You might have heard a lot about ‘phishing’. Phishing is a type of email scam, whereby scammers can gain access to your personal information by tricking you into clicking a dodgy link, opening an attachment or sending them sensitive details.
Some important things to remember:
- Official emails (for example, from your bank) should never come from a strange-looking email address. HSBC_Help@gmail.com, for instance, would not be legitimate.
- As a rule, they will typically address you by your name, not ‘Dear customer/Dear Sir/other’
- They will never ask you to send your password, pin number or credit card details.
- If an email comes from a personal email address you don’t recognise, don’t open it. Definitely don’t click on any attachments.
- Language designed to cause worry or fear will often be used. For example, an email with the subject line ‘unpaid bill’ and an attached ‘invoice’ could make you think you need to take immediate action, but this is very unlikely to be legitimate.
- If you keep getting strange looking emails from a family member or friend, let them know, as their account may have been hacked.
- If you suspect your account has been hacked, be sure to change your passwords!
The most important thing to remember is, if you receive an email you weren’t expecting (even from someone you know), be cautious. If in doubt, don’t open it. If you know the sender, ask them to verify that the email is legitimate.