Phishing emails and websites are designed to steal money. Cyber criminals have thought of several ways to do this and are getting savvier. We are here to show you what to look out for so you don’t get phished.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is the activity of defrauding an online account holder of financial information by posing as a legitimate company. They use social engineering to convince you to install malicious software or hand over your personal information under false pretenses. They might email you, call you, or convince you to download something off of a website.
Here is what a phishing email message may look like:
As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the Facebook system. We recently contacted you after noticing an issue on your account.
Our system detected unusual Copyrights activity linked to your Facebook account, please follow the link bellow (Alert 1: spelling errors) to fill the Copyright Law form:
http://www.facebook/application_form (Alert 2: links in email)
Note: If you don't fill the application your account will be permanently blocked
(Alert 3: threats)
Facebook Copyrights Department (Alert 4: popular company)
Some things to look for in a fraudulent email:
Spelling and bad grammar
Cyber criminals are not known for their grammar and spelling. Professional companies or organizations will not allow a mass email like this to go out to its users if it blatantly has misspellings and bad grammar. If you notice mistakes in an email, it might be a scam.
Beware of links in emails
If you see a link in a suspicious email message, don’t click on it. Rest your mouse (but don’t click) on the link to see if the address looks legitimate. For example, a string of cryptic numbers often used in suspicious links will look nothing like a company’s actual web address or landing page. Links might also lead you to .exe files. These kinds of files are known to spread malicious software.
When hackers Phish through emails, they often urge consumers to click on attachments. Be careful – attachments can contain software designed to destroy your computer and files.
Have you ever received a threat that your account would be closed if you didn’t respond to an email message? The email message shown above is an example of the same trick. Cyber criminals often use threats that your security has been compromised.
Spoofing popular websites and companies
Scam artists use graphics in email that appears to be connected to legitimate websites that actually take you to phony scam sites or legitimate-looking pop-up windows.