What is phishing and how to spot email scams?

Hacker with computers in dark room

Cyber crime and phishing is a prevalent danger as more people rely on online shopping, banking and communication. (Picture: Getty)

Even while the world continues to battle a pandemic, callous con artists continue to exploit people’s vulnerabilities.

Recently, key workers have been targeted in online fraud activity and a Royal Mail text scam has nearly tripped up several.

It’s getting easier for scam artists to con people out of small fortunes as we rely on online shopping, banking and communication more than ever.

This sort of con – involving emails, texts or other electronic communications – is called phishing.

Here’s how to spot a phishing email or text, and how to stay safe online…

What is phishing, and why is it called phishing?

Phishing is the term applied to kind of electronic communications scam that aims to obtain private information, or to spread harmful malware, via the recipient.

The phenomenon takes its name from fishing due to the parallels in unaware targets being reeled in by bait.

A Royal Mail scam has been making the rounds. (Picture: PA)

The term was coined around 1996, according to Computer World, as internet scammers began using e-mail lures, setting out hooks to fish for passwords and financial data from the sea of Internet users.

Hackers commonly replace the letter f with ph, a nod to the original form of hacking known as phone phreaking

How does phishing work?

The most well-known form of phishing involves the mimicry of official emails or text messages from trusted companies including Amazon, Paypal, all UK banks, Netflix, delivery companies, mobile phone providers, eBay and so on.

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Phishing emails can also masquerade as messages from a council authority, HMRC, the Government, the police or a hospital.

The phishers replicate to the best of their abilities, the …read more

Source:: Metro News

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