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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Online quiz scams seek to gain key info

What do the model of your first car, your favorite hobby, and the high school you attended have in common?

If you said they’re questions commonly used for online account security and online quizzes, you’re correct! Before you take a quiz to find out which Marvel character you are, ask yourself:

“Do I know who’s gathering this information about me — or what they plan to do with it?”

Personality tests, quick surveys and other types of online quizzes ask seemingly harmless questions, but the more information you share, the more you risk it being misused. Scammers could do a lot of damage with just a few answers that give away your personal information.

We’ve heard about scammers phishing for answers to security question data through quizzes. They use your quiz answers to try and reset your accounts, letting them steal your bank and other account information.

Some scammers hack social media accounts and send malware links to friends of the hacked account holder under the guise of sharing a quiz.

One major way to protect your personal information — in addition to maintaining strong passwords and using multi-factor authentication — is to steer clear of online quizzes…or just don’t answer them truthfully.

As for accounts that require actual security questions, treat them like additional passwords and use random answers, preferably long ones, for those too.

Asked to enter your mother’s maiden name? Say it’s some other word you’ll remember. Or, use a password manager to store a unique answer.

Share your scam story
Local law enforcement is concerned about the impact of scams on area residents, particularly the elderly.

If you have been the target of a scam, your first contact should be local authorities. Also, feel free to contact us with details (we can keep your name confidential).
Send your story to: rahnl@windomnews.com, or call 507-831-3455. By sharing, you could prevent someone from being scammed.

For more scam alerts, see future editions of the Cottonwood County Citizen and Citizen eEdition.

Watch www.windomnews.com for regular weekday updates at 10:30 a.m. (or earlier) and 3:30 p.m., plus BREAKING stories at other times. Follow CoCoCitizen @CitPub on Twitter.

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