How not to fall victim to a phishing scam

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 01, 2018

We all know we could be scammed and these days it’s becoming harder and harder to tell what’s legitimate and what’s not. Phishing attack are not only increasing, they’re getting more sophisticated.

Here are the main ways scammers are targeting you and what you can do to beat them at their own game.

It all starts in your inbox with your email. It’s the easiest way for scammers to strike. They’re phishing for your personal info and their bait is pretty convincing.

Girbin Klein is a senior security analyst and said, “These are the types that people will get into their email inbox typically that claim to be from Apple, claim to be from American Express, whatever company or bank people might be associated with."

Scammers are getting more sophisticated with how they approach us. "It's claiming that you know you've won something or your accounts are being closed down because there's been some weird activity with your account," Klein added. "I mean those are the types of emails that get people's attention."

Right now, fake Netflix emails are circulating. The email asks you to verify your billing information by clicking on the link. It even gives you a separate link to visit the help center. There’s also a fake email being sent out that’s claiming it’s from Apple. Recent research suggests one in four emails is trying to get your Apple ID, making it the top target of hackers.

If you receive one of these emails, here’s what you should do. Never click on the link. That’s what scammers use to steal your information. Instead, if you’re really concerned, go to the company's website on your own and check things out. You can also try hovering your cursor over a link to see where it directs you, but there’s now new software that doesn’t always show you that.

Finally, look at the email sender’s address. Who sent it? Are there inconsistencies? Sometimes it looks like it’s from a family member, friend or company you know, but the address doesn’t match up.

Remember, just because they’re phishing doesn’t mean we have to take the bait. Something else to keep in mind is your bank will never send a generic email requesting personal information be sent back to it. Make sure you check your online accounts frequently and to install firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware in your computer.