The topic of our article will be how to understand that you have become a victim of a phishing attack. Below, you will learn what is discussed in our main slogan. You’re probably surprised by the name, and maybe not. But in any case, we will give a clear definition of phishing attacks and further consider the top most common signs of their manifestation.
What is a phishing scam? It is an attack carried out by an attacker on a user using a form of social engineering. It often occurs through emails, text messages, and calls with a specific structure and a fraudulent motive through which the fraudster attempts to influence the victim and get what he wants. The list of desires includes passwords, account data, and malware distribution.
Related Content: QR code phishing is a growing cybersecurity threat.
You will likely notice similar emails in your inbox if you are sensitive to your privacy. At the bottom, there is often a requirement to urgently click on a link or a confirmation to enter the system, which you did not open soon. So, what to do if you fall for a phishing scam?
Five signs of a phishing scam
Below we will submit the five most common signs of the phishing scam, after which you will be able to protect yourself from such deception. It is very important to be able to define it correctly, as threat actors apply very sly tactics. In the case of spear phishing, for example, they can counterfeit the email you are waiting for – and make you trust them.
1. Identity verification in your email
Everyone saw it at least one time in their life. Each user has an account – in a bank, online store, or social network, which is tied to an email. Based on this, scammers use this as bait to make a successful phishing attack on the user.
They disguise their messages as a company or bank that you know that says they need to urgently confirm your identity to do some background check or something. In this case, you need to be very attentive and understand whether you were waiting for some message from your company or bank which may relate to your account. If you doubt the legitimacy of such confirmation, better enter the account from your application or the official website, bank, or company and check the presence of any such issues.
2. Addresses or links to a website do not look authentic
Fraudsters carefully approach the issue of falsifying addresses under the actual addresses of some offices. At first glance, these addresses may seem quite similar to the ones banks or companies use to text you. But if you look closely, you can understand that something is wrong with the name. The addresses look similar but are never the same as the official sender has.
Information in letters can also be malicious. For example, this malicious stuff can be in the links inside the message body. Clicking on them will take you to a malicious site where you’ll likely see a phishing form, or a malicious offer. To avoid this, hover over them and check the link’s current address.
3. Poor spelling and illiteracy of the writing itself
Read the letter carefully before agreeing to anything you see or read. The presence of gross grammatical and spelling errors should give you an idea of the legitimacy of this letter. Major sites, stores, banks, and companies will protect their reputations and avoid minor missteps. It is their image in the customers’ eyes, so they are interested in taking care of their visuals.
Read carefully everything you see, and look at the structure, whether there is a greeting, the central part, and a logical ending. That way, you can determine if the letter is genuine.
4. Suspicious attachment
If you have received an email with an attachment you will be asked to go to, you should check it well. Scanning the attached file with the antivirus is a good idea. At least, you should be on the alarm when seeing the offer to enable macros in the document. Through such attachments, fraudsters often try to distribute malicious URLs that lead to the installation of Trojans and malware on your device.
5. The purpose of the phishing message is to make you panic.
Here we return to our main slogan of the article – “Your account is blocked”. Yes, this is also one of the features of phishing scams. Malefactors use such phrases to drive users into a panic. It is a psychological technique so that the user does not have time to think clearly. In a panic, you go to the link or enter the info to the attached form, and thereby compromise their data.
They can add a list of frightening phrases – “your computer is infected,” “we leaked your data”, and others like that. To verify that these threats are real, log in to your accounts through official sources, not through the ones you see in a letter. Since there could be real cases of such notifications, you should verify the authenticity of such threats.