Phishing Scams Growing Into A Greater Threat Warns Better Business Bureau
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – June 4, 2013 – Phishing occurs when criminals, pretend to be from well-known, legitimate businesses or organizations, contact individuals and trick them into revealing persona linformation such as Social Security numbers, financial data or other personal identifiers.
“Phishing is on the rise and consumers need to be aware that it is a threat to them virtually every day, “ said Janet Robb, President/CEO Better Business Bureau of Arkansas. “Never give personal information out unless you are positive you know who you are giving that information to.”
In 2012,phishing was the fourth most common scam reported to the National Consumers’ League’s Fraud Center, as part of the category “Imposter Scams”.
Here are some warning signs of phishing:
- Poor spelling: It is likely that a company’s name will be misspelled in a phishing message. For example, Wal-Mart recently released a warning to consumers about an email phishing scam that had a subject line of “Thanks for your Walmart.com order” from Wallmart.com (with two L’s). It is not likely that a legitimate company would spell their name wrong in a subject line or in an email address.
- Request for personal information: If you receive a request for information from a company that should already have your information, be wary.
- Scare tactics: If you are being asked to act immediately, it is likely a phishing scam.
Global losses in 2012 from phishing were reported to be over $1.5 billion. In 2012, the total number of phishing attacks was 59% higher than in 2011.
The BBB has come up with some tips for protecting yourself from phishing:
- Make sure your devices are secure. Protect yourself by having antivirus and anti-spyware software on your devices.
- Choose to click wisely. By clicking on a phishing message or ad, you could be exposing your personal information or downloading spyware to your device.
- Always keep your guard up. If your personal information is being requested, ask yourself why. Remember that phishing comes in multiple forms – phone calls, text messages, emails and advertisements. It is important to always be aware to avoid possible scams.
- Check your activity regularly. Try to check your bank accounts on a regular basis to watch for suspicious activity. If you see anything out of the ordinary, investigate the activity and report it if you think you may have been scammed.
If you experience or have experienced a scam, report it to your BBB of Arkansas at www.arkansas.bbb.org
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