Tips to spot a phishing scam

Can you imagine the headache you’d have if a hacker got access to your social media, banking, dating, or email login details? But you wouldn’t just hand this kind of information over to a stranger would you?

Hmm, here are some basic tips to spotting a scam.

Consider these before opening an email that you weren’t expecting to receive.

  • Is the spelling and grammar in the message correct?
  • Does the link and the text match (hover your mouse over the link and you’ll see where it really goes).
  • Does the email urge you to take immediate action?
  • Does the email address of the sender look reasonable given the content of the email?
  • Look at the salutation (does it say ‘Dear Customer’)?
  • Look at the signature, a lack of details or how you can contact the company suggests phishing.
  • Are you even expecting an email from that sender?
  • Is the message asking you to do something unusual? (eg. buy iTunes cards).

Together we can make a difference, but what should you do next?

If you think it’s a phishing email or spam:

If the message is plausible:

  • go to the website of the service, or bank yourself (don’t click that link in the email), then log in and see if you have any messages
  • if it’s someone sharing a file or similar with you, contact the person (in a new email not by using ‘reply’) and ask them.

If you’re not be sure, treat it with caution and report it

It it amazing what hackers can do with access to your device, they get access to EVERYTHING you do on that device which can take a massive toll on you individually and damage your relationships.

  • You could lose access to your banking and social media accounts.
  • You could find all your data has been deleted or encrypted and held for ransom.
  • Your identity could be stolen,
    • loans and credit cards may be opened in your name.
    • unauthorised purchases may be billed to you.
  • You may become a victim of tax fraud.
  • You may be locked out of apps and web-based services, forever!! (Losing family photos, thesis papers etc).
  • Your electronic devices may be used as a tool of cyber-crime (sending spam or spreading malware).

See more about cyber security at UC>