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Phishing scams: What you need to know

Consumer Security Image
Posted in Security

Cybercriminals are counting on us to be distracted and let our guard down. Because if we do, they can trick us into handing over our personal or financial information using one of their favorite tactics: phishing.

You might be familiar with email phishing but you should know it’s not the only type of phishing you can experience. Criminals will also use websites, text messages and phone calls to deploy a phishing scam.

How to recognize a phishing email

Our email inboxes are usually bursting at the seams and an important sounding message from your bank or, perhaps, Visa could stand out. But here’s what you should be on the lookout for:

  1. Email address doesn’t match
  2. Misspelled words
  3. No name
  4. Suspicious request
  5. Avoid clicking on hyperlinks if possible
  6. Deadlines and account suspension
  7. No contact information
How to recognize a phishing text message
  1. There’s a link instead of a phone number
  2. Text doesn’t contain the name of the credit union
  3. The text requests that you log in to your account to verify a transaction
How to recognize phone-based phishing
  1. You’ll receive a phone call from someone who works in the “Security and Fraud Department”
  2. The scammer explains that your card has been flagged for suspicious transactions
  3. You might be asked to provide the three-digit security code
How to recognize website phishing
  1. Look for misspelled words, substitutions or updated logos
  2. An unusual popup on the site that requests that you enter your account information
  3. There are HTML links that don’t match their destination

Many modern browsers offer options for anti-phishing protection that can warn you if you’re visiting an unsafe website. But as always, one of the best tools to protect yourself is by using your common sense.

To read the entire article, click here to visit Visa’s blog on Consumer Security.