Phishing scams are ever popular with cybercriminals. They try tricking their victims into clicking on a malicious link, which results in the scammer stealing credentials, personal data and even money.
These phishing attacks are usually sent by the scammer in an email. The latest attack making the rounds is targeting a popular online payment system.
You could find a scam email that was recently sent to your inbox claiming to be from PayPal. It's an official looking email sent by scammers, trying to get you to click on a malicious link. Here is what the email looks like:
The email begins by warning the reader that someone is using their PayPal account without their knowledge. It claims that there has been recent activity on their account from a suspicious location. They are then supposed to click on a link to confirm your account.
Warning! Do NOT click on the link inside the email.
If you do, it will take you to a fake login site that was built to steal your credentials and security answers. The site will ask that you log in with your current credentials and then asks you to change your password. Since the fake email uses the PayPal logo, it looks official and people are falling for it.
PayPal officials told "Mirror Online" that, "Like many other online banks, shops and services, PayPal can be targeted by criminals who use fraudulent emails to deceive users. We go to great lengths to protect our customers, but there are also a few, simple precautions we should all take online."
Here are some tips PayPal said its customers can do to spot fake emails:
- Watch for typos - Phishing scams are infamous for having typos. If you receive an email or notification from a reputable company, it should not contain typos.
- Be cautious with links - If you get an email or notification from a site that you find suspicious, don't click on its links. It's better to type the website's address directly into a browser than clicking on a link. Before you ever click on a link, hover over it with your mouse to see where it is going to take you. If the destination isn't what the link claims, do not click on it.
- Official PayPal emails - Official PayPal emails will always begin by addressing you by your full name. Scam emails will likely start with something like 'Dear customer.' If you receive an email that is supposedly from PayPal and it doesn't address you by your full name, you should be very suspicious of it.
- Contact support - If you have received this fake email, or any others from PayPal that you are suspicious of, contact PayPal support. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to avoid phishing scams
Phishing scams are not limited to emails. Scammers are lurking everywhere, delivering malicious links in many devious ways.
Here are some other things to look out for that PayPal didn't address. These will help you avoid being a victim of phishing scams:
- Do an online search - If you get a notification about something like the "Ugly List," you should do an online search on the topic. If it's a scam, there are probably people online complaining about it and you can find more information.
- Use multi-level authentication - When available, you should be using multi-level authentication. This is when you have at least two forms of verification, such as a password and a security question before you log into any sensitive accounts.
- Have strong security software - Having strong protection on your family's gadgets is very important. The best defense against digital threats is strong security software.