Identify and avoid phishing messages

Phishing used to mean a form of digital deception where a third party tries to trick you through the use of trust-building methods. For example, rather than sending an email saying you owe them money, they would pretend to be a large company with the hopes you already had an account. Nowadays, phishing refers to most types of digital communication that try to trick you into giving away financial information, personal information, passwords, or account information.

More sophisticated methods include masking the original email address or phone number in order to make it look real, and the use of genuine personal information to trick a user into thinking the digital communication is real.

There are many ways to identify fake communications, but your best bet is to simply ignore them. For example, if you receive an email from Amazon that says you have a problem with your account, and it all looks real, you should still avoid clicking any links in it or opening any attachments. Instead, find the Amazon websites through your favourites or web browser or Bing or Google, and sign in that way to see if the problem is real.

Phishing Messages - What You Should Look For

Feel free to hover over links to see if they lead to a legitimate place, without clicking on them, and feel free to use the block feature to see which email address or phone number is "Actually" available to block. For example, it may say it is from Amazon, but when you click to block, it says the email is from
Be as pro-active as you can. Simply do not open attachments if you are not sure of the content, and do not give away your passwords, login information and so forth. Do not click on links and/or try to sign in through digital messages. Find another way instead.
Report phishing messages. For example, with Outlook, you can report emails that you believe are phishing emails. If the email provider receives enough reports, then the email provider can take action and can even block and ban the servers that are sending the emails. This makes it more difficult for spammers to restart their phishing scams.
Don't respond. In fact, do not open the messages or answer the calls. Do not call back the companies that leave you voicemails unless you know who they are. Many online messages let you see a preview before you open a message. If things look phishy, then do not open the message. If you open the messages, and especially if you reply to them, then your email address or phone number becomes more valuable and will be sold to even more spammers.

Some Tips to Stay Safe When Online Banking

Again, do not sign in through digital messages, and do not give up your information. Be aware that banks will never contact you through digital messages and ask for information, though if they call you then they may ask you one or two questions. Try to be careful when giving your answers. Remember that the email address or phone number that appears in the "From" section may not be real. It is possible for a scammer to use your "Own" phone number or email address in the "From" section.
Spelling mistakes are there on purpose. The sad fact is that scammers use spelling mistakes so that most people will ignore them. Only the most vulnerable people are therefore likely to fall for the scam, and vulnerable people are the ones they are targeting. Your bank knows your name, the last numbers of your bank account, and several other pieces of information. A scammer "May" know this information, but in most cases, they have spotty information at best. This is often evident by the way they address you, such as by calling you "Valued customer" rather than by your name.