In the good old days, our bank accounts were susceptible to forgery – if you were not very careful, someone could forge your signature and clean up your account. In the current day and age, unscrupulous elements just steal your identity!
Fear and Greed are the two emotions most scammers use, to induce you to share your sensitive information. They will either scare you into submission with: “Your account will be suspended / blocked”; or then, tempt you with a fabulous gift, with: “You have won a lottery!” They will then redirect you to a fake site (which looks deceptively like your original bank site) to update your personal information, and get access to it. We need to be extra careful and smart, not to fall for such E-mails, WhatsApp / SMS messages.
Phishing is a cybercrime in which scammers try to lure you into parting your sensitive information or data, by disguising themselves as a trustworthy source. Phishing could be in various forms:
- Email Phishing: Scammers create emails that impersonate legitimate companies;
- Spear Phishing: Similar to e-mail phishing, but the messages are more personalized. For example, they may appear to come from your boss or from someone from within your organization;
- Clone Phishing: Scammers intercept an e-mail on the way and include a dangerous attachment or link; and
- Pop-up Phishing: Fraudulent pop-ups trick users into installing malware on their machine which then conveys sensitive information back to the scammers.
All the above can also come to you by way of Whatsapp or SMS
How can one protect oneself from phishing attempts?
- When visiting bank websites, always look for the padlock icon and https:// in the address bar. Verify that the address bar has the correct spelling of your Bank.
- Don’t open suspicious emails and do not click on suspicious links in emails – if in doubt – just trash it.
- Don’t send financial information through email. If you have to send information on email, use confidential mode in Gmail or use a third-party self-destructing mail service.
- Do not click on pop-up ads.
- Use a strong, paid anti-spam service and antivirus protection program.
- Use long passwords which are difficult to guess and change them periodically.
- Never ever give your OTP to anyone on phone or on a software which they ask you to install.
And most of all, do not fall prey to fear and greed!!
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