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A technique in which attackers attempt to exploit people’s natural inclinations to trust others and be helpful. For example, in a phishing scheme, attackers exploit their victims’ sense of trust using emails that appear to be from trusted person (e.g., a friend, family member, or coworker) or entity (e.g., a bank, reputable e-commerce site, or credit card company).
Social engineers also exploit other human inclinations such as curiosity, vanity, fear, or greed. Although social engineering often plays a role in cybercrime, the technique is frequently used in other types of crime.