Phishing is a form of fraud email scams that attempts to extract passwords, credit card details and other personal information, from a person under false pretenses. Phishing is often for a malicious purpose such as theft and identity fraud by putting up fake authentication sites. Unfortunately, it can be done in a variety of ways. From phone calls to emails and social media, phishing is a widespread scam. Email scams are still the most common avenue for phishers, so that’s why it’s important to recognize the telltale signs of a scam. Here are some common phishing email scams and how to recognize them.
One of the most common email scams that many people fall for, even the odd IT beginner, is the survey scam. Typically, these emails are answered by users who have expressed interest in social issues online. The email scam preys on this vulnerability by requesting the user’s opinion on an important social issue or topic. Once you click on the survey link in the email, malicious spyware or other malware is installed on your computer without your knowledge. This allows criminals to spy on your computer usage. They can collect passwords, bank account information and other sensitive personal information. Avoid any email surveys from any account that you do not recognize. Unless you belong to the mailing list of the place conducting the survey, send it right to your spam folder.
Phishers will often impersonate bank officials over the web in order to gain access to your digital banking account details. Phishing emails will often claim that there is a problem with your account and encourage you to click a link or log in directly from the email. This is always a scam – real banks would never prompt a customer to log in from an email. If you’re not sure, always take the time to check the email of the sender – if it’s not an official email from your bank of choice, report it as spam and send it to the trash. When in doubt you can always call your bank directly, just to be safe. It’s much better to know the signs of phishing and raise the alarm than to ignore it, allowing others to get hooked.
Charity Email Scams
Although it’s nice to give to charity, it’s not so nice to lose your money to a fraud. Phishers will often use global disasters or hot topic news stories as a way to weasel money out of you. These touching messages may ask you to donate to a particular charity, but the link provided will send you to a malicious website that provides hackers access to backdoors of your PC. To be safe, only donate directly to a reputable charity’s website. By keeping this phishing scam in mind, you can do some good without doing any harm to your wallet.
Lottery Winning Scams
The lottery winning scam is one of the most common email scams. You may have gotten one of these common scam emails recently. Thankfully, today’s identity theft protection and spam sorting features will prevent it from reaching many unsuspecting users’ inboxes. However, it is important to understand how these emails work to compromise your tech security. Typically, these emails congratulate you on a lottery winners of some exorbitant sum. Then, once you fall for it, they request a processing fee of several thousand dollars. Stay away from any email that promises you money in exchange for money. Better yet, stay away from any emails that promise you money.
Pictures Or Attachments
Often, phishers will send emails with photos or other attachments that, when clicked, will download a virus or other malware to your computer. This malware can then worm its way into your system and find out all of your personal information from online banking to other emails. To prevent this, always make sure that you aren’t clicking anything from an unknown source. If it wasn’t a friend, reputable business or family member who sent the attachment, then don’t download it. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you have a good antivirus software up and running just in case your friend or family is impersonated! With the right software and a keen eye, you will never fall for a silly scam like that.
Foreign Money Requests
Some of the more ridiculous phishing scams include emails from friends or strangers in foreign countries who need you to wire them money to get back home. Don’t fall for it. Take care to avoid clicking any links or attachments within the digital content. If you’re really worried, call your friend to make sure they’re not really trapped in Croatia. It’s unlikely that anyone would ever request money by email, so that’s the #1 sign of a major scam. By being aware and knowing the signs of foreign money phishing requests, you can help keep phishers at bay.
Nigerian 419 Scam
This is one of the old scams dating back to the 1920’s. The email phishing attempt usually explains that the con artist is a member of royalty in the Nigerian rule. They ask for a way to move large sums of money out of the country. They request that you do small tasks to help get the money out of the country and pay legal fees so the money can be sent. Unfortunately, its all fake and there is no money that will be sent. This email scam is so popular that is has its own 419 name too. Make sure you do not allow it to be the cause of slow internet for you computer. Send them right into the trash if you see any messages like this.
When your email is cluttered with 81 messages, it may be hard to siphon through the madness and see the threats sitting in your inbox. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that any email, including company emails that run on HP enterprise platform, can be targeted by phishers. The best way to recognize when you’re being scammed is to check the sender, avoid the links and always report spam when it comes your way.
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