What are Phishing Scams?
Phishing scams utilize emails, phone calls and text messages disguised as trustworthy companies to trick you into providing them with your personal and financial information.
These attacks can have serious consequences. Stolen money, fraudulent charges, lost access to photos/videos/files, even impersonating you to put others you know at risk.
How to Recognize Phishing:
Phishing emails and text message look like they are from companies you may know or trust – such as a financial institution, credit card company or a utility company. They often use the logos, email addresses and language that may appear legitimate.
These communications often use fear-based, urgent tactics to manipulate you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. Most common ploys look like the following:
- You will be alerted that suspicious activity or login attempts have been made on your account.
- There is a problem with your account or payment information.
- Confirm personal or financial information.
- An invoice you do not recognize is included.
- There is a prompt to clink on a link to make a payment.
- Offers of coupons or links to register for a government refund.
While most phishing texts and emails are cleverly camouflaged, there are some identifying signs the email or text is fake:
- It has a generic greeting like "Valued Customer" instead of your name.
- The sender's email address has typos and is overly complicated for a well known, large company.
- There are typos and grammatical mistakes.
- The contact information is not included or is not correct in the email footer. Legitimate senders always include them.
- When you hover over a hyperlink, the content does not show a credible link address.
- The email uses fear-based phrases like "Your account is suspended because of a billing problem."
- You are encouraged to click on a link to update your payment details.