Don't fall victim to online phishing scams
(NC) -- You've received an email, seemingly from your bank, informing you about a suspicious transaction on your account. In order to ensure your account has not been compromised, you are asked to 'click here' to validate your identity.
This type of online scam is commonly referred to as phishing. Phishing attacks typically use an email message appearing to come from an organization you know and trust, like your bank or internet service provider. The purpose of the message is to redirect its victims to a spoofed website that looks just as authentic, to get them to disclose private information, or to infect their devices with viruses.
The good news is there are a few ways to spot these types of scams before you take the bait. Be wary of messages that:
Ask you to validate your account by following a link;
Advise you that there is a problem with your current account;
Threaten action (i.e. closing your account) if you don't respond.
Phishing scams are also widespread on social networking sites, appearing in online ads, status updates, tweets, and other posts. Here are some more tips to help keep your information and identity safe:
Do not reply to, or click on, links in any emails that look suspicious. If in doubt, contact the company directly and report your suspicions.
Never open an attachment from a sender not known to you.
Do not reply to a message that requests personal information.
When using social networks, consider carefully what information you are putting out there.
Learn more about how to stay safe online at GetCyberSafe.ca.