What is Phishing?
Phishing is a common scam where individuals impersonate legitimate organisations in hopes of obtaining credit card numbers or other sensitive information from their victims.
The term phishing is typically used to describe communications that arrive via email, but it can also take place by text message, social media or over the phone. For example, you might receive a message from someone claiming to be from your bank, insisting that you need to transfer funds to another account immediately.
Keep reading to find out how to identify these attempts and avoid them going forward.
How Can I Avoid It?
Check the authenticity of the sender
One of the easiest ways to identify phishing attempts is by reviewing the email address, account or phone number that the message originated from.
For an email address, you’ll want to pay attention to the domain that the address belongs to. The domain refers to the part of the email address following the ‘@’ sign.
For example, if you were to receive an email claiming to be from Amazon, you’d want to ensure that the end of the address ends in ‘@amazon.com’.
If there are any spelling mistakes present in the address or the domain is public, then it likely isn’t an authentic email.
For messages received via social media, the best way to check the authenticity is by opening the profile of the sender.
Legitimate businesses will usually have a blue tick that indicates they’ve been verified by the platform, although it’s worth noting that not all accounts will have this.
If you’re unsure, it’s always best to seek out the business’ contact information directly through their website.
As for text messages or calls, it can be trickier to identify if a phone number is authentic. This is because it’s possible to disguise your number, so in this case, it’s always best to contact the organisation directly.
Never click links from unexpected sources
Even if you’ve checked out the sender and believe them to be authentic, it’s always best to be on the safe side and refrain from clicking any links received in the communication.
Links, like phone numbers, can be easily disguised. They might show one address but actually direct you to a different one once you open the link.
This could result in the sender creating a fake version of an organisation’s website, and once you enter your login information, it will be recorded on the scammer’s system.
Instead of opening any links received in a message, go directly to their website yourself and investigate the matter that way.
Call the organisation if you’re still unsure
Trying to verify phishing attempts can sometimes be overwhelming, so the best course of action can often be to call the organisation yourself and ask if they’ve sent the message.
This will give you a quick answer, and many companies will be grateful for being informed of phishing attempts.
This way, they can work on additional security measures to help make phishing attempts less successful on their customers in the future.
Debt Help Available in Scotland
Unfortunately, we are seeing more people than ever struggling with unaffordable debt.
If this applies to you, we might be able to help!
Here at Scottish Trust Deed, we provide advice on all formal debt solutions that are available in Scotland.
Our experienced debt advisers will be able to discuss your situation and provide you with information on all the solutions that would suit your individual circumstances so that you can make an informed decision on what is right for you.
If you think that a debt solution may be the right option for you, you can contact us via WhatsApp or LiveChat, or chek if you are eligible via our Scottish Trust Deed Wizard Tool or call us on 0141 456 0430.
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