobile phone account, you can report it to our Fraud team here. If you suspect fraud on another account, call the customer service number on your bill for help.
You may also report suspicious activity to the FTC and Anti-Phishing Working Group.
To find out more about reporting fraud, check out our Resources page.