How A Phishing Email Scam Works.
A phishing email can be very deceptive. Find out how to guard against being tricked and financially ruined by identity thieves invading your email in-box.
These emails appear to be a message from your bank, a financial institution or even a government agency.
The fraudulent email is designed to encourage you to disclose personal information such as your account number, PIN number, Social Security number, username, security number, etc.
Now we all know that we should keep such information strictly to
ourselves so how can a scam email persuade, or trick, a victim to give
These emails can be works of art, very deceptive art. They can be
crafted to look exactly like a message from your bank, or whoever. Same
logo, same color scheme, same font, same everything.
emails are not so well crafted and are therefore not so successful.
The header message may be designed to induce fear, such as “Your Account Will Be Closed In 48 Hours.” Or the header message may provoke excitement, such as “Your Account Has Been Upgraded.”
Either way, it will be designed to prod you into opening and reading the email.
Suspicious Activity With Your Account . . .
You may read that there has been some suspicious activity with your
account, and as part of the bank’s fraud prevention measures they will
shut your account down unless you confirm a few details.
To do this you will need to log into their secure website. They kindly provide a link, or a button, for you to log in.
Phishing Email. Keep your internet browser up to date the newer the version the more security measures it is likely to have.
You are concerned, you don’t like the sound of “suspicious activity”
and you don’t want the inconvenience of your account being shut down.
hover your mouse pointer over the link and click, up comes the site.
You have seen the page a hundred times before of course and it looks
just like you expected it to, nothing suspicious.
To log in you
enter your username and password, perhaps a security code as well. On
the next page you are asked for more information.
Before long you have given the fraudsters all the personal details they need, because of course, it is not
your banks secure site you are on, but a cleverly constructed
“Thank you” a message may say, “Your cooperation has ensured that
your account is secure and will not be shut down.”
You are feeling happy that you can keep using your account. . . but not as happy as the phishing scammers are feeling.
now have access to your loot. They could grab a large amount, or take
just a little, time after time – in the gamble that they will not raise
your suspicions. But that’s not all folks . . .
. . . they can also use the personal information they have about you to commit all kinds of Identity Theft. They can make your life a mess.
Phishing Email – What To Look For.
Does the email contain glaring gaffs or typos? Legitimate companies and
institutions are usually very careful about the email they send out.
Yes, real organizations occasionally do make errors, but scammers make
them more often.
It must be stressed however, that perfect spelling and grammar is no guarantee that the message is legitimate.
Never click on a link in an unsolicited email.
Does the link look right? Any links in a phishing email may not match
up to the company’s genuine URL (hyperlink address.) When you hover
your cursor over the link, the URL should show at the bottom of your
The spoofed web address may show .net whereas your bank,
or other financial institution may use a .com or .org address.
may show as Your-Bank-Online instead of Your-Bank. Again the spoofed
address may be a long and cumbersome string of characters containing
Your-Bank within it.
Be warned though that the link can be spoofed to look exactly the same as a genuine one.
golden rule to follow is to never click on a link in an unsolicited
email – – no mater how genuine the email or link appears to be.
bank, financial institution, government department, or any other
legitimate company, is not likely to ask you to click on a link and
disclose personal information.
Keep your firewall and security software up to date and never log on
to the Internet without your security software running. Keep your
computer’s operating system up to date by installing the latest security
Keep your browser (Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome
etc.) up to date. The newer the version the more security measures it is
likely to have.
Never open an attachment to an unsolicited email.
click on a link in an email that seems to be from your bank, financial
institution, mortgage provider, auction site, a government agency etc.
that is asking for personal information.
Never phone any number in an unsolicited email that is seeking personal information.
you are concerned that the phishing email may be a genuine message,
pick up the phone and call your bank (or whoever the message appears to
be from.) Look up the number, don’t use any number in the message.
you need to contact them online. Open up a new browser window and type
in the correct web address, not any supplied in the message.
Alternatively search Google for the correct web address.
phishing email can take many guises. You may receive a message telling
you that you have a big lottery win. To receive your winnings you have
to supply them with your personal details.
You may get a spoof email
that seems to be from the IRS, again the identity thieves are after your
Don’t get your life messed up by a phishing email, remember the golden rule — never click on a link in an unsolicited email.
Identity Theft Prevention
Child Identity Theft.
you know how attractive child identity theft is for thieves? Don’t take
chances, learn how you can help to keep your child’s personal
information safe. . .