Anyone can become a victim of identity theft. Many people would assume that elderly people are more at risk, but it's been shown that tech-savvy people are 18 times more likely to fall prey to phishing scams.
When you throw in phishing threats, the numbers on identity theft rises. But, let's be honest, is it really theft when you're handing over your passwords?
Sure, hackers are deceptive, but you're the one that needs to know what's legitimate and what's not. We're going to take a look at some examples of phishing.
More importantly, we'll show you how to avoid these four major phishing scams.
Examples of Phishing: Scare Tactics
When you get an email from a government agency, you're sure to open it, right? It may seem like it's from the IRS or the FBI and a very pressing issue.
This the start of a phishing technique that unfortunately is very difficult to identify. The hacker wants you to send in your information right away to avoid prosecution or some other "bad" thing from happening.
Anytime a government agency contacts you, it will be through the mail. Snail mail, not over the internet. They also will not call you to tell you your taxes are late, missing, etc.
Don't Talk to Strangers
As a child, you're told not to talk to strangers. That works well in many cases, but you may be contacted by someone or an organization that you know.
It can be "your" bank, or even a good friend.
The bank email may look completely real. It may direct you to a website that looks just like your actual bank's site.
Your safest bet on this one is to type in your bank's web address yourself. It is likely you will find there is nothing wrong with your account.
If not, just don't click the conveniently placed link. Give your bank a call--they may want to pursue this.
A good friend emails you. They're asking for an absurd amount of money. Or for some odd information. Don't reply back, instead call your friend.
Cell Phones Aren't Safe
This example of phishing is an odd one. Most people can identify and ignore it quickly. Some still fall for it, and that makes it worth mentioning.
It's simple, really. You'll get a text from a weird number, you respond to it. The number texts back a link or a phone number. You click on or call it.
The link is malicious software that records the information you input. The number might tell you an account has been compromised, closed, or delinquent. You enter the card or account number.
And you've been phished.
The "average Joe" won't ever have to worry about this type of scam. But this example of phishing isn't any less valid.
This involves any of the above scams targeted to an exact individual. It can be much harder to detect because the spear phisher may have information so pertinent to his victim's life.
Distinguishing this information as false can be done, but it isn't easy. But the quickest way to prevent is double check spellings of emails and websites, as well as using common sense.
Your best defense is a good offense. Just like technology is ever expanding, so are hackers and phishers. Stay up-to-date on all the examples of phishing and new types of hacks.
If you think you've been a victim of a phishing expedition, call the law. Do what you need to secure your personal information.
Once you've gotten that taken care of, look at some options to keep your data and information secure. Contact us for direction on how to do so.