BEWARE OF PHISHING EMAILS
By Linda Lindquist
Scammers are becoming very skilled at tricking you into giving them your identity information by way of phishing emails. Phishing emails are becoming the #1 way that you and your computer become compromised.
What is a phishing email?
A phishing email fishes for your personal identity information and/or sign in information by imitating the look and feel of a trusted company, such as your email service, your bank, your credit card company, Amazon, etc. The email looks very convincing, even with company logos. These emails usually invoke your emotion of fear to get you to do what they instruct you to do (“there is a fraudulent charge on your credit card”, “there is a security problem with your account”).
Sometimes, a phishing email appeals to your emotion of greed to entice you to give up your personal identity information or send money on the possibility of getting even more money. They offer millions of dollars from international organizations, from African widows, or gift cards from CVS, Walmart, etc.
How to easily identify a phishing email
Look at the FROM: address in the email by clicking on it. If the part of the address after the “@” does not match the company that supposedly sent it, if is from a scammer.
What NOT to do with a phishing email
DO NOT reply with any personal information. DO NOT click on any links or attachments. Trust me – if the FROM email address does not match the company, it is spam from a scammer!
What to do with a phishing email
Sometimes, you can be a good citizen and report it to the real company, e.g., a phishing email that looks as if it came from amazon, forward the email to email@example.com Mark it as SPAM and DELETE it.
If you did give a scammer any of your sign on credentials, immediately change the password to that website account. If you happen to use the same password for multiple accounts (not recommended), you need to change the password to those accounts as well.
I am looking for a way to keep these phishing emails out of your inbox and junk folders and will let you know when I have found such a solution.