Have You Been Clickjacked?

phoneThe advent of the internet brought along with it a host of new terms that are basically unnecessary since to a great extent they are crimes or are cons that lead to a crime. For example, “social engineering” is a way of manipulating to people to divulge personal information, often in order to hack into their various accounts, both online accounts and bank accounts. Calling this con “social engineering” in no way lessens the crime. People have done time for such crimes.

Another term that seems to have become prevalent recently is “swatting.” A person calls 911 and “social engineers” the dispatcher into sending emergency personnel to an address, sometimes as a prank, more often as revenge to discredit an individual. Sometimes they use cyber skills such as “caller ID spoofing,” causing a different number to show up on caller ID. The goal of such calls is to get a whole SWAT team to descend on the unsuspecting household, hence the term “swatting.”

Not quite as serious, except to the person it happens to is “clickjacking,” which is when someone (or some computer robot) tries to get you to click on a link and divulge personal information. If you’re on Twitter of Facebook, you see such things all the time. “Did you see this picture of you lol,” is one I get freqently. Since hardly anyone ever takes my photo, and if they do, they either send it to me or post it on facebook, I know the link is a scam. And even if I didn’t know, I’m leery enough never to sign in to unfamiliar sites with my twitter or facebook passwords. I like to keep everything separate, though perhaps that is old-fashioned of me. (How strange to use the word “old fashioned” about something that is new within my life time.)

The point of this article is to be careful, of course. But mostly it’s a rebellion against the silly words that mask the simple truth. All of these actions — social engineering, swatting, clickjacking, caller ID spoofing, along with the dozens of terms not mentioned here — constitute fraud.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” All Bertram’s books are published by Second Wind Publishing. Connect with Pat on Google+

13 Responses to “Have You Been Clickjacked?”

  1. Sarah Glenn Says:

    I hate this stuff, too. Latest scam: phone call from someone claiming I’d filled out a survey online. I put the skids on that one quickly when they wanted my email (i.e. shouldn’t they have had that w/online survey?). Caller hung up when I wanted more identification info from him.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Sounds as if you are a quick thinker. Good for you! My saving grace is that I never talk to strangers on the phone. (Unless I had to call a business for some reason, of course.)

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I think that “caller ID spoofing” thing was used in an episode of Law & Order: SVU once.

  3. John w Howell Says:

    Swatting would be a nightmare on the receiving end. Great post. – John

  4. ROD MARSDEN Says:

    A scam that turns up every now and then has someone from overseas calling about your computer. They claim to be from some big computer company such as microsoft. They have detected problems with your computer, viruses, that are likely to result in the destruction of your computer’s memory. They, however, can save your computer for a fee. They just need to know your details, have access to your computer and be paid for their time via your VISA card. Every few months I get once of these calls. Nowadays I hang up. In the past I have used language I wouldn’t use here before hanging up. Even so, I find such calls disturbing. NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR DETAILS OVER THE PHONE. There is such a thing as identity theft. And of course if they can get into your bank account there’s regular theft as well.

  5. Coco Ihle Says:

    Hear, hear, Pat, you said it!!! Fraud!!!

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