Don’t Get Hooked By Phishing ScamsBy Robert Siciliano March 03, 2012 | 01:25 pmPosted in: Identity Theft Protection, Internet Safety, Personal Safety
Phishing scams cost consumers and businesses billions every year. But it doesn’t need to be like that. If companies incorporate various technologies to ward off e-heists, and if consumers smarten up even a little bit, we can beat the bad guys!
One of the most prolific and effective scams is email phishing. Phishers made nine billion dollars last year. In countries where Internet access became widely available more recently, such as China and India, people are falling for the same ruses we fell for five years ago.
1. Spoofed statements: You may receive an email that appears to have been sent by a trusted, familiar business, informing you of an issue regarding a credit card charge. Rather than clicking links within the email, go directly to the website of the business in question, either by using a bookmark or typing the address manually. If you’ve never made a purchase from the company, simply check your online bank statement for the supposed charges. If there are none, just delete the email.
2. Contests: Criminals know people like to play games. They will send a million emails that appear to have been sent by a legitimate online retailer, all in an attempt to get you to enter personal information into a scam website.
3. Discounts: Emails from online retailers offering huge discounts may be legitimate, but that doesn’t mean you should access the retailer’s website by way of a link in the promotional email. Bypass email links and go to the website directly.
4. Gift cards: An offer to purchase gift cards at 25% or 50% off is extremely suspicious. Retailers never offer discounts on the equivalent of cash.
5. Auction scams: Many customers make purchases from eBay and other auction websites. While these websites have gotten better at masking users’ profiles and email addresses, scammers are still finding ways to get to you. Never respond to any emails that appear to have been sent by an auction website. Always go to the website via bookmark or by typing in the address, log in normally, and check messages internally.
Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source presenting 20 slides on identity theft at 20 seconds each to the National Speakers Association. Disclosures.
How Phishing is Like a Home Invasion
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