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04.03.2020 / Safety « Back to all articles

How to Easily Spot a Phishing Attempt
back view of hackers pointing at phish

What Is Phishing? 

One of the most common digital scams of today is known as phishing.  Like the name implies, it is a baited hook, and the prize is sensitive private information.  A phishing attempt is a message, usually an email or a text message, that tries to solicit a person’s financial information, passwords and personal data.  The message itself looks legitimate, but it is a multi-million-dollar scam.   

Most filters and updated software will be able to sort through phishing attempts automatically, but hackers and scam artists are crafty and always trying to outwit the newest software. It is critical to be able to spot a phishing attempt in order to avoid both money and privacy becoming compromised.  

 

Earmarks of a Phishing Attempt 

Phishing messages will almost always appear to come from a reputable source – a well-known company, perhaps even one the victim has been a customer of, a friend or co-worker, or even a government agency.  The emails, in particular, will look professional but perhaps just off the mark.  If the message looks to be part of a mass-messaging template, one should be suspicious, even if the logo or header looks right.   

There will rarely be a personal greeting, especially if it is supposed to come from a private citizen.  “Hey” is common, or for a supposed company, “Hello there” can be used.  A legitimate company message will have the client’s name, account number, and other pertinent information, – phishing will not.  They will report a problem and warn about the need for immediate action, or they will use words like “final warning” to make a person nervous, or sometimes just include a quick note and a link.  That link is very important, phishing messages want their recipients to click that link and fill out the form.   

No one should ever follow a link if they are not 100% sure they know where it is taking them.  Obviously, any kind of typos in the name, or usage of outdated information is a tip-off that this is a phishing attempt. 

 

What to Do Next 

If someone suspects they have received a phishing attempt, the most important step is not to answer the email or text message, and never follow the link.  Delete the message right away, then put it in the spam folder so that others like it are automatically scrapped.   

If the message came from a friend, contact them directly and let them know that their identity is being used.  And if a person is not sure if the message is phishing or not, they should contact the company through their normal channels and find out for sure.  If someone unfortunately responds to a phishing email and has given out their information, they should contact a fraud report line and seek help from law enforcement.  Quick action is vital during this time. 

07.31.2020 / Budgeting

Reduce Debt with These 10 Steps 
It is easy to justify debt in the moment, but there comes a point when it has become a shackle.  Carrying a lot of debt…

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04.03.2020 / Safety « Back to all articles

How to Easily Spot a Phishing Attempt
back view of hackers pointing at phish

What Is Phishing? 

One of the most common digital scams of today is known as phishing.  Like the name implies, it is a baited hook, and the prize is sensitive private information.  A phishing attempt is a message, usually an email or a text message, that tries to solicit a person’s financial information, passwords and personal data.  The message itself looks legitimate, but it is a multi-million-dollar scam.   

Most filters and updated software will be able to sort through phishing attempts automatically, but hackers and scam artists are crafty and always trying to outwit the newest software. It is critical to be able to spot a phishing attempt in order to avoid both money and privacy becoming compromised.  

 

Earmarks of a Phishing Attempt 

Phishing messages will almost always appear to come from a reputable source – a well-known company, perhaps even one the victim has been a customer of, a friend or co-worker, or even a government agency.  The emails, in particular, will look professional but perhaps just off the mark.  If the message looks to be part of a mass-messaging template, one should be suspicious, even if the logo or header looks right.   

There will rarely be a personal greeting, especially if it is supposed to come from a private citizen.  “Hey” is common, or for a supposed company, “Hello there” can be used.  A legitimate company message will have the client’s name, account number, and other pertinent information, – phishing will not.  They will report a problem and warn about the need for immediate action, or they will use words like “final warning” to make a person nervous, or sometimes just include a quick note and a link.  That link is very important, phishing messages want their recipients to click that link and fill out the form.   

No one should ever follow a link if they are not 100% sure they know where it is taking them.  Obviously, any kind of typos in the name, or usage of outdated information is a tip-off that this is a phishing attempt. 

 

What to Do Next 

If someone suspects they have received a phishing attempt, the most important step is not to answer the email or text message, and never follow the link.  Delete the message right away, then put it in the spam folder so that others like it are automatically scrapped.   

If the message came from a friend, contact them directly and let them know that their identity is being used.  And if a person is not sure if the message is phishing or not, they should contact the company through their normal channels and find out for sure.  If someone unfortunately responds to a phishing email and has given out their information, they should contact a fraud report line and seek help from law enforcement.  Quick action is vital during this time. 

Need a
Loan?

Loans from $120 to $15,000. Get funded as soon as today!

07.31.2020 / Budgeting

Reduce Debt with These 10 Steps 
It is easy to justify debt in the moment, but there comes a point when it has become a shackle.  Carrying a lot of debt…