According to the FBI’s latest Internet Crime Report, the number of victims of phishing attacks increased by 59% between 2015 and 2018. Many cases of online fraud go unreported.
How to detect a Phishing Scam:
- Email sent apparently from a company you don’t recognize or do business with is obviously suspicious. If you think you received an email that you think is intended for someone else, remember that the likelihood is that it’s a scam, and proceed accordingly. If the message includes an attachment or a web link to which you can respond, assume that they are malicious.
Don’t click on the attachment or link
- If you do receive email from a services provider that you use but it is to an email address you never use, consider that equally suspicious. You can actually use this possibility as a way of increasing security. You may want to create a secondary email that is used specifically for banking or other transactions. If you do, never publish it anywhere. This isn’t a guarantee in itself that the message is genuine. Even if you never use the address for any other purpose, it’s possible that the address will fall into the hands of scammers.
- If you do have an account with the institution, but the message isn’t personalized – with your own name or a specific identifier such as a verifiable account number – regard it as highly suspicious. Greetings like “Dear Old National Bank Customer” or “Dear Amazon User” suggests the sender is trying to catch anyone who happens to receive the mail.
- Keep in mind that if a message does include personal details it isn’t unequivocal proof that it’s a genuine message. Your data can be leaked from a service provider that doesn't include login credentials.
- If the mail doesn’t seem to be addressed to anyone, it was blind copied to you and, probably, any number of other people. Don’t trust it