Phishing – Beware of the Scam!

This weeks blog comes from Keen IT. It’s all about the dangers of Phishing emails. Not sure what they are? Read on…

Be Phishing Aware and Protect your Private Data! 

A recent Which study found that 95% of home computer users had received phishing emails.  The most common current scam emails are below.  At Keen IT we often see computers in our workshop which have been infected with malware, viruses or have been subject to phishing.

What is Phishing?

Phishing describes an attempt made typically via email or social media to acquire your personal information such as banking usernames, passwords and credit card details by pretending to be from a trustworthy source.

Phishing scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated so we felt it would be useful to Keen IT customers to bring to attention some of the most common phishing emails:

1. Bank Scam

These can be extremely convincing, often using identical branding to your existing bank.  Typically you would receive an email to encourage you to click on a link and verify your banking details.  If details are updated the fraudsters will go direct to your bank and to steal your money.

Our advice is never click on a link requesting your banking details.  Banks never ask customers to do this over email!  If you are suspicious call your bank and ask them to verify if your email is genuine.

2.  Paypal Scam

You may get a lovely branded email from Paypal asking you to update your details or for you to download an attachment.  As with the Bank scam, ignore and delete these messages.  If you would like to verify the email before deleting contact Paypal directly.

3.  HMRC email

We regularly get emails from HMRC telling us we have made a mistake on our Self Assessment form, or that our online details need verification.  Do not respond and call HMRC to check the validity of your email.

3. Tax Rebate

Wouldn’t it be lovely to get an email from the government offering to give you a tax rebate?  Remember all that glitters isn’t gold!  HMRC will never send you an email offering a tax rebate in exchange for you entering all your personal details in a web page.  If you are due a real tax rebate the likelihood is that you will be contacted by post.  If in doubt you can always call HMRC to check the validity of the tax rebate email

4.  Helping an ousted dictator, a foreign charitable fund or getting a “job” offer out of the blue as an accounts executive.

We all like to do a good deed, and when you are being offered a percentage cut as a thank you for transferring millions of dollars sounds, it like a win win doesn’t it?!  Not so, please do not even consider responding to these emails.  In the case of the random job offer, be very careful, these are very sophisticated scams.  Check out recruiters and companies meticulously before you respond.  Participating in fund transfers can render your personal details vulnerable to fraudsters or could implicate you in a wider fraud case.

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Keen IT provide friendly IT support to local families and businesses. They are one of the Mummies Club Business Members. They have a walk-in computer repair centre and offer a huge range of services. To find out more about them click HERE