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Phishing scams are fraudulent attempts to obtain personal information from people such as passwords, bank account details & usernames. They can also install harmful software onto your computer.
It’s a way in which a scammer tricks you into giving your personal information. They’ll pretend to be calling or contacting from a legitimate business like a bank or telephone provider. Here, they’ll ask for you to provide personal details, including your bank details. They’ll tell you that there’s been ‘unauthorised or suspicious activity from your account.’ Or tell you ‘you’ve made a large purchase in a foreign country.’ If you reply saying you haven’t done these payments, they’ll ask for your bank details so the ‘bank’ can investigate. In reality, they need your bank details, or already have your details, just need to identify your card.
Phishing is designed to come across as genuine & professional, whether that’s on a call or over email. They’ll often copy the format that other websites & companies use, but give it minor tweaks, so it still looks believable. However, you’ll be taken through to a fake website.
- You’ll receive an email, text or phone call claiming to be from a bank, telecommunications provider, or other business you regularly deal with, asking you to update or verify your details.
- The email or text message does not address you by your proper name and may contain typing errors and grammatical mistakes.
- The website address does not look like the address you usually use and is requesting details the legitimate site does not normally ask for.
- You notice new icons on your computer screen, or your computer is not as fast as it normally is.
- When clicking through on a link, make sure the code says https://. Make sure there’s an ‘s’ as this stands for secure.
How to protect yourself:
- Do not click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from your bank or another trusted organisation and asking you to update or verify your details – just press delete.
- Do an internet search using the names or exact wording of the email or message to check for any references to a scam.
- Never provide your personal, credit card or online account details to a call claiming to be from your bank or any organisation. Instead, ask for their name and contact number and make an independent check with the organisation in question before calling back.
If you believe that you’ve been scammed by phishing , contact your bank immediately.
If you want to report a scam, click here to report them to the National Cyber Security Centre.