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How avoid falling victim to a phishing email scam

Phishing scams circulate on a mass global scale. They seem legitimate, appear to be from a credible source and unfortunately catch out many innocent victims.

In 2015, Action Fraud reported they received an average of 8,000 reports per month, with 96,699 people reporting phishing scams.

It’s a growing threat that will continue to evolve. Cyber criminals are persistently trying to get their hands on confidential information. Last year consumers lost £174.4 million from fraudulent phishing scams, up by 23% from 2014.

Phishing casts a wide net. Cyber criminals target both personal and business email boxes. In fact, a survey by CloudMark discovered 20% of enterprises say spear phishing is a top priority threat.

What do phishing scam emails look like?

In short, these emails look genuine. Cybercriminals replicate popular brands, logos and email formats. It looks like an ordinary email on the surface which is enough to catch out careless recipients.

How does phishing work?

The message lands in your mailbox and appears to be from a familiar source. This could be your bank, telephone provider or a well-known organisation. When you open the email you will see a professional email that again does not raise suspicion.

You will be prompted to interact with the email. It could be a request for payment on an outstanding invoice, or a request to login to your account. Another key example is an alien request to ‘review your recent purchase’.

When you click any links in the email you will usually be asked to log in to the account that you hold with the company in question. This is essentially a smokescreen page. You enter your login information and that’s it – the criminals have your confidential details.

Don’t fall for the bait! Read our infographic guide with tips on how to avoid falling victim to a phishing scam – Click the image below to view the guide.



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