The subject on Virus protection is a very important one and education is the best prevention and the more we educate users on what to look out for the safer they will be. Is getting harder to teach users on what to look for when the Scammers are becoming more and more intelligent and conniving. Scam emails or phishing emails now look like a carbon copies of ones that are legit, its hard to distinguish what’s real and what’s malicious.
What is Phishing
‘Phishing’ is the term that is used to refer to emails that trick people into giving out their personal and banking information. These messages are made to seem realistic and to come from legitimate businesses such as banks or other financial institutions or telecommunications providers. These scammers are attempting to get information from you like your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers, which they will then use to steal your money and identity.
These phishing emails are becoming frighteningly realistic and often look genuine and use what look to be genuine email addresses and also use a copy the institution’s logo and message format. It is also common for phishing messages to contain links to websites that are convincing fakes of real companies’ home pages to get you to enter your personal details.
Example of a SPAM email
Here is an example of a web address after a link has been selected in an email. Not the address does not begin with Https://
Ensure you check the email address. If it looks dodgy then it probably is.
Thing to watch out for
- You receive an email claiming to be from a financial institution or telecommunication provider that you don’t have an account with.
- You receive an email from a claiming to be from a financial institution or telecommunication provider that you do have an account with asking you to follow a link that leads you to a website where you are prompted to enter your bank account details. As a rule – no bank institution will send you an email requesting you to follow a link or provide details personal details. They will always call you if they require anything from you.
- The email that is not addressed to you by your proper name.
- You receive an email that contains typing errors and grammatical mistakes.
- You receive an email that states that your details are needed for a security and maintenance upgrade, to ‘verify’ your account or to protect you from a fraud threat. The email might even state that you are due to receive a refund for a bill or other fee that it claims you have been charged
How to Protect yourself from phishing scams
- NEVER provide credit card details or bank account details to anyone online that you do not know and trust. Always use a secure method of payment such as Paypal.
- NEVER provide personal, credit card or bank account details over the phone unless you initiated the call and know that the phone number is the correct number for that organisation.
- If you believe the email is SPAM, do not open it and delete the email immediately
- NEVER click on any links or open any attachments from an email that you suspect to be a spam email.
- NEVER call a telephone number that you see in a spam email. Call the company that has been posed in the email directly from a number on their website.
- If you want to access an internet account website, use a bookmarked link or type the address in yourself—NEVER follow a link in an email.
- Check the senders email address. It may look like a legitimate email address but could differ from actual address or may have a typo. For example, a legit email from Paypal will come from firstname.lastname@example.org whereas a scam email may come from email@example.com. Always check the address.
- Check the website address carefully. Scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses.
- NEVER enter your personal, credit card or online account information on a website if you are not certain it is genuine. Check the spelling of the address and make sure it is a secure address. The web address should always start with Https://
- NEVER send your personal, credit card or online account details through an email.
Click here for More information on How to Avoid Spam Email
What to do if you think you have revealed confidential information
If you think you’ve entered your credit card or account details to a phishing site, contact your financial institution immediately.
Report scams to the ACCC via the Scamwatch report a scam page. Your report helps to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, the email or screenshot.
You can also contact IDCare on 1800 595 160 or via www.idcare.org for support if you believe your personal information has been put at risk.
Find more information on where to get help if you think you have fallen victim to a scam on the Scamwatch website.