Phishing scams have been on the rise in recent days, all too often taking hundreds of thousands of innocent victims to the cleaners and leaving them red-faced and with little-to-no money left in the bank.
To make matters worse, we're all vulnerable. - from mom, dad, even the kids to CEOs of big companies. In fact, for businesses alone, a recent FBI report shows that since January 2015, email scams account for a stunning $3.1 billion in losses.
What is a phishing scam? In short, phishing scams come in the form of emails. These emails will hit your inbox and usually pose themselves as coming from a legitimate business that needs your attention on some matter. From there, they attempt to get you to click on their spoofed, fake and malicious links - which is all the scammers need to gain access to a treasure trove of personal information like credit card numbers, personal data or usernames and passwords to SomeSite.com.
In order to stay protected from these seriously scary scams, you need to know what to look for. Today, I'll show you five of the latest phishing scams to be aware of and point out all of the red flags, because sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Are you ready?
One of the biggest scams that has popped up since the extremely popular Pokémon Go app was released on July 6 is a phishing scam that claims you need to pay for a $12.99 game upgrade.
The scam includes an email with the following message: "We regret to inform you that due to the overwhelming response to our new Pokémon GO app and the need for more powerful servers we can no longer afford to keep your account as free. Your account will be frozen in 24 hours if you do not upgrade."
Users are then asked to sign up for this new paid version. The paid version is fake, of course, but as gamers sign up the hackers collect all of their account login information.
What to do: Don't be gullible. Know that the game is free. Always be wary of emails labeled "urgent" and require immediate action. Nintendo also would never freeze your account.