Phishing, Vishing, & Smishing
Criminals do not always wear ski masks like they do in the movies. They do not always put on overcoats, dress all in black, or have on sunglasses in dark alleys. But they are out there and are actively trying to steal from you! Criminals have their sights set on not just money but personal information as well. Three common ways of doing this are phishing, vishing, and smishing. All three are fraudulent attempts to collect sensitive information through either email (phishing), phone calls (vishing), or text messaging (smishing). Fraudsters attempt to “lure” victims in by creating a sense of urgency hoping that victims will let their guard down and give any information to resolve the problem. Examples include Amazon emailing about an order error or expired payment method, the IRS notifying you of a tax delinquency, or Netflix informing you that your account has been suspended. They will usually include a way of contacting them either by a phone number to call or a link to click/download. This is where YOU can stop the attack! Do NOT click on the link, do NOT call the given phone number, do NOT allow files to download and access your computer/phone. Do not give these fraudsters your personal or financial information! Research the parent company directly and find their contact information from a legitimate website. Reach out to them to verify the legitimacy of the unsolicited contact. Implementing this simple step can possibly help thwart phishing, vishing, or smishing attacks. So be vigilant and smart about your sensitive information to avoid being a victim.