Phishing is a fraudulent practice used by hackers and scammers who send emails or messages via SMS text, WhatsApp, or social media accounts claiming to be from reputable companies or government agencies like the HMRC, UK government, Amazon, PayPal, Netflix, NHS, and so on in order to induce individuals into revealing personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers so they can steal your identity or all your money.
How Do You Spot a Phishing Scam
Everyone can get caught out by a Phishing scam whether it’s via email, text, or a social media message. cybercriminals send millions of messages out every day and every single day some will always fall into their trap and lose money or get their identity is stolen which is then sold to the highest bidder on the dark web who will, in turn, take a loan or credit card out in your name.
Don’t be the next victim follow the guide below to avoid getting hooked by a phishing Scam
Don’t Click On The Link
The whole purpose of a Phishing scam is to get you to click to visit a website so they can install malware on your device or can steal your personal information or credit card details. The website will look like a real, official website but don’t be fooled if it’s not. The golden rule is DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK included in the email, text message, Whatsapp, or social media message. It does not matter how urgent the message is or how official the message is DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK
Don’t Open The Attachment
Phishing messages may include attachments in Microsoft Word, PDF format, or another format. Unless you are 100% sure where the email and attachment have come from DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT
Don’t Fall For Urgency
Phishing attacks use scare tactics such as urgency and authority to trick victims into taking immediate action to click on a link, visit a website or open an attachment. Don’t fall for this trick, take a step back and take a good look at the message, where it comes from, and the contents of the message before doing anything.
Cybercriminals will try and make the website address or link included in the message look like its come from an official website. They will also hide the website address behind a button. Always hover over the website address or button to make sure it’s going to the official website. If you are not sure DELETE THE EMAIL OR MESSAGE and contact the company by phone to confirm.
Check For Typos & Spelling
Cyber Criminals are often less concerned about being grammatically correct. This means that typos and spelling errors are often noticeable in messages they send out. Such errors in an email or text message could be a good indication that the message is not genuine.
Is It Too Good To Be True
If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Phishing attacks use all types of tricks to get you to click on a website link or open an attachment or send them money. They will also attach a sense of urgency to reply to the message, click on the website link or to open the attachment.
Keep Your Devices Up To Date
keep your computer, tablet, or mobile devices up to date with the latest operating system, and software updates. Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep it updated.
Report The Phishing Website Or Message
To report a phishing message or website visit one of the following websites