What is phishing?
Phishing is the attempt to get sensitive information such as bank details or passwords from someone by masquerading as a legitimate person or company. The word Phishing is a homophone of fishing due to the similarity of using bait to catch a victim.
How do you know it’s a scam?
There are different forms of phishing tactics. Most phishing occurs by using a disguised link in an email pretending to be from well-known companies asking to confirm details. Criminals may also try to trick you into giving away your personal information via Social Media messages or text messages. Criminals may try to fool you into installing a malicious software (malware) which can track and record the information you enter into your computer. Below are some of the commonly used tactics and warning signs you should be on the lookout for:
- Phishers, pretending to be legitimate companies, may use email to request personal information and direct recipients to respond through malicious websites. Phishers have been known to use real company logos, and will also use a spoofed email address, which is an email address that is similar to the actual company’s address. However, the address may be misspelled slightly or come from a spoofed domain. Always look for this tell-tale sign.
- Emails may come in the form of a help desk support ticket, a message from your bank, or from someone soliciting money via an advanced fee (419) scam. I’m sure many of you have received an email from a Nigerian Prince offering a share of $50m?!
- Phishers tend to use a call to action. You may get a notice that an account is being shut down and you need to log into it to avoid that from happening. They may also request personal information in order to verify your identity.
- Phishing websites can look much like legitimate sites because they tend to use the same images and layouts as the original sites.
- Fraudulent messa