Tech Tip: Gone Phishing – Beware of Bait Presented by Electronic Scammers

By Brian Gainey, Technical Services Coordinator

Phishing is a form of scamming. Much like traditional fishing, where you bait a hook to catch your prey, phishing uses electronic forms of bait to steal personal information or money from consumers.

The most common instances of phishing are done via email. For example, beware of emails from your bank claiming that there has been a problem with your account and that you need to click a link and enter personal information in order to resolve the issue. What gets most people is that the email and the related link legitimately look like they have been sent from your bank. However, in most cases, the scammer has simply duplicated the look of your financial institution’s email and website in order to steal your valuable personal information. If you receive an email from your bank that asks you to divulge personal information, do not respond. Instead, call the bank and ask if there are issues with your account. And be sure to tell them about the email you received.

There is also a form of phishing that uses search engines to prey upon consumers searching for a good deal. The user is baited to click a link for a site that promises a low cost for products and services. But when the user tries to make a purchase, the phishing site simply steals their credit card information.

Those are just two of many examples of phishing. As scammers get more and more sophisticated in their methods of phishing, consumers must become more aware of the lingering dangers and more vigilant about protecting their personal information. It is important to ensure that your computer security software is up-to-date while also being mindful of your risk each time you share your personal information online.

At Shell Point Retirement Community, residents benefit from on-site technology services to answer their questions about computers and electronics, as well as a computer teaching center and a resident computer center.