Phishing scams are designed to steal money. While you might think you can spot a phishing scam email right away, it is important to remember that Internet scammers are constantly updating and modifying their tactics in order to reel in even those who are keeping an eye out for phishing scams. Make sure you do not become a victim by keeping up-to-date on the latest scams and knowing how to spot them.
Phishing & Malware
Internet criminals usually launch a phishing scam by installing malicious software on your computer and then stealing personal information from your files. These scammers are skilled at convincing you to install the malicious software yourself, by sending a message that says you need to download it. The Scammers are skilled at getting you to willingly provide personal information under false pretenses, making it easier for them to steal your money.
A typical phishing scam email might look like it is from a major company, such as bank, but it is not. Often you will find links within the email message and possibly a threat contained in the message, such as, “If you don’t fill out this application form for “X”, we will be forced to close your account.”
If you have a hunch that it might be a phishing scam and not a legitimate email, it is always best to contact the actual company to ask them if the message is legitimate. There are also other signs to watch for that indicate a phishing scam, such as poor spelling and bad grammar. A large company would not send out a message that contained grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. This is usually a sign that the message is not legitimate.
Also, be wary of links contained in an email message. Do not click on the links if you are suspicious the email might be a phishing scam. These links might lead you to malicious software. As previously mentioned, be aware that phishing scams often involve threats, such as closing or blocking your account if you do not comply with the message. Phishing scams will often try to convince you that your security has been compromised in some way and in order to restore it, you must do what the message tells you.
The best way to not become a victim of a phishing scam is to recognize the signs of a phishing email and to keep up-to-date on the new ways that Internet criminals are trying to fool people. It is important that not only you know this information, but that you share it with your family and friends, so that your loved ones also do not become victims of a phishing scam.
Just a few simple precautions will help you stay safe in cyberland!