Hi all, for those of you that don't know, Phishing is a practice that potential scammers/fraudsters carry out to dupe you into giving out your bank/card details. It's been widely published and still it happens.
Officially - "Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers."
Here's a real life example....
I have just received an e-mail allegedly from Virginmedia - see image below. Note the red circle - its not from Virginmedia, just some criminals trying to convince me to hand over my personal details.
Now, i am really careful (as you would expect, given what I do for a living!!) but I was nearly fooled. This email came through to my @ntlworld.com account which is part of Virginmedia and it arrived at about the time of the month that I receive a legitimate e-mail saying my bill is ready for review.
I picked up the strange sender email address and switched to secure test PC in my workshop, with no onward access to my home or work network or to any sensitive information etc. (so don't try this at home folks), I clicked the link - which didn't take me to Virginmedia.net but a completely different website where I was asked for my username and password - it was a very convincing facsimile of the Virginmedia login page. I duly entered a username and password - not my own of course !! and was thanked and then taken to a page where I was asked for my full name, address, date of birth, payment card (including CVV) and bank details. Again I duly entered all my "non" details and was thanked and told my account would be updated accordingly. Needless to say, on this occasion, these people will have received a random selection of numbers and swearwords but............
If I had been anyone else, I would have just given these scumbags my Virgin username, password, bank, card and other personal details allowing them to steal my identity and rob me.
I have also had a similar e-mail from Apple recently as well.
There are a few measures below you can take to ensure you are not duped.
First and foremost, make sure you have good, up to date AntiVirus, Firewall and Malware protection. I can recommend these - just click here to e-mail me.
Slow Down ! Take a second to double check the sender e-mail address before you open the email and interact with it - it should always be, for example, @virginmedia.co,uk from Virginmedia and @bt.com for BT etc. etc.
If you have multiple e-mail accounts bear in mind what account you have linked to what service - e.g. I received a recent phishing e-mail allegedly from Apple on my Owltech e-mail account when all my apple dealings are linked to another e-mail address.
If you receive any suspect e-mails from known companies that you deal with on a regular basis, go to their website and search for "scam" or "phishing" - they will have a department that deals with these sort of emails - it is usually a "security@" or "phishing@" e-mail address for you to froward the suspect e-mail to.
Don't, repeat don't enter ANY details onto a form after following an e-mail link unless you are 100% sure it is safe and legitimate.
Finally, if in doubt.....Keep Calm and Contact the Owl
Stay safe everyone