Do you remember the good old days when you and your friends all compared the emails that you each received from various Princes throughout the world? You know, the ones where a generous international royal was offering you half of their billion dollar fortune. The small catch was that you needed to pay them a small tax, first.
While some people fell for it, the majority of us can laugh them off as part of the internet’s history.
However, don’t think that these scammers have stopped. The reason why you don’t receive these humorous and transparent emails is that scammers and hackers have moved on to more sinister, and dare we say it, successful tactics to obtain your personal information and drain your bank account.
How Does a Phishing Scam Actually Work?
If you know the activity of fishing then you know how phishing works. The main difference is that you are the fish they are attempting to catch. The bait they use is most likely to be an email; more commonly, an email designed to look like it came from your bank.
In its basic form, it goes something like this:
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You receive an email from your bank asking for your internet banking details
Believing that the email is genuine, you reply with your details
Your bank account is emptied
Pretty simple, huh? The single and only aspect that it all hinges on is you providing your details. And this is where you have the power.
How to Identify a Phishing Scam Email
While it can seem easy enough, scammers and hackers are getting smarter and smarter. However, there are a few common indicators to look out for when reading over any emails you are skeptical about, such as:
- Emails that are not addressed to you personally
- Emails that don’t address anybody at all
- An email that includes spelling or grammar mistakes
- The email address is convoluted and/or doesn’t include the bank’s name
- There isn’t a phone number you can call
- There is number to call, but it’s international
If you ticked a yes to any of those indicators then it’s time to hit the delete button.
If you have any doubts at all, a quick call to your bank will confirm whether or not the email was sent from your bank, or not.
What Should You Do If You Get a Phishing Email?
It’s important to remember that not all emails selling you products or asking for information are phishing scams. If you enjoy browsing through the Groupon Coupons page for Life Extension or have signed up to your local Doctor’s specials list, then you will want to check out those emails.
If a phishing email makes its way into your inbox and you don’t trust it, the best thing that you can do is to delete it immediately.
- Don’t click any links. Don’t download any files or attachments. Don’t forward it to anybody.
- Delete it and call your bank to confirm all of your accounts and information is in order.
When it comes to phishing scams, scammers are finding new ways they can try to get your personal details and take your money. With this in mind, always be conscious of any emails you receive which ask for personal information.