The internet is awash with more than 300 fake websites designed to look like they are run by respected high street banks. Domain Tools discovered a total of 22 for Llyods, 66 for NatWest, 74 each for Standard Chartered and Barclays, and an alarming 110 for HSBC sites.
These dodgy addresses are owned by third parties and they contain uncanny similarities with the real websites. Hackers typically email users for account verification, providing a direct link to the spoofed website. Falling into the scam, the user logs into the fake site with their account details, allowing the culprit access into their credit card and other sensitive information.
The same dirty tactic is used to phish important data from businesses. Cybercriminals impersonate suppliers, employees, and executives to try and defraud staff or owners by email. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent them from infiltrating your computer and acquiring your information.
Emails that come from a weird-looking address and are full of typos and grammatical errors should raise some suspicion. “Better act now” and other forms of scare tactics are also a huge red flag. As a general rule, do not click or open links in emails with these characteristics.
You should never hand out your bank details over email. Be skeptical when you are asked to do this because reputable sources will have to redirect you to a secure portal.
It is best to not interact with anything from emails you don’t recognize. That means no clicking links, opening attachments, and downloading files. You only ever have to open email attachments when you’re expecting them and already have an idea of what they contain.
Before entering your credit card details or Social Security number into any web form, verify if it’s trusted. A good indication is when you see that lock sign in the address bar.
You may be using a strong password, but you still shouldn’t use the same for all bank, email, business, and other accounts. Make it a habit to change your password every so often. If you don’t think you will be able to remember all of them, put them in an encrypted file.
Phishing scams are on the rise, and hackers are getting even better at making themselves look legitimate. The key is to have a keen eye for detail. Use these tips to spot a scam and protect yourself as well as your business.