Protecting Yourself Against Phishing Scams

phishing-attacks

While the Internet is one of the world’s most wonderful inventions, it also poses some dangers to people who do not exercise caution. Scammers everywhere devise a number of tactics to extract people’s personal information and will even go as far as to gaining access to bank accounts. One of the most common scams that has been known to devastate countless individuals is phishing. Phishing attacks have caused people’s lives to be ruined as identities have been stolen and finances have been wiped away. So you do not become prey to such attacks, it is imperative that you understand how phishing scams work and avoid them.

How Phishing scams Work

When people engage in phishing scams, they will send out spoof emails containing the logos from legitimate companies or will go through the trouble of creating copycat websites that mimic the look and feel of the sites belonging to the actual companies they are impersonating. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission some have even gone as far as to include links on these copycat sites that lead to a few of the pages on the websites of legitimate companies, such as their mission statement or privacy policy. Emails sent out by phishing scammers usually will prey on fear, stating that there is suspicious activity on your account and that you must send personal or financial information in a reply to these emails in order to solve the problem. Many of these emails will have URLs that you are to click that will lead you to these copycat websites where you are to provide even more information. If the emails do not prey on fear, they will ask you to provide or confirm personal information for a variety of purposes. Once you fall victim to these scammers, they will drain your bank account and steal your identity.

Protecting Yourself

These scammers can be crafty; however, you can remain one step ahead of them and remain safe. There are five steps you must follow whenever you receive emails that are even the slightest bit suspicious.

1. Understand that no legitimate company is ever going to ask you to provide sensitive information, such as bank account numbers, social security numbers or credit card numbers in an email as email is unsecure.

2. If you have received an email stating there is suspicious activity on one of your accounts and are worried that your account with a particular company has been compromised in any way, contact the company directly by using their real phone number. Never call any phone numbers provided in these emails.

3. Never click on any URLs unless you know what they are.

4. the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission advises for any consumer to visit Anti Phishing website to keep up to date with any current fishing scams that are taking place as phishing scams are reported regularly.

5. Some phishing websites have padlocks on them. Click on these padlocks to see if the names of real companies are listed. If what you see is different, you are on a spoof site.

At present, according to Altibase, big data plays a role in catching these scammers at their game. In the beginning, big data was created for the purposes of helping to improve a company’s bottom line. Now, advancements in data analysis aid investigators in finding and prosecuting these rotten scammers.

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