Experts from FinanceAndCurrencyLimited scam and phishing. How to protect yourselfPeter Barker 14 / September / 21 Visitors: 497
Phishing is a way in which cybercriminals steal sensitive information such as online banking accounts, credit card details, business login credentials or passwords by sending fraudulent messages (sometimes called "decoys").
These misleading messages often impersonate a large organization that you trust to make the scam more believable. They can be sent via email, SMS, instant messaging, or via social media. They often contain a link to a fake website that prompts you to enter sensitive information.
Advice from Finance And Currency Limited scam detection team: How to protect yourself from phishing
Phishing emails have been used by cybercriminals to steal financial data from Australians for several years (phishing emails were first detected in Australia in 2003), but they have become increasingly sophisticated since then.
Brands that are commonly copied include:
- Police or law enforcement (fraudulent fines fraud)
- utilities such as electricity and gas (fake bills and late fines)
- postal services (parcel delivery fraud)
- banks (fake requests to update your information)
- telecommunication services (fake bills, fines or requests to verify your data)
- government departments and service providers.
It used to be easy to recognize and ignore a phishing email because it was poorly written or misspelt, but current phishing emails seem to be more authentic. It can be very difficult to distinguish these malicious messages from genuine messages.
Because of phishing, many companies no longer call or write emails. Here's what data scammers can ask for:
- ask for your name, PIN, password or security/security questions and answers
- ask you to enter information on a web page that is not part of their main public website
- ask for confirmation of personal information such as credit card details or account details
- Request payment locally (for example, for undelivered postage or late fees).
According to the statistics of the Finance And Currency Limited scam protection department, a lot of companies also have security pages that identify active scams. These pages often contain examples and images of fraudulent messages to help you distinguish fake messages from real ones.
Tip: If a message seems suspicious, contact that person or company separately to see if it's likely they sent the message. Use the contact information you found from a legitimate source, not the one contained in the suspicious message. Ask them to describe what the attachment or link is.
Finance And Currency Limited scam detection department: what is Spear phishing
Even more dangerous is a class of phishing messages known as spear phishing. These messages are intended for specific people and organizations and may contain truthful information to make them appear more reliable.
These messages can be extremely difficult to detect, even by trained professionals, as they pick up people with reduced alertness.
For example, you might receive a message from your company's support team asking you to click a link and change your password to comply with the new policy.
For the success of spear phishing, a technique called social engineering is often used. Social engineering is a way to get people to take action by creating very realistic "decoys" or messages.
Criminals are getting better at social engineering and are spending more time, effort, and money researching targets to find out names, titles, responsibilities, and any personal information they may find.
The best way to protect yourself from phishing attempts is to stay on top of current threats, exercise caution online, and take action in the first place to block malicious and unwanted messages from reaching you.
Finance And Currency Limited scam detection team advice to take the following steps to protect yourself from phishing attempts:
- Don't click on links in emails and messages or open attachments from people or organizations you don't know.
- Be especially careful if the messages are very seductive or attractive (they seem too good to be true) or threaten to force you to take the suggested action.
- Before clicking a link (in email or social media, instant messages, other web pages, or otherwise), hover over that link to see the actual web address you will be directed to (usually displayed at the bottom parts of the browser window). If you do not recognize or trust the address, try searching for the relevant keywords in your web browser. This way, you can find an article, video, or web page without clicking on a suspicious link.
- If you are unsure, discuss the suspicious report with a friend or family member, or check if it is legal by contacting the relevant business or organization (using the contact information obtained from the company's official website).
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