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Social Engineering Explained

Social Engineering


What is social engineering?

Social engineering is the title of a broad range of manipulation techniques that exploit human mistakes in order to gain information. In other words, in a social engineering threat, the attacker tricks his target by using psychological manipulation. 

How does it work?

As mentioned above, most of social engineering attacks occur after the attacker has a communication base with the victim. Earning trust is key to a successful scheme. In order to gain their goal, social engineering attackers usually follow four steps that create the social engineering attack cycle:


  • Prepare Gathering information on the target is the first step. The attacker must gather valuable intel such as the organizational structure or personal information about the target that the attacker learned from their social media accounts.
  • Hook Engaging with the target and establishing a relationship built on trust.
  • Exploit the victim Execute and advance the attack.
  • Exit disengaging and stopping the interaction. 

Do you think you are targeted by an attacker? We can help! Contact us here

Types of social engineering

In social engineering the attacker uses human emotion to trick the target into making a mistake such as giving access to personal data or giving money to the attacker. It is usually done by emailing or texting, so it doesn’t involve any real conversation.

There are many techniques used in social engineering. Here are a few of the common ones: 

Baiting- the name of this technique is self-explanatory. The attacker leaves a bait that he believes you’d take. It is usually a malware infected physical device like a USB drive left in public places, so it is most certainly to be found and used. Once you do- the malware is installed into your computer.

Phishing / Spear Phishing / Whaling- all three are similar, but with clear differences. The general explanation for all three is a malicious attacker pretending to be a trusted and legit institution or individual tricks the victim by texting or emailing them with an urgent or frightening request. This may eventually result with the victim making the mistake of clicking on links to malicious websites, for example.

The differences are: 

Phishing is when the attacker doesn’t have a specific target. He just tries to make someone take his bait. Spear phishing in an attack that targets a specific victim. Whereas whaling is similar to spear phishing, only here the attacker targets a high-ranking victim.

Scare-ware- this type of social engineering technique is based on fear. The attacker scares the target with false alarms that makes the target think their computer is infected with malware. Then the victim is offered with a chance to fix it all by installing a software to protect the computer. However, in reality, it is the attacker’s real malware.

Pretexting- this type is a technique based on pure lying. The attacker pretends to be a part of an authorized institution like police or banks. Then the attacker tries to get personal information for the victim disguising it as an attempt to protect the victim.

Quid pro quo- the attacker promises a kind of reward in exchange for some personal information. This seems exciting and worthwhile for the victim since he isn’t giving much but expected to get a lot. However, the attacker gets what he intended, and the victim gets nothing.

Did this happen to you? Don’t freak out, we can help! Reach us here

How to protect yourself against social engineering?

  • Be wary of emails and attachments from suspicious sources– don’t open them or click on any link if you don’t recognise the sender. And of course- do not respond. Not even as a joke because that will only provide the attackers with the information that the email address is valid and they will keep on sending those malicious emails.
  • Be careful of tempting offers– they are too good to be true.
  • Use strong passwords– never reuse the same password. Each one you have should be unique and combines with numbers, varied character types and of course- symbols. 
  • Don’t forget your antivirus software– make sure it is always updated.

Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask us here

So how does it work?

Well, they will do everything in their power to convince you to make the initial minimum deposit. They will lure you by promising the moon: “We will double that initial deposit within 24 hours!” and so on.

After they succeed with the initial deposit, they will try to get more money out of you using the help of more experienced scammers. It doesn’t end. However, you can make it end even if you fall victim to their empty promises.

Did that happen to you too?

How to get your money back?

It would be best if you did a few things to get your money back.

*Maintaining contact with the scammers can be vital if you would decide to get help from us to learn more

  1. Submit a withdrawal request (in writing) ASAP!

Always remember that they don’t want to give you your money back, but they won’t tell you that. They will DELAY. They will hold back the withdrawal process for months for different excuses.

Know that after six months, you won’t be able to perform a chargeback!

  1. File a chargeback

You had to submit the withdrawal request in writing to prove that you’ve tried to ask for your funds back, yet, they refuse to do so, or it’s delayed for far too long.

This option is valid only if you paid with your credit or debit card.

Performing a chargeback allows you to kill two birds with one stone:

You are more likely to get your money back, and the broker gets hurt.

Firing many chargebacks wrecks their relationship with the payment service providers.

 Want to learn more about a chargeback? Contact us for more information.

  1. If you sent them a wire- you must attack it from a different angle:

Unfortunately, you can’t perform a chargeback. But don’t worry, there are still ways for you to get back what’s yours.

Threat them that you will go to the authorities and unless they give you your money back you will file a complaint against them.

If that doesn’t work- be a man of your word! write an email or a letter to the regulating agency for forex brokers in your country (Google it). Tell them everything that happened, how they conned you, and about your hard-earned money they won’t give back.

But before you send it, give it one last chance and send the letter to the broker; let them know that unless they refund your money- you will send it to the regulating agency.

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