What is Phishing?
Simply put, phishing is a technique where criminals use social engineering techniques in order to persuade you to reveal information such as your bank account number, your credit card number, etc. Or, in less severe cases, they simply try to scare you into giving them your personal information so that they can steal your identity.
If you think that criminals only use this technique to pull your heart strings, you’d be very wrong. It’s an age old scam still in circulation that involves setting up fake bank sites that look just like the real bank site for your bank, but when you send your details over the Internet to them, theyuse those sites to collect your data for their evil purpose.
As a consumer, it is your responsibility to educate yourself about these criminals and to be READY to spot a scam. Here are some things you shouldbe aware of:
1. Know the connection you are on at all times. If you get pop-ups coming up from your PC, leave it alone or even check your Task Manager and see that power was being drawn to your bank account.
2. If you notice anything suspicious, do a whole system scan with anti-virus and firewall protection.
3. Always, I said always (yes I am being facetious here) NEVER send your personal, your bank details over the Internet via email OR any other way. Victims of such scams learn the hard way and they pay for it in spades over and over again.
4. If you are the victim of an Internet scam, contact the company from which the e-mail originates to see if it is legitimate. Use a telephone number you can call a bank or ISP to verify legitimacy of an e-mail you receive.
If you receive an email asking you for bank details, never disclose them to anyone other than your bank. And remember, your bank knows all your secrets.
5. Dealing with phishing is simply another case of heed the message of not giving. What phishing attempts to do is to lure the user into giving them information about you that will be used for fraudulent purposes.
6. Phishing is one of the latest Internet threats. Fortunately, there are many ways to boost your Internet security and protect your filter. Here are some guidelines to follow when you receive phishing messages or comments on your e-mail:
A. Report the message or the e-mail to the legitimate organization immediately.
B. If it is a question about the status of your account, please don’t send them any personal information.
C. Tell the company that it is a scam and points that out.
D. Please don’t click on any links that look suspicious. They are hoaxes.
E. If you have clicked on the link, then report it to the actual site owners through their web site.
F. Lastly, use your common sense. If you think it is a scam, then yes it is. I received one joke e-mail that said I won five million dollars in a lottery. I knew it was a joke because I always read the material that comes with the lottery and I never received such a prize.
G. Never give out your credit card or bank details to anyone for any reason.
H. If you want to avoid a hoax, then don’t put your e-mail in the listing. Websites will only be able to use e-mail addresses as long as you pay them. After that, they will close your e-mail without any further notice.
I hope this article will help you to watch out for these scams that are sent to you and help you successfully beat any hoax messages.