Phishing is not a new variety of fish that you may have missed but a form of a scam. The focus is on sending as many out as possible with the logic that enough people will click on the communication that scammers can make a profit. Phishing is a low-cost operation that simply needs people to be convinced to click on the links and follow the instructions. There are over 11 million reported phishing scams every year in the UK to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
This is a Government organisation focused on preventing scams and removing scam sites.
Phishing is a scam attempt that uses either email, phone calls or texts that convinces a consumer to follow the instructions.
A classic example is the mail scam. This is where you receive an email or text message related to unpaid postal charges.
In order to receive a package there is a weblink in the email/text.
If you click on the link you’re directed to a website that looks authentic and asked to enter your details.
This can either be a way of harvesting your information or even worse you add in card details and money is taken from your account.
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Recent mail scams to watch out for
Scammers have impersonated DHL to scam Britons, the delivery company confirmed on it’s Fraud Awareness page.
DHL said: “Attempts have been made to defraud Internet shoppers by the unauthorised use of the DHL name and brand via email communications and graphics which appear, on the surface, to have originated from DHL.
“In most cases the communications concern the sale of consumer goods over the Internet where payment may be requested before the goods are delivered. Please be advised that DHL does not request payment in this manner. DHL only collects money due for official DHL related shipping expenses.”
An Evri delivery scam is targeting Britons via text, a report has claimed. The scam involves a fake tex from a random phone number, but it claims to be from the delivery company.
It reads: “Evri: Your parcel has a £1.45 shipping fee, to pay this now visit: evri-delivery-fees.com. Failure will result in your parcel being returned to sender.”
Do not follow this link or enter your bank details.
A similar DPD scam comes in text form, claiming the company has tried to deliver your parcel but missed you. The text contains a link which will take you to a page where you are asked to pay a shipping fee to schedule a new delivery.
However, this text and page has nothing to do with the company.
The DPD told customers: “Unfortunately we cannot prevent cybercriminals from targeting you in this way. DPD is constantly looking for ways to stay one step ahead of these fraudsters and here’s the latest innovation to protect consumers against smishing.”
It urged Britons to be vigilant in checking messages for signs of fraud before taking any action.
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Phishing has become more and more sophisticated with scammers often using information from social media platforms to personalise the message, the need for urgency and the messaging.
It’s important that you check your social media accounts to understand what information you have shared and what are the sharing settings. We would recommend only sharing data with friends and not sharing personal data on yourself.
Phishing attacks are not just something that affects consumers but businesses as well.
Often businesses will receive messages requiring members of staff to click on links. These can install ransomware onto private networks. This is where an organisation is locked out of their networks unless they pay to regain access.
Scambusters mail bag – answering your scam questions
How do I find a trusted tradesman?
Scambusters say: “There are a number of schemes that help ensure you can find trusted traders, we would recommend either TrustMark or Which Trusted Traders to ensure you have a firm that has been extensively vetted.”
How do I know if a website is genuine?
Scambusters say: “check to see if the website address is the same or very similar to the brand/organisation you are intending to visit. You can no longer trust a website with a padlock in the URL field to be genuine as these can be bought by any website. Also check the terms and conditions to see where the company is based and if it gives the registered address, contact phone number and email.”
You can learn more about this on Rightly.