Be aware of Phishing scams, going online to handle our finances and do our shopping for the most part is an incredibly liberating and useful service. This enables us to keep a better eye on our finances in order to ensure that we budget correctly, and it allows us to spot if there are any discrepancies early on. At the same time this makes transferring money much easier and gives us access to a range of discounts and deals.
However at the same time it can on some occasions also be a risk as it does ultimately mean giving out your card details to sites that you don’t necessarily know to trust and it means on their part accepting details without any real proof that the customer is who they say they are. As such then it’s important to be on the lookout for scams and fraud and one of the most common and dangerous forms of scam is the phishing scam. Here we will look at what a phishing scam is, and how to protect yourself from them.
What is a Phishing Scam?
Basically a phishing scam is a web scam where a fraudulent individual or company will pretend that they are a company that you normally deal with. For instance then they might pretend that they are PayPal or acting on behalf of PayPal, or they might pretend that they are your bank. They will then send you an e-mail saying that there’s something wrong with your account, or that they’re doing a security check, and they will request that you visit the link to enter your details.
Both the e-mail and the link will look real and it will use the same language and images that you would expect from that organization. However it is of course not actually from that financial institution and is instead sending you to a site that will collect your bank details and other personal information. Shortly after you will likely notice unauthorised transactions on your account.
How to Stay Safe
To stay safe it’s important to simply be as critical and cynical of any e-mails that you receive as possible. In other words, you should be weary right away of any e-mail writing to you asking you to give them your bank details. Note that most financial institutions and online services state that they will never ask you for your details via e-mail. If they have an issue then they will ask you to visit the site.
Another tip is to never click a link in such an e-mail. If you get an e-mail from PayPal for instance, then don’t follow the link but rather type ‘www.paypal.com’ into your browser yourself to see if there are any problems on the site. This way you can be mislead to a look-alike site. When you’re on this page you should also check for the ‘https://’ at the start of the URL which is http ‘secure’ meaning that it’s most likely genuine.
Another thing to do is to look carefully at the e-mails when you get them. In the vast majority of cases you will be able to spy little tell-tale signs that this isn’t the real deal which might come in the form of typos, or of low res images. If you notice anything that makes the e-mail look a little unprofessional then assume it is.
Finally make sure you have your spam filter on. Spam filters are surprisingly good at catching out phishing scams, so keeping this on can prevent you from having to deal with them in the first place.
Kat Edwards is a renowned tech blogger. In her leisure, she also loves sharing tips about caravan insurance system and recommends comparing insurance rates via http://www.caravaninsurancecomparison.org.