Ever noticed an email that doesn’t quite seem official? Cybercriminals often camouflage content they send, impersonating big companies such as trusted organis
ations or banks. This is done to win their victims trust and acquire their personal data. This is called “phishing”.
Smell something “phishy”?
Phishing is an online scam. It usually is an email linking to a form, prompting the recipient to fill out personal information. Cybercriminals are basically dangling a fake lure in an attempt to catch and exploit their prey. Phishing can also be executed over the phone or text message.
What happens to your stolen information?
If a phishing attempt is successful, cybercriminals gain access to their recipient’s personal information. Depending on what information was breached, cybercriminals maybe have access to their victim’s location, contact details and passwords. More importantly their bank account or credit card information.
Fallen for a scam?
If you have been unfortunate enough to provide bank or credit card information you must contact your financial institution immediately. Once they have discovered the password to your email, cybercriminals can disguise themselves as you and further their agenda to your contacts list. Warn your family, friends and work colleagues of the fraudulent activity to protect them from any further attempts against them.
How do you prevent an attack?
Do not click on any link from any institution claiming to be your bank or trusted organisation that asks you to verify or update your details. Generally, in a phishing scam, you will be addressed as “dear customer” or something similar. Also, anti-virus software is a proactive approach to identifying malicious and untrusted websites.