Heading into 2024, the digital world is changing fast, and not necessarily for the better. New tech, especially in AI, is making life easier, but it's also opening the door to new scams and new types of cybercrime. Our personal and financial info is at risk like never before, with these tech-savvy thieves constantly cooking up new ways to sneak past our defenses. It's more important than ever to stay sharp and be aware of the tricks they might pull.
The key to staying safe? Being on your toes, ready with strong, smart security measures. Here are seven identity theft-related predictions for 2024, brought to you by our behind-the-scenes threat researchers. (And since LifeLock is part of Gen™—a global company with a family of trusted consumer brands—don't miss the more comprehensive list of 2024 cybersecurity predictions on their website.)
1. AI-enabled scams will become more sophisticated and personalized
In 2024, we predict AI-enabled scams will become more advanced, using AI models to mimic trusted sources convincingly. These scams, based on individuals' digital footprints, could include emails and messages that appear legitimate but are designed to phish for personal details such as social security numbers, financial data, and login credentials. This type of personalized scam poses a significant risk for identity theft, as it can trick even the most vigilant individuals into divulging sensitive information.
Prevention Tip: Stay vigilant about unsolicited communications. Use advanced identity monitoring tools that alert you to potential misuse of your personal information.
2. Social media scams will become more targeted and convincing
The year 2024 is likely to see a rise in highly-targeted social media scams. Cybercriminals, leveraging AI, will create content that closely mimics genuine posts, making them harder to distinguish from real updates. These scams are particularly dangerous as they can manipulate individuals into unknowingly sharing personal information or clicking on malicious links, leading to identity theft.
Prevention Tip: Be cautious about engaging with unknown entities on social media. Regularly review and update your privacy settings.
3. The rise of advanced BCC attacks will increase financial fraud and data breaches
Business Communication Compromise (BCC) attacks (formerly referred to as Business Email Compromise or BEC attacks) are expected to grow in sophistication in 2024, utilizing advanced deepfake technologies. These attacks could involve fake communications from colleagues or business partners, leading to unauthorized financial transactions and significant data breaches. The personal and financial information obtained through these means can be a direct pathway to identity theft.
Prevention Tip: Always verify the authenticity of unexpected communication requests through multiple channels and train employees to recognize fraudulent communications.
4. Ransomware tactics will directly target personal information for identity theft
We predict ransomware will evolve beyond data encryption to directly targeting and exfiltrating personal information for identity theft in the upcoming year. This includes blackmailing individuals with their sensitive data or selling this information on dark web platforms, posing a direct threat to personal security.
Prevention Tip: Back up your data regularly and use comprehensive identity theft protection services. Stay vigilant about unsolicited requests for information.
5. Trojanized chat apps will become more sophisticated in data theft
We expect to see an increase in fake chat apps that are actually fronts for stealing personal information. These sophisticated trojanized apps could access a wide range of data from your device, including contact details, financial information, and other sensitive data that can be used for identity theft.
Prevention Tip: Install apps only from trusted sources and restrict unnecessary app permissions. Use a secure and updated mobile security solution.
6. Increasing sophistication in mobile web-based threats will lead to advanced phishing attacks
Mobile phishing attacks are expected to become more sophisticated, using social engineering tactics to extract sensitive information. These attacks could come in the form of seemingly legitimate emails, ads or messages, leading to the theft of personal information and subsequent identity fraud.
Prevention Tip: Be skeptical of unsolicited links and emails. Employ mobile security software and regularly update it.
The year 2024 promises new challenges in digital security, especially concerning identity theft. Staying informed, vigilant, and proactive is key to protecting your digital identity in this ever-evolving landscape. Remember, LifeLock is here to help you navigate these challenges with confidence.