Phishing has become very common these days. No matter how much we try to avoid it, criminals continue to use countless methods and types of phishing emails to deceive email users. In the email obsessed world of today, phishing is the electronic version of social entrapment that has found a large market. Fraudulent emails are sent by hackers to literally millions and millions of people on a daily basis in the hopes of a click on the attached pictures, documents or links. The goal of the hackers is to get recipients to provide their valuable information such as credit card numbers, PINs, banking numbers, passwords, social security numbers and the like.
Different methods are used through which the hackers achieve their goals. Sometimes, the cybercriminals send email recipients loads of harmful malware when they open an email attachment on their systems. It has become a serious issue. Other times, the recipient would be fooled into providing their sensitive personal information through the fake web forms. Now, the truth is that these small mistakes that people tend to make such as by clicking on a link lead to some serious issues such as compromise on personal and corporate security.
Normally, phishers would send email that look legitimate and appear as if they are from reputable customers and companies which many people do business with such as PayPal, DHL, Federal Express, Amazon or the like. Customers are asked in the emails to often confirm their information or visit the business website by simply clicking on a link and consequences are listed in case one fails to act. In order to avoid being scammed by phishers, here is a list of the 10 most phising tactics to keep you safe.
- The Friendly Tactic
Many times, you will find an unknown individual who would email you claiming to know you in an email. Obviously, you are not suffering from amnesia that you wouldn’t know who your friend is. Most of the time, it is an attempt to make you send or wire them money. A difference of this theme that you will observe would be that the friend lives in a foreign country and requires your urgent help. If you feel tempted by the email, give your friend a call to see if they actually need money or not so as to verify. It is probably just your true friend’s email contact list having been hijacked that you receive the email in the first place.
- The Government Maneuver
This type of email would appear as if it is direct from the federal agency such as the FBI or the tax authorities and would try to scare you into offering them all your personal information. Some of the common messages include “You have failed to pay your taxes and the government has the right to sell of your assets to recover the money. Click on the link to make a payment”.
- The Billing Problem
Another phishing tactic that works perfectly for the hackers is wherein they state that your credit card had been denied and you need to re-enter the information or another card’s information to have the goods delivered to you.
- The Expiration Date
This type of email would frivolously explain that your company account is about to be expired and you need to provide your information and sign in to avoid having the data lost. Once again, a link would be included in the email which would take you to another spoofed login page.
- Virus Scare
This email would state that your laptop has been infected with a virus and to avoid losing data or money, follow the given instructions on the link.
- Contest Winner
Don’t get too excited if you receive an email that claims that you have won a prize such as a hundred thousand dollars or an inheritance from a relative. Such emails are completely bogus and do not follow the instructions of the email.
- Friendly Bank
Different bank accounts offer different account notifications when money is withdrawn from the account. This type of email tricks you into believing that an amount of money has been taken out of your account which exceeds the notification limit. The email further explains that the link should be clicked on to follow the procedure to verify the transaction. This is a malicious email.
- The Victim
This email includes a threat of informing the authorities by an angry customer who sent you money in return such as for a shipped product. The customer accuses you of something they don’t like the about the product and informs you to answer them immediately.
- The Donation
This type of email asks your donations to victims of disasters such as droughts or any other disaster such as refugees from war torn areas. It requests you to make donations to help the orphans and people who need to recover from injuries or diseases that have put their lives at a danger.
- The Checkup
Another type of email attempt by phishers is the checkup. It claims to be a certain company that is conducting a security procedure and asks you to verify your account details. This is normally a scam and is an effective way to get you to provide the hackers with information.
Here are the things which you need to do when you receive a phishing email.
- Delete the email from the computer.
- Don’t click on any of the open attachments, links or expand the email.
- Report the scam immediately and forward the email to the FTC.
- Never reply the sender of the email.
- If you receive a phishing email which claims to be a legitimate business, contact the business to ensure that they had sent the email or not.
Use Anti-Phising Software
Phishing tactics can lead to serious consequences which is why it is important to use zonealarm anti-phishing as it will help ensure that your computer is protected at all times.