“Phishing” is a lot like “fishing” – except cybercriminals are casting the bait, and you’re the fish they’re trying to hook!
Scammers are constantly trolling cyberspace looking for fresh victims. Their tackle boxes are filled with grand offers and convincing disguises. Be wary and don’t take the bait!
The old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true…” definitely applies to emails and online offers. More than likely, the person promising you a free trip or expensive prizes is only looking to scam you out of your hard-earned money and you’ll get nothing in return.
Be skeptical of any emails that request your personal information. Scammers use tricks to get their hands on your usernames, passwords and financial information. Don’t be fooled!
Cybercriminals may pose as your bank or credit card company, asking for your account information. Remember, no legitimate business would email you for that information. Most imposter emails are not perfect – look for the cracks in the façade. Spelling and grammar mistakes are telltale signs of a phishy email.
Cybercriminals also build convincing fake websites to fool the unsuspecting. Learn to look at the web address (URL) of the page. It’s located at the very top of your browser screen. A URL that doesn’t make sense or match what you’re seeing on the screen should raise a red flag.
Also, at the beginning of the URL, always look for the letters “https:” – the “s” stands for secure, meaning it’s a website where you can confidently enter your information to order products or sign up for services. If the address just starts with “http:” – beware! That means the website isn’t secure and your information could get into the wrong hands and your money straight into the pockets of a scam artist.
You must be diligent and never let your guard down, whether checking your emails or surfing the internet. Cybercriminals will even attack your computer with a false warning followed by a real threat. “Your system is infected! Download this software now!” is a tactic that cybercriminals use to trick you into letting them in. When you click to download that software, it’s not going to fix your computer, but it most likely will steal your personal information and deliver it to the scammer.
Don’t make yourself an easy target. Check out the video below for more details on how to keep your information out of the hands of cybercriminals.
The information contained in these materials is intended solely to provide general guidance on topics that may be of interest to you. While we have made reasonable efforts to present accurate and reliable information, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions, or for any actions you take or fail to take based on these materials. The information provided may not apply to your particular facts or circumstances; therefore, you should seek professional advice prior to relying on any information that may be found in these materials.