What Is A Phishing Scam?
What is a phishing scam? A phishing scam is an online scam that is designed to get your personal information for fraudulent purposes. A phishing scam involves someone contacting you and fishing for information. If you bite, you could become the victim of a scam. Phishing scammers may pose as individuals or businesses that would have a legitimate need for your personal information. However, they intend to use your information for their own financial gain and to your financial detriment.
How to identify a phishing scam. If you receive an email, instant message or popup which is unsolicited and claims that your personal information is required, or needs to be updated for any reason, it could be a phishing scam. Phishing scammers hope that you will reply to their message or click the fraudulent links they provide and submit information so that they can then use your information to gain access to your finances.
But, is it really a phishing scam? Many legitimate companies will avoid requesting information in this fashion. If you are contacted by an individual or company that you do have business with, it could still be a phishing scam. Inquire about their request through the official contact information or website for that party, not through the contact information provided in the request. This contact information or link to a website may appear legitimate, but it could belong to a clever scammer and redirect you to their own inbox or site.
Don't take the bait. Phishing scams succeed by fishing for a victim's personal information online, then reeling in their catch to open credit cards or otherwise make financial gains. Know how to recognize a phishing scam so that you don't bite.