Phishing scams are amongst the most common in the UK. Although it’s wide spread, it’s quite easy to protect yourself if you follow these simple rules:
- Is the email is suspicious? The subject or the content of the email will often tell you if the message is legitimate.
- Look for spelling and punctuation errors. Phishing emails are rarely checked for spelling and grammar and english is often not the first language of the scammer.
- Call the sender directly to check. Official organisations such as banks, e-Bay, The Post Office etc. won’t ask for personal information by email. If you are being asked for personal information contact the organisation directly to verify if the email is legitimate.
- Examine the links and logos. If you move your mouse pointer over a link, a small pop-up will show you the real destination of that link. Look carefully at the logos as they might be distorted on a phishing email and image quality will be poor.
- Look out for general requests. Phishing emails are not personalised and usually start with “Dear Sir/Madam” while authentic emails will use your full name.
In 2014, 77% of all socially based attacks were phishing attacks.
Always be on alert when companies ask you to give personal or financial information about yourself. If you suspect that your personal information has been stolen, visit Information Commissioner’s Office for guidance on what to do.