Phishing is a kind of scam that happens online, where criminals send emails which appear to have come from a legit company and request you to provide some sensitive information. They do this by including a web-link that supposedly directs you to the company’s website. Thereafter, you are asked to provide your personal information by filling an online form on the scammer’s ‘website’. Their ‘fake link-site’ is designed in such a way that the information you provide is directly received by these crooks who are behind the scam. The kind of information they request for may include credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, account numbers, and much more.
Clues That May Indicate An Email is From A Scammer
• The email in most times is not addressed to the recipient, probably because the scammer doesn’t know the recipient. The Identifier “Dear Customer” is used so many times.
• When you try to log in to their ‘web account’, it could easily indicate that you have exceeded the number of login attempts allowed, yet you have never even logged in.
• Their messages often contain grammatical errors: Tricking words such as ‘Online Banking’ could all be capitalized. And, if you continue reading keenly, you will find so many wrong sentences that do not make any sense grammatically. Most people usually scan emails quickly, and therefore small grammatical errors could go unnoticed.
• They insist on assuring the recipients by encouraging them to confirm ‘their’ email by using a scammer link they provide.
• A true email address gets displayed when the mouse is made to hover over any link on that particular page. I doubt if there exists a company that has all these kind of actions pointing to the same link. This is just directly a scam!
If you happen to see anyone kind of these flaws, that’s just enough for you to know that email is an attempt of phishing.
How To Protect Yourself From Online Email-Scams
1. Use your own link
In case you use the company often, you most likely have a bookmark for the site you can use. If not, use an online search engine such as Google and type in the company’s name. you can then use the genuine link to go to the correct site. If the email is legit, the information you will see is the same as the one you have when you log into your account on the legitimate site. This is just the ONLY way to guarantee that you land on the legit site.
Install a software that will help you identify malicious sites so that you can get to know whether the site you found is legitimate. Most browsers now have add-ons that can be turned on to provide alerts if a site you are about to fall victim by clicking a malicious link. Be mindful to only install add-ons from the store and watch out for phishing add-ons for browsers.
If you happen to find out that you have already fallen victim to a phishing scam, the best option is to change all of your passwords, immediately.