Email phishing has become a widespread problem throughout the cyber world. Almost everyone is vulnerable to phishing. Phishing occurs when a fraudulent email appears to originate from a legitimate business. The business is usually a well-known organization that a person regularly conducts business with such as a financial institution, internet provider, or any other similar organizations. There is usually a link in the email that directs you to another website that is a sham. These sites will ask for personal information about you to allegedly verify your identity but in reality they are deceiving you into divulging this information so that they may commit identity theft.
These scams are generally worded in such a way as to induce panic in the recipient. They often tell the addressee that there has been fraudulent activity on their account or they may lose something such as their account if they don’t immediately respond. Another indication of email phishing would be the poor grammar and misspelled words that accompany the email. Cybercriminals are not known for having strong spelling or grammar. Legitimate companies and organizations never conduct business in this fashion. If there is a genuine issue with your account, a recognized company or organization will contact the client via telephone or a letter through the mail.
Microsoft offers the following advice on how to protect yourself from phishing scams by using the Microsoft tools that are available:
Internet Explorer. While you are on a suspicious site, click the gear icon and then point to Safety. Then click Report Unsafe Website and use the web page that is displayed to report the website.
Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail). If you receive a suspicious email message that asks for personal information, click the check box next to the message in your Outlook inbox. Click the arrow next to Junk and then point to Phishing scam.
Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 and 2013. Right-click the suspicious message, point to Junk, and then click Report Junk.
Governments from around the world are taking a tough stance on phishing. Recently an Eastern European man from Moldova was arrested and charged with running an international phishing scheme which permitted him along with several others to steal $25 million from banks and various companies worldwide. He is currently being held in jail as a flight risk until he is called to trial in Federal Court.
As cybercriminals become more adept at deceiving the public, it is more important than ever that companies and individuals are constantly on the lookout for any type of suspicions activity that may occur. If you feel that you may have been a victim of email phishing, which may then lead to identity theft, you may want to consider contacting an attorney who specializes in business. They will be able to advise you of your rights. Most importantly always remember never open any suspicious emails or click on any links that were sent to you unsolicited.
1. Safety and Security. Microsoft, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security/online-privacy/phishing-symptoms.aspx>.
2. “What Are Phishing Scams and How Can I Avoid Them?” What Are Phishing Scams and How Can I Avoid Them? The 2015 Trustees of Indiana University, 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <https://kb.iu.edu/d/arsf>.
3. “FindLaw | Legal News & Information.” Global Phishing Email Suspect to Remain Jailed until Trial. Associated Press, 2 Mar. 2016. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <http://news.findlaw.com/apnews/2ea1ce5970344e8288b0fa856d4474f1>.
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