To many who do not realize what a phishing scam is, phishing is the attempt of acquiring sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card/bank details or sometimes acquiring money from people often for malicious reasons and this mostly happens by one masquerading as a trustworthy entity via electronic communication.
Phishing allows criminals to get access to bank accounts, or other accounts like shopping, auction or gaming accounts. It can also be used for identity theft.
How? The message;
- Makes unrealistic promises or threats such as promising instant riches, intimidating the victims into giving their personal information by threatening to close their email account.
- Asks for personal information– A reputable company should never send an email asking for your password, credit card number, or the answer to a security question.
- Contains poor spelling and grammar
- Appears to be from a government agency– Phishing artists who want to use intimidation don’t always pose as a bank. Sometimes phishing artists will send messages claiming to have come from a law enforcement agencies, government institutions, reputable organizations, schools etc.
- Seems too good to be true– Messages from someone you do not know who is making big promises
- Contains a mismatched URL– Often times you might receive an email with embedded links; however, if you hover your mouse over the top of the URL, you will see the actual hyperlinked address. If the hyperlinked address is different from the address that is displayed then the message is probably fraudulent or maliciousOr if;
- You didn’t initiate the action – Emails informing you that you have won a contest that you did not enter
- You are asked to send money to cover expenses– You might not get hit up for cash in the initial message, but sooner or later a phishing artist will likely ask for money to cover expenses, taxes, fees, or something like that