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Tags | How to recognise phishing and email scams
Advice on how to recognise and take action against phishing and email scams
phishing, email scam, malicious software
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Hooked by phishing

Spam emails

26 Mar Hooked by phishing

You might have heard of the term phishing and wondered what it actually means. It’s really quite simple; it’s as it’s name suggests a way that online criminals ‘hook’ you into a scam, most often by email, by offering you something that is simply took good to be true.

A typical example is when you receive an email, seemingly from a company you trust, such as a bank, an online retailer, lottery organisation or even government department. It will suggest you have been specially selected to receive an offer that you simply can’t turn down, or it will demand you take immediate action, such as “You’ve been chosen to win free vouchers to a theme park of your choice”, or “There has been a data breach at your bank and you must update your personal information immediately.”

The email will instruct you to click on a link or reply with sensitive information, such as your date of birth and address. It may also ask you to open an attachment that you will unwittingly download malicious software to your computer. This will be used to gather information from personal details to passwords, bank details and social media accounts while you are completely unaware.

These phishing scams are made to look extremely convincing and catch a lot of people out. Banks will not ask you to update your information online; companies may have great offers but make sure they are trusted emails and never open attachments from anyone but trusted friends.