Scams of the Month
Phishing Scams and How to Avoid Them
Phishing is a type of scam where the scammer pretends to be a trusted company or individual in order to steal your personal information. Phishing can happen by email, phone, text message, social media message, or another type of communication.
Phishing scams often try to create urgency by telling you that something is wrong. For example, a scammer may impersonate PayPal, Amazon, a credit card company, or another business and say that someone changed your password or made a transaction on your account. They are hoping you will react quickly, without thinking it through.
In one common phishing scam, you receive an email that appears to be from your bank. The email says that your account has had suspicious activity and asks you to click a link to “verify” your personal information. The link takes you to a “look-alike website” that mimics your bank’s website in order to steal your login information when you enter your username and password. The phishing email could also contain a link or attachment that will begin downloading malicious software when clicked.
The best way to avoid being caught in a phishing scam is to take your time. Stop and think before you click a link or respond to a call or message.
Tips for Avoiding Phishing Scams:
Test your knowledge by playing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s “Phishing Scams” game at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/game-0011-phishing-scams.