Phishing scams are becoming more sophisticated, so how can you identify a scam and protect your data?
You may have received a call, text or email in recent times, claiming to be from a service provider, offering a refund or tax back. To claim the money, you need to click on a link and insert bank details. You know that saying “If it seems too good to be true then it probably is”? That applies here. This is the very definition of phishing.
Phishing is the term for online identity theft and fraud. Those behind the attacks seek to obtain the personal information of their victims, such as passwords, bank account information and credit card details by sending a spoof electronic communication from what looks like a legitimate source.
Clicking a link contained in such an email puts your information at risk.
In the last few weeks alone Irish Water, TVLicense.ie and multiple banks have been used as cover by the cybercriminals. This is just one of the many phishing emails I have received since January:
While it looks legit upon first reading, closer inspection shows that it is, in fact, a scam.
Look at the email addresses: tv.licence.web=anpost(dot)ie(at)starhealthpuertorico(dot)com.
While a large number of businesses are going paperless, it is very rare that a company will ever ask for personal information via email. If you are in doubt, suss it out.
These systems are becoming more sophisticated but there's a few simple things you can do to ensure you and your data stay safe.