Phishing is a method of identity theft that relies on individuals unwittingly volunteering personal details or information that can be then be used for nefarious purposes. It is often carried out through the creation of a fraudulent website, email, or text appearing to represent a legitimate firm.
A scammer may use a fraudulent website that appears on the surface to look the same as the legitimate website. Visitors to the site, thinking they are interacting with a real business, may submit their personal information, such as social security numbers, account numbers, login IDs, and passwords, to this site. The scammers then use the information submitted to steal visitors’ money, identity, or both; or to sell the information to other criminal parties.
Phishing may also occur in the form of emails or texts from scammers that are made to appear as if they are sent from a legitimate business. These fake emails or texts may install programs like ransomware that can allow scammers to access a victim’s computer or network.
Phishing scammers create a false sense of security for their targets by spoofing or replicating the familiar, trusted logos of well-known, legitimate companies, or they pretend to be a friend or family member of their victims. Often, the scammers attempt to persuade victims they need personal information urgently, or the victim will experience a severe consequence, such as frozen accounts or personal injury.
A classic example of phishing is an identity thief setting up a website that looks like it belongs to a major bank. Then, that thief sends out many emails that claim to be from the major bank and request the email recipients to input their personal banking information (such as their PIN) into the website so the bank may update their records. Once the scammer gets a hold of the needed personal information, they attempt to access the victim’s bank account.
Phishing scams are some of the most common attacks on consumers. According to the FBI, more than 114,700 people fell victim to phishing scams in 2019. Collectively, they lost $57.8 million, or about $500 each.
The following highlights signs of phishing, and how to protect yourself.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), phishing emails and text messages frequently tell stories to trick people into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. For example, phishing attempts may:
Article Source: investopedia.com
Before you start risking your money, check the credibility of the desired website. Search for its URL in the our long list of Scam sites, or send us a request to check its validity, and do not register, buy or invest in it until you are sure of the validity and legality of that website or platform.