Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers.

 

How does this scam work?

A scammer contacts you out of the blue pretending to be from a legitimate business such a bank, telephone or internet service provider. You may be contacted by email, social media, phone call, or text message.

The scammer asks you to provide or confirm your personal details. For example, the scammer may say that the bank or organisation is verifying customer records due to a technical error that wiped out customer data. Or, they may ask you to fill out a customer survey and offer a prize for participating.

Alternatively, the scammer may alert you to ‘unauthorised or suspicious activity on your account’. You might be told that a large purchase has been made in a foreign country and asked if you authorised the payment. If you reply that you didn’t, the scammer will ask you to confirm your credit card or bank details so the ‘bank’ can investigate. In some cases the scammer may already have your credit card number and ask you to confirm your identity by quoting the 3 or 4 digit security code printed on the card.

Phishing messages are designed to look genuine, and often copy the format used by the organisation the scammer is pretending to represent, including their branding and logo. They will take you to a fake website that looks like the real deal, but has a slightly different address. For example, if the legitimate site is ‘www.realbank.com.au’, the scammer may use an address like ‘www.reallbank.com’.

If you provide the scammer with your details online or over the phone, they will use them to carry out fraudulent activities, such as using your credit cards and stealing your money.

Other types of phishing scams

  • Whaling and spear phishing – the scammer targets a business in an attempt to get confidential information for fraudulent purposes. To make their request appear legitimate, they use details and information specific to the business that they have obtained elsewhere.
  • Pharming – the scammer redirects you to a fake version of a legitimate website you are trying to visit. This is done by infecting your computer with malware which causes you to be redirected to the fake site, even if you type the real address or click on your bookmarked link.

Warning signs

  • You 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.

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 – many scams can be identified this way.
  • Look for the secure symbol. Secure websites can be identified by the use of ‘https:’ rather than ‘http:’ at the start of the internet address, or a closed padlock or unbroken key icon at the bottom right corner of your browser window. Legitimate websites that ask you to enter confidential information are generally encrypted to protect your details.
  • Never provide your personal, credit card or online account details if you receive a call claiming to be from your bank or any other organisation. Instead, ask for their name and contact number and make an independent check with the organisation in question before calling back.

Can you believe it? A phishing email apologizing for the Nigerian scams.

 

WA Affiliate-nigerian scam

 

4 thoughts on “Phishing Scams

  1. I have been a victim of these types of scams before unfortunately. I am much educated now about them, and warn as much people as I can. Cannot believe that the Nigerian Scam is doing the rounds again! will it ever stop.
    Thanks for letting the public know about it again.
    Cheers, Malcolm

    1. Hi Malcolm. Sorry to hear you were scammed previously with these types of scams, and really hapy that you are letting other people know how to avoid them. It is annoying that these Nigerian letter scams are re-surfacing again, and I just hope that we can get the word out to as many people as possible. Best wishes for the future. Thanks, Diane

  2. I am getting very disheartened over how many more of these scams are being car halted to honest hard working people! What is the matter with earning an honest income! People seem to want the easy money ripping off other people!
    I have also had a friend who was scammed by Kyle Hodgetts from Mysol Pty Ltd! I hope the police lock this guy away for good soon, before other people get hurt! Thanks for letting people know about these scumbags Diane! Ron Hannah

    1. It can be very disheartening to see the increase of scams across Australia and worldwide, which is why I am trying to let people know of all of these scams going around! I am sorry your friend has also been a victim of Kyle Hodgetts and I have sent you a private email to get more information from you in regards to him and Mysol! Regards, Diane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *