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  • Behaviour and Communications
  • Fraud

Published: Saturday July 9, 2016

How vulnerable are you?

Phishing – on line messaging and  contact, vishing -phone elicitation and straight live impersonation are established and fast evolving examples of the use of ‘social tactics’ by fraudsters.

Commonly referred to as social engineering the manipulation of an individual to gain valuable private information is a real and present danger to us all. Playing on human good nature ,and our propensity to wilful blindness when faced with situations that cause a nagging doubt, the use of social tactics are extremely effective. If there is any doubt about the rise of this phenomenon then a quick search of YouTube will provide evidence of its use and success.

One such video shows a “social engineer”, with in this case the victims consent, gain access to private account information and even change passwords, effectively locking the true holder out of their account. View the video by clicking here.


Another example is a very impactful video produced jointly by CIFAS and Action Fraud which uses hidden cameras in a City Centre coffee lounge to illustrate how our lack of  security self awareness can be used against us. By offering a free coffee in exchange for a Facebook like the extent of information that can be gained through online open source (OSINT) and social media (SOCMINT) searching provides a stark warning as to the vulnerability of us all. View the video by clicking here.

What these videos clearly evidence is how the weakest link in any security system is the human element and so the sophistication and evolution of tactics to use our vulnerabilities against us will continue – and grow.

The Centre for Investigative Learning ; Behavioural insights for business – the appliance of behavioural science

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