Phishing : Being Careful!!!!
It all began one day when i got a mail as discussed in my previous post. It was a phishing mail.
One on the easiest ways for your private information to be stolen is called ‘phishing’ and the most common way this technique is used is through email. It is also called ‘spoofing’.
Phishing : The Process
1. A Scamster sets up a fake bank or some other type of large popular site where MANY users are likely to have accounts. This fake site will look a lot like the real website.
2. The Scamster will then send out emails to a large number of people that indicates there is some type of problem or issue with their account and direct them to the FAKE site to fix it with a convenient link in the email for easy access.
3. Scam artist checks his database or file for private information that has been harvested from the FAKE website and uses it to steal money, identity, or other valuables.
Tips to Identify a ‘phishing’ email :
1. Ask Your Self Do I have an Account with them ??
Check to see if you even have an account with this company. If you don’t have an account with the Bank then why would it send you an email that tells you to fix a problem with your account? Bingo, PHISHING!
2. Take a look at the URL.
If you do have an account with the company, hover your mouse pointer on the provided link and take a look at the URL at the bottom of your browser. Does it look like the correct URL for that institution? It may have the name of the Bank in it somewhere, but is it REALLY the normal URL you use to access the bank ?
As an example say the bank’s real URL is http:\\mybank.com and the URL you are provided in the email looks like http:\\itsascam.mybank.com\index.html. Look fishy ?? That’s because the domain has been changed to one in the scamsters control. A bank would not do that.
Also, Any site which would have transactions including Finance would have “https” in their URL.
3. Check the grammar.
Check for spelling errors, typos, stilted language and poor grammar. An Official email from a professional company has to be Grammatically correct and well written(albeit for legal reasons!!!).
4. Who sent it?
Does it even have a FROM address? Check this address against other ‘normal’ informational emails that you have received from this organization. Does it match up?
5. Still have a Doubt ??
Then simply open a new browser window or tab and access your account as you normally would. DON’T use the link in the email!!! If you still can’t see the problem the email described, then the email is PHISHING!
Remember that while all these pointers do help you keep safe from such Phishing scams, what will take you a long way is your common sense so make sure that you use it whenever you get a mail related to your financial information.