How To Recognize A Phishing Email Message

How To Recognize A Phishing Email Message

How to​ recognize a​ Phishing email message
Phishing is​ the practice of​ sending fraudulent email messages supposedly from a​ legitimate company or​ organization in​ order to​ trick someone into giving out personal and confidential information .​
This information could include a​ user ID, password, credit card number or​ even a​ Social Security number .​
At its most basic level, Phishing is​ a​ form of​ identity theft .​
It is​ one of​ the fastest growing cyber crimes, and there are estimates that 1 in​ 20 people who receive a​ Phishing email will respond to​ it​ with their personal information .​
Since the criminals who send out these Phishing messages are good at​ what they do, it’s important to​ be able to​ recognize a​ Phishing email so you won’t respond to​ their request and become a​ victim of​ identity theft .​
Here are a​ few signs that the message you have received might just be a​ Phishing expedition .​
• The email message is​ generic .​
Phishing emails are sent out in​ bulk to​ thousands of​ people, so you’ll see a​ generic greeting like ‘Dear Valued Customer’ and not directly addressed to​ you by name .​
• The message gives a​ false sense of​ urgency .​
Phishing emails are developed and designed specifically to​ push the recipient to​ immediate action .​
If there is​ no compelling reason to​ respond to​ the message, you won’t .​
But if​ there is​ a​ fear of​ some kind of​ consequence for not providing the requested information you might just be motivated to​ act quickly .​
This fear, urgency or​ even panic created by a​ Phishing email begins right with the subject line .​
Here are a​ few examples from actual Phishing messages:
‘Online Alert: Online Account is​ Blocked’
’Fraud Report’
’Credit Card Declined Notice’
’Unauthorized Account Access’
The text of​ the message builds upon the initial sense of​ urgency .​
a​ message may state that your account will be closed within 24 hours if​ you don t verify your information .​
Sometimes the messages state that there has been suspicious activity on your bank account, or​ your credit card has been charged by an​ undesirable web site.

The criminals who send out Phishing emails have taken their scam to​ a​ new level .​
Now people are getting Phishing messages that offer a​ reward for responding to​ the message .​
The newest Phishing scam is​ a​ message that states you ve won a​ gift card somewhere (JC Penney, Circuit City and The Sports Authority have been recent ones), and you need to​ click the link in​ the email to​ provide the information where the gift can be sent .​
Other Phishing emails offer free enrollment in​ a​ fraud protection program by clicking the link and providing the requested information .​
• The message states specifically this is​ not a​ scam .​
How does that saying go if​ it​ looks like a​ duck and quacks like a​ duck, it​ probably is​ a​ duck .​
Legitimate messages don’t need to​ state the obvious .​
• A request is​ made to​ verify your information, and a​ link provided for you to​ do so .​
Phishing emails will use some tactic in​ order to​ trick the recipient into providing confidential information .​
This request is​ often tied in​ with the false sense of​ urgency created in​ the message .​
The link will take you to​ a​ very authentic looking site and ask you to​ fill in​ certain personal information .​
If you recognize you’ve made a​ mistake and you try to​ go back to​ a​ Phishing web site you probably won’t find it .​
The average lifespan of​ a​ Phishing web site in​ December 2018 was 6 days .​
The link that is​ included in​ the email message for you to​ click and provide information might look legitimate, but it​ isn’t .​
Often the criminals will create a​ web site that has almost the same name as​ the original web site .​
They might add the word verify or​ use some other word along with the company name .​
You should never click a​ hyperlink in​ an​ email, especially if​ you don’t know who sent it​ to​ you .​
Knowledge can be power when it​ comes to​ protecting yourself from identity theft and Phishing scams .​
Be aware of​ the tricks a​ criminal might do to​ steal your information, and don’t fall prey to​ them.

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