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Avoiding 'Phishing Scams'


The best rule of thumb to avoid losing your password or important data is to visit the site at it's root adress.

If you receive an email insisting that your account has been compromised or similar content, that is just designed to get you to give up your details after clicking a link to visit the site in question.

For an example you receive an email stating that someone has attempted to gain unauthorised access to your PayPal account, and requests that you log in and change your password, so you click on the link in the email and you are directed to a site that looks like PayPal and you mistakenly attempt to log in to your account, when in fact you have just given the Phishing site owners all your login details.

Once you have fallen prey to phishing scandals your details are used very quickly to get as much as possible from your account before you can take action against them.

Phishing email messages take a number of forms:

  • They might appear to come from your bank or financial institution, a company you regularly do business with, such as Microsoft, or from your social networking site.

  • They might appear to be from someone you in your email address book.

  • They might ask you to make a phone call. Phone phishing scams direct you to call a phone number where a person or an audio response unit waits to take your account number, personal identification number, password, or other valuable personal data.

  • They might include official-looking logos and other identifying information taken directly from legitimate websites, and they might include convincing details about your personal history that scammer's found on your social networking pages.

  • They might include links to spoofed websites where you are asked to enter personal information.

Here are a few phrases that are commonly used in phishing email scams:

"Verify your account."

Businesses should not ask you to send passwords, logon information or user names, Social Security numbers, or other personal information through email.

If you receive an email message from Microsoft or any other business asking you to update your credit card information, do not respond: This is a phishing scam.

"You have won the lottery."

The lottery scam is a common phishing scam known as advanced fee fraud. One of the most common forms of advanced fee fraud is a message that claims that you have won a large sum of money, or that a person will pay you a large sum of money for little or no work on your part. The lottery scam often includes references to big companies, such as Microsoft. There is no Microsoft Lottery. For more information, see What is the Microsoft Lottery scam?

"If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed."

These messages convey a sense of urgency so that you'll respond immediately without thinking. A phishing email message might even claim that your response is required because your account might have been compromised.

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Article ID: 102
Category: General safety tips
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