Let’s Talk Everything Phishing

Let’s Talk Everything Phishing

 “AAAAAH SCARY!” – But it doesn’t need to be, if you are armed with knowledge!

 

We know Phishing scams aren’t new, but unfortunately, there are still so many individuals who fall victim to these nasty scammers!

So, we continue to urge people to be on the lookout for both old and new sophisticated email phishing scams that could endanger your personal information and perhaps EVEN your tax refund for next year.

The easiest way for these money-sucking cybercriminals to steal your bank account info, your passwords and credit card details is just to ask for them, simple as that. 

Every single day, people fall for these phishing scams that cost them their time or their money or BOTH.

What these scammers do in their emails is to create a sense of urgency, or they come across as concerned, warning you to update your online financial accounts immediately as they have been breached (by scammers, isn’t that a nice touch). However, this email directing you to download a document from a cloud-storage provider, or enter your password, bank PIN, or suggesting that you have received a tax refund and needs your personal info ASAP… yep, you guessed it – Fake, and so are many many new and innovative variations of these schemes.

 

These phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to solicit personal, tax or financial information by posing as a trustworthy business or organisation, even your bank. More often than not, everything looks thoroughly professional and legitimate, presenting the look and feel that make it appear authentic, including identical logos for letterheads, making it easy to be tricked into thinking the phishing communication is from someone you trust. 

A scam artist takes advantage of knowledge gained from research and plenty of attempts to masquerade as legitimate sources throughout their scamming career. Their emails contain hyperlinks that take you to fake sites or include PDF attachments that will download malware or viruses onto your PC, allowing them to retrieve your personal information.

They have gone so far as to send phishing emails that appear to come from a colleague, friend or relative. 

 

REMEMBER -Not all phishing attempts are emails, some could be phone calls. 

If you think you are the target of a phishing scam, ensure you don’t take the bait.

This is what you should do.

  • Be vigilant and be sceptical. DO NOT open a link or attachment from an unknown or suspicious source. Always approach with caution. These crooks are adept at mimicking trusted businesses, family and friends.  
  • Remember, SARS doesn’t initiate spontaneous contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. No legitimate business or organisation will ask for sensitive financial information via email. ALWAYS skip clicking on the hyperlinks, enter the URL yourself, or go directly to the source’s actual web page.
  • Use security software to protect against viruses. 
  • Use good, strong passwords to protect all your online accounts. Do not use the same password for every account; each should have a unique password; if you are thinking – “how on earth do I remember all these passwords?” Get yourself a password manager. Criminals count on you using the same password repeatedly; Experts recommend a password that has a minimum of 10 digits, including letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Use two-factor authentication when offered. This authentication means that as well as entering your username and password, you must also enter a security code that is sent as a text to your Mobile. 

 

 

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