Do you keep getting mails informing you about an impossible amount that you’ve won? That too, for no good reason? Well then repeat this in your head “There are no free lunches in life”, especially if it comes in the form of a fishy mail.
It is not an uncommon occurrence. You are having a bad day (or a good one) and suddenly you get an email from your bank saying that you have won $5000 which you can claim right away. You might feel on top of the world but if you have better sense, you wouldn’t want to get conned with such lame mails. When you go through the email it will most certainly inform you can claim your Jackpot amount by simply filling in a (fake) form concerning your account,credit card and other such personal details. Before you fall for this trap, ask yourself a few simple questions to ascertain the credibility of such mails.
- Is your bank running any such offer or a scheme?
- Why is the bank asking your account details when they already have all your details?
- Is the sender having your bank’s domain name in its email address?
- Have you ever heard of phishing scams?
You will obviously get alarming answers once you ask yourself these questions. Let us understand this in detail. Cybercrime is nothing new. Phishing is one such widespread Internet malady. Scammers often attempt to obtain your sensitive information such as username, password, bank account details, personal details and business details which is known as phishing.
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From time to time, scammers run these phishing campaigns to steal money out of your accounts or to maintain the data base of personal information which can be exploited later. In the last -decade, the number of phishing scams and its victims has increased dramatically. However, banks and other financial institutions have taken initiatives to make their customers aware of this by providing special password security instructions and trainings.
What do phishing scammers do?
Phishing scammers create a clone website which looks almost similar to your bank’s website. After that, they create an email account using the domain in which just one or two words are miss- spelled from the original bank’s email. Then an email is sent to you having a link of the clone website and you have to enter your details in it. These emails often say that you have won a huge prize money or you are our lucky customer which is just to encourage you to enter the details quickly. You will notice that your bank does not ask your details repeatedly, once you have your open an account with them. Even on phone banking or teleshopping, you get redirected to IVR (Interactive voice response) when it comes to entering your card details or password.
The best way to stay safe from phishing scams is not to get carried away with such emails. Following precautions can also save you from becoming a victim of a phishing scam.
- Do not go with look and feel of any website. Always check the domain name carefully and make sure that this is the correct website.
- Use different passwords for all your accounts and do not share them with anyone.
- Follow password security instructions given by your bank.
- An Internet security software can also save you. Some internet security software have a feature to identify and block the clone website which looks same as the genuine website.
Awareness plays an important role in safeguarding you because these phishing scams can not only reach you by email but also by one of your social media accounts. Always remember you can be lucky sometimes but you should be aware at all times.