Phishing FAQ

Tags Spam

Table of Contents

What is phishing?

  • Phishing is a fraudulent activity whose main objective is to obtain your personal information, e.g. account credentials, credit card numbers.
  • Perpetrators pretend to be a trusted entity such as a person or business you already know, or might plausibly interact with.
  • Phishing is most often done by email but can originate from other sources, e.g. text messages.

How can I detect phishing attempts?

Phishing scams can be very sophisticated but a phishing email often has the following characteristics:

  • Reports suspicious activity on your account.
  • Requests confirmation of your personal information.
  • Requests that you update your payment details.
  • Includes a link to a website or an attachment to be downloaded.
  • Often has a generic, non-personalized greeting.
  • Calls for immediate action.
  • Includes offers that appear too good to be true.

What can I do to protect myself?

Your diligence is the best preventative measure. Here are some common-sense steps to follow:

  • Don't open suspicious emails, e.g. emails with alarming subject lines or from suspicious senders.
  • Check the sender's email address.
    • Are they who they claim to be?
    • Does the name displayed match the actual email address being used?
  • Don't click or tap on suspicious links!
    • If you’re on a computer, use your mouse to hover over the link to verify the link's target.
  • Don't provide any account or personal financial information legitimate entities do not request this via email.
  • Don't download files from unfamiliar people.
  • Don't open attachments from any unrecognized external email addresses or phone numbers.
  • Get someone else's opinion.
    • Ask a coworker: Were we expecting an email from this sender?
    • Ask a friend: Does this email look strange to you?
  • If you think the email might be legitimate but have any doubts, contact the person or business directly using your own contact information.

What are some examples of phishing?

How do I report suspected phishing?

Details

Article ID: 104838
Created
Wed 4/8/20 2:53 PM
Modified
Fri 4/17/20 3:51 PM