Tax season often brings a surge of new phishing scams.
The goal of these fake emails is to obtain your personal information, usually your username and password. Scammers attempt to do this by sending you what, at first glance, may look like an authentic email from a reputable company with logos and all. Phishing scams have become more sophisticated and omnipresent in recent years. Nobody is immune from these potentially damaging emails.
Remember though that looks can be deceiving!
Clients have reported opening emails appearing to be from Apple, Amazon, Netflix, the Internal Revenue Service, and even their financial institutions. These emails typically create a sense of urgency. One common way scammers do this is by informing you of some problem with your account. You are then instructed to click on a link, which directs you to a legitimate looking website and asked to enter sensitive information, where scammers can see it.
Both links and attachments endanger your data.
How can you protect yourself from phishing scams? Common red flags include grammatical mistakes; awkward, missing verbiage; and informality. Also, the sender’s email address typically looks suspicious; look closely. The biggest red flag people have reported is not currently or previously doing business with that company. The Federal Trade Commission provides consumers with phishing scam alerts.
Some ways you can help fight phishing include:
- Reporting the email
- Safeguarding sensitive data
- Contacting the company directly
- Entering the URL into the browser of your choice
- Being suspicious of friend requests from strangers
- Updating and maintaining software programs (e.g., antivirus)
- Using strong passwords (a combo of letters, numbers, and special characters)
- Never using the same username or password twice; always use unique usernames/passwords for each website you visit
Lifestyles Media Group, LLC. takes your online security very seriously and are committed to helping you fight back against phishing scams. If you need IT assistance, please contact Lifestyles Media Group, LLC. at (602) 290-3349 or firstname.lastname@example.org for IT Specialist referral.