Don’t be a victim! – How to avoid being Phished

phishingNowadays, internet technology made it to the point that it is easily accessible by everyone. I myself access some of my important accounts through internet… like banking, paying bills, communication with my loved ones here and abroad. Though generally, it made our lives easy and account accessible anywhere, we can’t deny that thieves, hackers and criminals found another way to invade our privacy and personal accounts. With so many people having access to the internet these people have found a way to take advantage of this technology and separate us from our money. The internet crosses so many international boundaries and criminals can operate from basically anywhere theres a computer with access on the internet thats why its almost impossible to get those criminals. Phishing is just one of the many schemes used by criminals to stole money online.

I have a friend who once became a victim of this. She log on to a fake e-gold site and poof! suddenly all her funds in her account was transfered into an unknown account. This is called PHISHING. Phishing is a scam method wherin crooks sends out fake email in order to try and get valuable information on its victim, it is usually private information or financial record. they pretend to come from a well known bank, tell you that someone has changed your password or that your account will be terminated if you don’t confirm your details, and give you a link to click on.

If you you fall into their scam, you will be directed to a false website where they use to collect information you entered ad alter will be used to log in to your bank account or credit card and steal your hard earned money. In some case the crooks used your private information and used your whole identity to apply for fake loans. Before you know it your whole credit and financial history is ruined in a matter of hours.

Fortunately there are things you can do to avoid being phished.

  • No matter how genuine it looks the most important thing you should do is to NEVER respond to an email that appears to come from your financial institution. If you have to log on to your account, do not use the link included in the mail. Open a new browser, and type the URL manually.
  • If you have doubt, contact your bank (don’t use the bank phone number listed on the mail), ask them if the mail you received is legitimate.
  • Never click on any links or urls in the mails, don’t reply, don’t acknowledge.
  • Delete the suspected mail as fast as possible
  • When visiting websites be very cautious in giving out private informations and check if the site is secure.

Be aware also that phishing isn’t just limited to financial institutions. Phishing scams can also disguise as mails from well-known stores. They will give you a special offer just to click on the link. If you click on the link you will end up at their website not the store and will steal your information. Before you click anything and If you happen to be interested on that particular item or deal being offered it will be better to contact the store and seek assistance on the particular deal.

If you receive such scams it’s always a good idea to notify the company that appears on the mail. You can notify scams to paypal via spoof@paypal.com or you can report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, although this mainly deals with the more threatening and widespread phishing scams.